Bubbles Roberts: A knitter of note

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Bubbles (Sylvia) Roberts is not your typical nonagenarian. For years she has been knitting a variety of beautiful items for those who need them.
Bubbles (Sylvia) Roberts with some of her work

Bubbles (Sylvia) Roberts is not your typical nonagenarian.

For her 90th birthday two years ago, Bubbles would accept no presents. Instead, she requested friends and family bring balls of wool. Having received 250 balls, Bubbles was able to continue what she has been doing for years: knitting a variety of beautiful items for those who need them.

Bubbles has been knitting since she was a small child and donating her creations for years. She recounts, “I’ve knitted for Tygerberg: 1000 beanies for babies, all of them with donated wool. I knitted a lot for the Union of Jewish Women and then I went over to WIZO. They keep three or four creches going in the townships, so I make baby blankets, beanies for children and knee rugs.” Bubbles, however, knits for all ages: “Sometimes old ladies sit down for long periods of time with nothing to do and they get cold. I’m fortunate that I can put a blanket over myself. Sometimes they don’t have that luxury.”

As a child, Bubbles taught her own mother to knit. “She could do everything but she couldn’t knit, so I taught her when I was about ten,” she reminisces. For Bubbles, it does not matter how small the amount of wool at hand; a little goes a long way and she creates out of scraps, sometimes just two or three inches long. In fact, she notes, often the knitted items made of different coloured scraps are more beautiful than those of one colour. The amount of wool also determines whether the item will be knitted for a baby, child or adult.

Bubbles does not go a day without knitting. She explains, “There’s never a dull moment. When you sit and you knit it’s like therapy. If I feel miserable, I sit down and I start to knit and it clears my mind. That’s my favourite aspect of knitting.”

Bubbles is always in need of more wool to continue creating and donating. To donate wool to her project, contact Bubbles on 021 439 6625.

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