Birthday celebration for charity knitter Iris

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A Rothienorman woman who knits items for charity is preparing to celebrate her 98th birthday.

Iris Joyce will mark her 98th year in November.

The Kinbroon House resident spends most of her time knitting items for the Fish & Chip Babies project.

The project provides hand crafted clothing to new mothers in Africa.

The ‘Fish & Chip Babies’ project was set up after it was discovered that newborns were wrapped in newspaper to keep them warm if no articles of clothing were available.

Knitters across the UK, including Iris, decided to take action and have since knitted various pieces of clothing to help the youngsters.

Iris currently makes jumpers and matching hats for the project.

She used to make booties but found them to be very time consuming.

Iris has made over 1,000 items for the project since she started in 2013 and each jumper and hat takes her just a day and a half to complete.

She creates the items from wool given to her by her neighbour, Tina.

Commenting on her neighbour’s upcoming birthday and charity achievements, Tina said: “She’s totally amazing.”

Iris said: “I started knitting dishcloths but got promoted!”

Iris is from Romford, Essex originally, but she was sent to Raigmore, Inverness during the war to work as a copy typist.

After meeting her husband, the couple moved to London, before Iris made the move north.

She has lived in Rothienorman for eight years.

Knitting has always been a favourite hobby of hers as Iris explained: “I am an ex-golfer, I used to do three miles on the course and I knitted my husband’s golf vests.

“Now I’ve always got knitting on the go, the only time I’m not knitting is when I’m in my bed - that’s when I read.”

Looking to her 98th birthday, Iris said: “I have had a very happy life, I am lucky in a lot of ways and I count my blessings.

“I’m young at heart.”