Man Hangs Crocheted Hats

By Rachel Choi – 20 Comments

After writing the post about the young women decorating the city with crochet, Patrice (a Crochet Spot reader) sent me a related article about a man who hangs his crocheted hats around the city.

Ernie (not really his real name) taught himself to crochet four months ago. Three times a week he crochets wool hats and hangs them up in the poorest neighborhoods of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is even said that his hats get disbursed to some of Grand Rapids’ “most unapproachable residents”.

Here is a hat hanging on a tree waiting for someone to take it!
hung hat

Each hat is hung with a friendly tag, which says something like:
“Take me, I’m free!”
“Free to a good head.”
“You deserve this.”

So far Ernie has hung 30 to 35 hats and counting. He doesn’t want credit or publicity from his actions. All he wants is to help people keep warm, no matter who they are.

Here is a picture of Ernie hanging a hat.
Ernie hangs hat

I believe that Ernie’s actions is something that everyday people can do. In fact, Ernie is an everyday person that takes an extra step to help others. In Ernie’s words, “I just think everybody should be treated as a human being. And if everybody did just one little thing, it would improve the lives of so many people.”

I agree!

Source: The Grand Rapids Press

Similar Posts


  1. Michelle says:

    What a great way to spread some love with crochet! Thanks for sharing this story.
    The bunnies are not mine, they are a friend of mine’s. We did a photo shoot with her children with the bunnies for Easter. The rabbits were so cute, I was trying to get their picture and they were so friendly that it was hard to snap them. They kept coming to me and putting their face right in my camera lens. LOL My husband had a pet chicken as a child and his Mom also told him it ran away… (the things that make you go Hmmm.)

  2. Harold says:

    These types of stories are out there just waiting for people to find. These people are angels if you ask me. this is just simple a blessing!!!!!!!!

  3. Rachel says:

    Hey Harold!
    Yes, stories are out there for us to find! Let me know if you ever find any 🙂 I love reading a writing about them.

    That’s so cool Michelle! Easter photo shoot with bunnies, so fitting 🙂

  4. em says:

    hey, that’s really cool. Hmmm…you might seen hats hangin in my part of town soon. I like this a lot better than the “decorating the city with crochet” thing. It’s the same thing they’re doing, only helping out people. cool!

    • Rachel says:

      Hey Em! I like this one better too. I was thinking about hanging some hats myself, only that it’s starting to get warm around here, lol.

  5. HappyPie says:

    What a great story!

  6. moonglow says:

    Very nice!

  7. Karen says:

    I really believe in the ‘power of one’. One person can make all the difference by doing good. I learned this firsthand one fourth of July day on my town square. I was picking up pop cans worth 5 cents, and also picked up the trash, putting it in the receptables. I did that all day, and when I stopped at nightfall, I could see the ground begin to cover again with trash… and learned what i did had meaning, did help my town and was doable by one person, overweight and not noticed. I may have had more fun than all the people that attended the celebration. What better way to celebrate freedom – helping others. It is best to do it in secret, as people have pride. One carnie asked how much ‘they’ paid me, and when I said I did it because I cared about my town and people, he just could not understand the concept. But if everyone here does, think how much better the world will be. The power of one.

  8. Una idea fantastica!

  9. Bre' says:

    This is wonderful! I will be planning on doing something like this for the winter time which is long in Seattle.

  10. Kim says:

    That just made my day.

  11. Grandmom says:

    Thank God. A use for all these hats!
    I’m going to drop them off at the homeless shelter.
    Thanks for a wonderful sharing concept.

  12. Sharon Jones says:

    What a wonderful story! I think I just may do this-with hats gloves and mittens too! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  13. Lori says:

    What a great idea !! hmmm, maybe I’ll try that !!

  14. gatyamgal says:

    I missed this story the first time around. Sounds like a great idea. It’s getting that time of year again!

  15. SoSaje says:

    Wow … how did I miss this story first time around? Heart – and head! – warming. 🙂

  16. Judi G says:

    This is a wonderful unselfish thing to do. Good for him.

  17. tina says:

    i am from Detroit and spent 8 years in Muskegon Michigan it gets really cold up there. it is nice to here in these troubled time that some one is stepping up to help those in need. Michigan is in a bad way there are no jobs and people need encouragement and to know that there are people out there that do care. i moved away 3 years ago i now live in Arizona it is warmer but still a lot of homeless and people down on there luck. i have donated blankets and other such items to help them it is nice to know that the are other people helping the ones that need it.

  18. jake says:

    I am now knitting the hats you mentioned in the article (my real name is Jake, I kept my identity on the down low cause I work in construction) and I have copies of both of my patterns (crochet & knit) and if anyone is interested they can contact me by email for them so others can help the less fortunate in their city. I have knit hundreds on hats at this point and am still hanging 5-10 hats a week in the winter, about half out of baby alpaca. I believe every one deserves nice things and who can use a warm hat more than a person who spends most days on the street. Thanks for everyone who contributes to this cause…..jake

Leave a Reply