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Austin woman spreads messages over homemade banners

She has been crocheting all her life, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, she started picking back up her needle with a purpose.

AUSTIN, Texas — We all found our different hobbies during this COVID-19 pandemic: cooking, exercise, you name it.

A Central Austin woman picked back up her crochet hook and decided she wanted to use it to help make a difference.

With every knot she makes, every stitch made with her crochet hook, Beth Kelley is on a mission.

"I'm changing the world with a crochet hook," said Kelley. "That's my goal anyway."

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She picked back up her old hobby in March, but not making the average scarves or blankets. Instead, she makes banners.

"So, I have '-ismantle racism.' No 'D' yet, but we'll get there," she said. 

All of Kelley's designs added to a binder to easily pull them back up. 

"Yeah my cheat sheet," she joked. "I think that crocheting is a great metaphor for life. As you're stitching along, you'll find where you missed a stitch and you have to decide do you need to go back and unravel and get back to that and fix it, or can I live with it the way it is?"

It's something she's hoping others pick up on, as she puts her creations on trees and phone poles all over town. That's where Tracey Cole comes in. 

Or, as Kelley calls her...

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"She's my banner broker," joked Kelley.

"My immediate reaction was, 'Beth, I would like one of those and I know there will be many other people who will and I want to help spread the word,' and she said 'Well, why not?'" said Cole.

Beth's banners have made their way across the country, even to New York City. Cole takes the orders and Kelley crochets away.

"These are timeless pieces," said Cole. "They're lasting messages."

With every banner, every message shared, Beth still has one goal.

"I'm not delusional that I'm really going to change the world with my crochet hook," she said. "But if I can raise consciousness at all, that would be a satisfying thing to have done."


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