Larry Salyers is Crocheting from the Heart
By: Deidra Bowling-Meade
“Every stitch I make
Every yarn I break
Every knot I create
from my heart”
A smile comes to my face picturing these words. It’s almost like you can feel the rhythm of the beat as the hoop interlocks the loops of yarn watching Larry Salyers crochet. Larry Salyers is an elementary school teacher at Cannonsburg Elementary in Boyd County by day, but in his spare time, he has become Jolly Crochet Larry. For the last few years, Salyers has been using his talents with crocheting to give gifts to children at school to make Christmas extra special.
Salyers described how the project began, “When my wife worked in the classroom, she asked if I would help her with Christmas gifts for her class. The first year, I crocheted hats for the girls in her class, and she made fleece scarves for the boys. The next year, she had seen a blanket that I had crocheted an edge around for someone at our church and asked if it was feasible to do that for the 20ish kids in her class. We bought the blankets that year, and she gave each student a blanket and a book. They loved it! Those students are in 5th grade now, and some still talk about how they sleep with their blankets. The blanket project was born after that.”
Salyers continued, “We gathered blankets for the next year, then COVID hit. Unfortunately, in 2020, we didn't get to share them, but in 2021 we chose the special needs class, and I made blankets for them. I then took to Facebook to ask for donations of blankets and had parents, former students and other community members donating blankets. This year we were able to do 60+ blankets for students in our Kindergarten classes.”
Salyers starts working on blankets in September in order to have them completed for Christmas. It takes Salyers approximately 45 minutes to crochet edging around a blanket. The project is dear to Salyers’ heart. Salyers proclaimed, “I just love when the kids get their blankets. Their reactions are usually, hugging the blanket and carrying them around. I also love when students come back, and tell me they still use their blankets.”
Salyers started crocheting five years ago after attending a crochet group at Fairview Baptist Church. Salyers remarked on how he first learned crocheting, “There was a group that met every Saturday at my church, and I went one day because I wanted to learn. I have also looked things up on YouTube to help learn various stitches. The first thing I learned how to make was dishcloths. Our crochet group passes them out every year at Christmas time.“
Judy Weis, who is the leader of the crocheting group at the church, commented how quick of a learner Salyers was with crocheting. Salyers has definitely found his niche.
Salyers remarked, “It's very relaxing, and I enjoy the gratification of working on a project and seeing the finished product. I want to continue making personal things for friends, baby outfits, afghans, etc. but the blanket project at Cannonsburg Elementary is the heart of why I do this.”
It’s due to Salyers heart, talent and jolly disposition that the blanket project has been a success. The entire crochet group supports Salyers with his blanket project and helps him complete some of the blankets. His wife, Tracie Salyers, washes and rolls all the blankets before they are delivered. There is always work to be done. Salyers would like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to learn how to crochet, “Our crochet group meets at Fairview Baptist Church every Saturday from April-November at 10 a.m. We would be happy to teach you.” If you would like to donate to the project or learn more, Salyers can be reached on Facebook or his email: