Crocheting presents the perfect alternative to Black Friday in US

Yarn bombers weave woolly magic in Northern Ireland

Today (November 29th) marks Black Friday in the US, the day after Thanksgiving when stores put on special sales and everyone is expected to start their Christmas shopping with a vengeance.

Understandably, this is quite a daunting prospect for people who don't enjoy being jostled and having their toes trodden on - which is why one group of crafters in Michigan is ditching it this year in favour of a much more relaxing pastime.

The community centre in Vista Maria will be opening its doors between 13:00 and 17:00 EST to crocheters who want to knit scarves, baby blankets or anything else they want, the Press and Guide reports.

Last year around 20 local people and 15 volunteers turned up and the organisers think there might be an even better turn-out this year as people seek some respite from the full-on nature of the Christmas shopping season.

Recreational therapy supervisor Debra Slavin-Glazer said: "Leisure activities are an important way for people to cope with stress and maintain or improve their health. It appears to give them a break from their worries or intrusive thoughts while they focus on the pattern or project."

All the items made on the day will be donated to local charities - and participants will no doubt be able to walk away with significantly lower stress levels too.

While you might not be able to make it all to way to Michigan, you could certainly borrow their idea and use crocheting as a way to relax this festive season - and you could give what you make as gifts.

This is just what one group has been doing in Eagle County, Colorado. According to Vail Daily, members of the Golden Eagle senior centre just finished their 1,000th baby blanket, with every one going to the local maternity unit.

That means they have crocheted an incredible 910,000 total yards of soft yarn for little ones to snuggle up in, which is a truly amazing feat.

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