This is Bob Rutherford, 88, from Saskatoon, Canada. Bob’s best friend dared him to create a knitting machine that worked really, really fast.
And the octogenarian did just that. He used sewer tubing to create two super-powered knitting machines, and he’s using them to knit thousands of pairs of socks for homeless people in shelters across Canada.
“The wool comes in the door and I knit it,” says Bob simply, although he adds that he’s not alone — his friends Glynn Sully, 92, George Slater, 85, and “youngster” Barney Sullivan, 65, form the “knitting crew”.
In the last year alone, the group have made over 2,000 pairs of socks with Bob’s machines, with his son, Scott, helping to raise money for wool.
When asked why he decided to start making socks, Bob says: “There’s a lot of us, as we grow older, we sit at home and look at the wall with nothing to do.”
After being dared to make the machines, Bob realized that the venture, now known as Socks By Bob, gave him a purpose.
He started making the socks back in 2010, dusting off an old knitting machine he’d made out of PVC sewer piping. Bob used to be a farm mechanics instructor, and still loves to tinker with machinery.
“It gives me something to do,” he says, “I think everybody has to have this. I think people have to reach out and touch other people. And I can do this by touching the socks.”
The finished products are shipped out to shelters and are helping keep homeless people warm this winter. We think you’re doing awesome work, Bob!
You can find out more here.