Findlay resident Libby Hanes Calloway has turned her favorite hobbies of crocheting and knitting into a mission of spreading and sharing joy.
In 2015, Calloway invited moms and daughters via the Hancock County Homeschool Facebook page to meet at the library to knit and crochet.
After the group’s first meeting, she felt blessed to be offered a regular site to meet at Turning Point Church, where she is not a member. Calloway then came up with the group’s witty name, “The Holey Stitchers,” since the group meets at the church and “knitting and crocheting have holes (some people’s more than others as they learn),” Calloway said, jokingly.
Yarn bombs: The gentlest of arsenals
The Holey Stitchers is currently comprised of five mother-and-daughter teams who meet weekly to knit, crochet or both– which Calloway describes as “cro-knitting.” Meeting year-round, the group distributes their items to the community in fun ways such as “yarn bombing.” For the past two years, the girls have “yarn bombed” downtown Findlay with handmade scarves, hats mittens and more, on lampposts, trees, and fences. Tags are attached that read, “Please take me if you are out in the cold.” If items remain hanging after three days, they are sent to the homeless in Washington, D.C. Calloway said the group also creates baby items to donate to hospitals and shelters.
Calloway’s great-grandmother taught her to crochet when she was 4-years-old. While living in domestic violence shelters, Calloway crocheted blankets, sweaters, slippers and even Easter dresses for her children. In 2003, she was diagnosed with Dandy-Walker Syndrome, a seizure disorder, and found she would have to stay home a lot more. On the bright side, it was around that time a man she calls “Uncle Max” taught her how to knit when she attended a knitting group at the Yarn Farm in Findlay.
Calloway knits and crochets breast forms for women who have to undergo a mastectomy or lumpectomy, contributes to Random Acts of Kindness (RAKS), and has previously knitted socks for soldiers. She says socks are her favorite thing to create because it only takes 400 yards of finger-weight yarn to make a pair.
Come one come all
Calloway said that even though the Holey Stitchers originated as a mother/daughter homeschool group, it is open to any women who want to share life, make friends or try something new.
“The world is so isolating now that we need to intentionally reach out to others,” said Calloway. “Working outside the home wasn’t in the cards for me, so I try to help out where I can.”
There is no cost to join the group. “Just bring your yarn hooks and needles,” said Calloway. “Don’t have any, no problem– I occasionally receive donations and I am happy to pass them on to new yarnies!”
For more information, you can check out the Holey Stitchers Facebook page,
or email Calloway at CalLibberty@gmail.com.
The group happily accepts donations.