Crocheting means community for these keen crafters

Knitting to make classroom comeback (Thinkstock)

Two separate community-based crafting groups in the US have demonstrated how rewarding it can be to get together and share the pleasure of a hobby.

The Happy Crocheters, who are based at the University of Georgia, meet at the Oliva Haydel Senior Center two days a week and are led by experienced artisan Dorsey Sharpton, the Rockdale Citizen reports.

Everyone works on their own individual projects to create handcrafted purses, with 67-year-old Bebe Morgan - a retired forensic psychiatric nurse - saying she finds the activity fun and therapeutic.

"I have met these wonderful people and I've never had time to do things like this before," she enthused. 

The crocheted purses are given to family and friends, sold as part of a cottage industry or donated to good causes. For example, 77-year-old Tomma Stone makes red, white and blue ones, fills them with mints and gives them to Samaritan's Purse, while Loretta Mitchell sells hers to boost her retirement income.

All of the members say the group has provided them with fun and friendship they might otherwise have missed out on in the twilight years.

Elsewhere, in West Texas, another group of crocheters meet once a week at the Tyler Senior Center and donate what they create to the local community, KETK reports.

So far, they have used their colourful yarn to create hats, scarves and sweaters for schools, nursing homes and hospices, with more projects in the pipeline.

In return, the community centre provides them with a square meal and the opportunity to have a laugh with other like-minded individuals.

"It's a rewarding thing to be able to give back to someone," said group member Johnnie Wilson.

Perhaps these success stories could encourage you to set up your own knitting or crocheting group for older people in your local community - the benefits clearly go far beyond having beautiful woolly creations to sell or give away.

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