FOR Pearl Williams (98), knitting was a way to cheaply clothe her four children, but now it helps her pass the time and keep her mind active.
Dubbed the knitting guru by staff and residents at East Perth’s Archbishop Goody Hostel where she is the oldest resident, Mrs Williams now makes Easter and Christmas themed dolls for friends, family and charity.
“I learned to knit in primary school,” she said.
“The first thing we made were little squares and I learned to follow a pattern.
“When they were growing up we couldn’t buy things for our children because they were too expensive, so we had to knit them.
“I would knit bedspreads, and they would last forever.”
Mrs Williams said she liked to keep herself occupied between visits from her three surviving children, four grandchildren, six great grandchildren and seven great, great grandchildren.
“I read, do crosswords; I always have to have something to do,” she said.
“I was a teacher so I always had children to cope with and to teach, but now time is difficult to fill.”
The child of an English father and Irish mother, Mrs Williams grew up in India when the British ruled, before moving to Australia and making a home in Bentley.
“I taught there (India) for quite a few years and I was educated in a convent by nuns,” she said.
“I came to Australia in 1958, my son had asthma and I wanted to come to a dryer climate, but I had to pay through my nose to get here.
“We came by boat, it took a couple of weeks and there were only two families on the boat.”