Local knitter hoping for wool donations, creates hats, afghans for people in need

·2 min read

LISTOWEL – Ruthann Salzman has been crocheting afghans and knitting hats for the homeless or people in need for the last eight to 10 years, but she says that the wool has become very expensive.

“I was buying it at first but now I am asking around to see if there is anybody that has got wool but is not going to use it,” she said.

At 81 and not as agile as she once was, she wants to keep busy and not just sit around watching “the stupid television.”

“I need to be doing things,” said Salzman. “I wish I would have started doing volunteer work before I did because I had liked it but I was busy working and raising a family. I got into it too late but I can honestly tell you I have probably knit at least 2,000 hats that I have given away and I don’t know how many Afghans, a couple of hundred.”

A friend of hers took 60 afghans down to New Orleans, some were sent to Haiti and she sent a bunch with hats to Fort McMurray during the fires of 2016-17.

“I can’t afford to mail that stuff but I can piggyback when I find out someone else is going,” she said. “The stuff that went to Russia. It went piggybacked through a church.”

Salzman enjoys knitting the hats more than crocheting afghans because the hats allow her more creativity.

“I can… change them and decorate them,” she said. “I don’t have any patterns figured out until I start knitting. Then the pattern or the colours all seem to come together.”

She said she moved from Waterloo to Listowel 30 years ago and her husband passed 12 years in October, and she wants to stay in the house they shared as long as she can.

She is willing to make the afghans and hats for anyone that needs them. She said she will not do mitts or socks though.

“You’d get one sock that fits and one that was a mile too long,” she laughed.

She has sent items to shelters in Kitchener and Guelph for women and youth. Salzman said she is noting a need in the local news she reads and hopes to make more donations to people in need in this area.

She is also hoping people who have extra yarn sitting around will consider donating it to her.

“If they are not using it and they give it to me I can do something with it and hand it out to people that really need it,” said Salzman.

She is asking people to put the donation in a bag and leave it on her deck at 450 Tremaine Ave. S., Unit 9, in Mapleton Estates.

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner

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