88-Year-Old Builds Super-Powered Machine To Knit Thousands Of Socks For Shelters

January 9, 2017

It started as a dare.

Bob Rutherford's friend didn't believe that he could make a cheap knitting machine that worked really, really fast.

That's when Rutherford got to work.

The now 88-year-old used sewer tubing to put together two super-powered machines.

old man makes thousands of socks for needy
Credit: Julianne Hazlewood / CBC News

Rutherford has now finished making 10,000 pairs of socks with the machines for shelters in Saskatoon and across the country.

"When my wife passed away in 2010, I felt the loss that everybody feels and had nothing to do," said Rutherford.

"[My son] said to me, 'If you want to help yourself, help somebody else.'"

old man makes thousands of socks for needy
Credit: Julianne Hazlewood / CBC News

Rutherford emphasizes the socks aren't only his doing — he also has help of a few friends.

The group includes 92-year-old Glynn Sully, 85-year-old George Slater and "youngster" Barney Sullivan.

"He's a really young guy, 65 maybe," said Rutherford. "Very good company."

old man makes thousands of socks for needy
Credit: Julianne Hazlewood / CBC News

In terms of the logistics of making the socks, Rutherford's son Scott helps raise money for the wool.

Custom Woolen Mills near Calgary also donates hundreds of kilograms of wool for the socks.

old man makes thousands of socks for needy
Credit: Julianne Hazlewood / CBC News

Rutherford says the socks have given him purpose.

"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," said Rutherford.

"There's a lot of us, as we grow older, we sit at home and look at the wall with nothing to do.

"And Socks by Bob has given me that something to do."

Source: CBC News

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