Saving the World One Person At a Time

By Veronica Smith – 10 Comments

Well I was going to call this article “Real Men Crochet”, and that is still applicable however RECENTLY I have had an unusual amount of emotional ‘stress’ and I have really appreciated my crocheting – more than normal. My life has been on hold for a few weeks and whilst sitting, waiting, pacing, worrying and comforting in various hospitals and nursing homes I found that crocheting saved me. So I now figure that I need to save the world one person at a time and you need to help me – pretty please.

So this leads me to this wonderful article I came across and I just thought I’d pass on the wonderful story that I read. We all know that crocheting relaxes us after a hard day at work or with the kids. Many people crochet whilst visiting in hospitals or waiting for news. It is a natural drug, it calms us down when we are stressed, gives us joy when we succeed and makes us feel warm and fuzzy when we donate our completed works.

It was no surprise to me then when I read about the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s unique REAL MEN CROCHET PROGRAM. Here is what the Correctional Center has implemented:

Real Men Crochet Program started in March 2008. The two-phase program provides inmates with the basic art of crocheting and then gives them the opportunity to donate works to area non-profit groups, making community service an integral part of re-entry. Inmates have made attractive scarves and hats for the local homeless shelter. The men have also made beautiful afghans that were donated to the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. In addition, inmates have started crocheting sweaters for Guide Posts for Kids. These sweaters will be sent overseas and throughout the United States. Presently, there are 20 inmates that are crocheting in this program and the waiting list continues to grow. So far, 57 scarves and hats have been sent to a homeless shelter in Dayton, Ohio. A total of 16 afghans were sent to the VA hospital in Dayton, Ohio. In addition, three (3) United States flag afghans are completed; one (1) Ohio State flag afghan, and 63 hats and scarves are ready to be dropped off. All of the materials for this program are donated by the public.

Maybe we should all look at seeing what we can do in the way of teaching crochet to others. Schools could benefit, many children are under stress from school work or peer pressure. Mothers groups could be taught to crochet, anybody who is a mother knows that having children can be just as taxing and tiring as it is rewarding, and as a bonus they will acquire a skill to treat their family with. Who else can you think of? Can you help a group or just an individual perhaps? Maybe we could all just teach 2 people (more if you can) to crochet. Ask in return if they will each teach 2 people. Can you imagine how fast the world would calm down and feel good about itself.

Happy crocheting – Let’s be positive.

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10 Comments

  1. Sean says:

    Real men really do crochet! I would know, I’m one of them.

    I am an engineering student, so naturally schoolwork is VERY stressful. I have only been crocheting for about 6 months, but have been knitting for the past two (I have joined the dark side, hehe). I like crocheting because it’s actually a very technical skill if you get to thinking about it. Fundamentally, you’re building knots on top of one another yet by changing the amount of loops and location of where/how you insert your hook you end up with something different.

    You can take something as simple as a really long piece of yarn and turn it into a structured garment. It’s quite astounding. Most of my friends actually think it’s pretty cool that I make my own hats/scarves/gloves/etc. and they don’t think of it as being “girly”. And those that do say that, well they don’t get any awesome hats for Christmas…

    I actually plan on teaching classes/seminars once the school year starts up again, especially for my fellow engineering students. My motto: Take what you have and make it what you need :)

  2. Very interesting articIe. I agree real men crochet. Some are great designers. In recent years I have also seen youths, including teenage boys and young adults show an interest in learning to crochet. They love crocheted fashions such as beanies and some are interested in learning to crochet to make or save money. I agree crochet is a technical skill that involves math, especially if you are a designer or want to alter patterns, change yarn or hook size etc. At the very least one must know basic math to count stitches, understand gauge, increase and decrease, create shapes or create charts or graphs. It can also be exercise (for the arms etc), as one is not just sitting still while crocheting. I have taught kids and adults to crochet and have donated to charities such as the American Cancer Society. I think donating yarn to prisons for both males and females is a great idea. They have much time on their hands to learn a useful and interesting skill or hobby.

  3. Sherry says:

    I am glad to see that there are some inmates that are using their time to help others as well as relieve their stress. The Dayton area is only 65 miles from where I live and I had not heard of this. I hope it spreads. I would love to teach someone but I am disabled and can’t get out as much as I would like.

  4. nita says:

    thank you for a lovely article, Rachel. This is a wonderful way to pass help others in a “pay it forward” manner.

  5. dj says:

    stress….aw stress makes for crocheting fast… i agree when i have made many items it is ‘pass it forward’.

  6. Suzie Hageman says:

    I love this article. It has inspired me to pick up my crochet needle again. I’ve been crocheting since my mother taught me at about the age of 9. That’s about 43 years of crocheting. Wow! I started out making purses to sell to my 3rd grade friends. I usually crochet in fall, winter & spring, but I’m ready to start right now, in the middle of this horrible heat wave we are having in Virginia. Thanks for such an inspiring article.

  7. Patti Bell says:

    I am in the process of teaching my 8 yr. old twin nephews and my 9 yr. old neice how to crochet. My niece is a lefty so that is presenting its own challenges.
    They saw me crocheting on a trip and wanted to learn. As soon as we arrived back home, I went and bought Red Heart Super Saver yarn (in favorite colors of course) and large (N) Boyle Aluminum Hooks. I also printed off instructions for all three kids. I have been practicing left handed too. I admit my neice is better than I am lefty. All are having a lot of fun crocheting. The children found out the neighbor kids learned how to crochet from their Granny. All are now sitting in the yard under the tree crocheting away!
    Thank you for all you write about, I am continuing to learn new things all the time.

  8. Lori Cheney says:

    Hi Rachel! I believe the theory of crochet as a way to leave the world a little better place and it’s therapy and relaxing! I wanted t share a neat mentor program through a bunch of women & the MLB! Its called StitchnPitch.org (com)? Anyway, you can find someone to mentor on their mentor link. All materials are donated to the teacher & student. They do not require a lot of experience just a helping hand & crochet love! You will love all the men & boys sitting in the stands of MLB games getting mentored in crochet or knitting and you can register a stitchnpitch at your MLB area or Farm Team Area! NOVEL IDEA! And all items are donated to charities. Even some of the players are joining in before the game!

  9. tina says:

    i just recently started crocheting again after about 10 years i went to collage for 9 years and could not find the time to do some of the things i love to do crafts in general. my mom and grandmother taught me when i was about 5 years old because i was very hipper as a child crocheting was the only thing that would get me to sit down for any long period of time and long period was more than 5 minutes. i have just recently taught my 22 year old son and am trying to teach his older brother. i have a friend with a hipper daughter i just got her interested she is coming along. the trick to teaching some one left handed is to show them while you are facing them not next to them like you would teach a right handed person i have to do that with my youngest he was born left handed and was switch to right by his preschool teacher he rights with his right hand but still thinks left handed it is a challenge at time because he does everything with his right hand but holds it like a left handed person.

  10. Jan says:

    My mom is left-handed and just recently, I have found that even though I am right-handed, I find that I do a lot of left-handed things also, I hold my knitting needles like a left handed person, but knit right handed. It’s really strange. I also say my rosary left handed. I taught myself to crochet, cause Mom couldn’t figure out how to teach me, but I still go to her with problems. I have taught my grandchildren how to knit and crochet, but they have not kept it up. They can’t sit still long enough, and the girls (even though they are not yet 20) have carpel tunnel. My story sounds like yours as I have two afghans that I have finished this year, while sitting in the hospital and nursing homes with my husband. My internet groups have been praying for him, and I am happy to say he will be finally coming home this week.

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