KNITTERS across Dorset have worked their socks off this year creating little woolly hats for a national charity campaign, and making premature baby blankets for local hospitals.

Hundreds of crafty creatives across the county threw their support behind The Big Knit 2012 campaign by knitting little woolly hats to sit on innocent smoothie bottles, sold in Boots and Sainsbury’s stores in November.

For each be-hatted smoothie sold, innocent and Sains-bury’s give 25p to Age UK which, in Dorchester, were tasked with knitting 4,398. On Portland, the charity collected 1,395 to go some way towards this total.

Although down on last year, knitters were working their socks off as they were also making premature baby blankets to be distributed to the maternity units at Dorchester and Southampton hospitals.

A total of 472 baby blankets and over 50 tiny baby outfits were collected.

Mairead Farrell, a children’s nurse at Dorset County Hospital gratefully receiving some of the blankets. She said: “I would like to pass on my gratitude to all the wonderful knitters who have taken such care in making these blankets and small garments.

“I will ensure that the maternity unit have a supply of the clothes and blankets, as they need them.”

Due to such on overwhelming response, not only were Age UK Dorchester able to supply local hospitals, but also able to donate 72 blankets to Fish & Chip Babies, a charity that provides blankets for new born babies in African countries.

The charity is so called, as many new born babies are literally wrapped in newspaper before being sent home.

Nicky Turrell, Portland Development Worker for Age UK, Dorchester who co-ordinates the knitting projects on Portland praised the volunteers: “The local community never fail – they happily give up their time to take part in these knitting projects.

“I would like to say a big thank you to these knitters, also to the Wool Shop and Island Community Action in Easton and the Post Office in Fortune- swell for their continued support.”

For more information about Age UK activities on Portland contact Nicky Turrel on 07971 338700.