HOISINGTON — Ruth Stephens undoubtedly never dreamed that her 15 minutes of fame would come later in life. But the story of the retired woman who is influencing others to crochet bird nests for the Bird Recovery Center in Santa Rosa, Calif. has touched many people after a Great Bend Tribune article earlier this month.
“I’ve gotten lots of calls,” said Stephens. The story soon spread across the state.
She has also had fun at Hoisington Country Living Place, where she lives. “They all kidded me about wanting my autograph,” she said.
“I’ve gotten a lot of yarn donated,” Ruth said. She estimates she has received 50 skeins of donated yarn, along with some promises of help with postage to send the bird nests to California. Most of the yarn had never been touched.
She also received a phone call from a sewing circle in Valley Center that wanted to begin crocheting bird nests. She sent them the instructions.
Even though Ruth has ongoing health issues, she continues to crochet. “I’m still crocheting away,” Stephens said. “As long as the yarn holds out and the Lord gives me health to do it.”
She added that she never dreamed her hobby would spark such interest.
The bird hospital in California has volunteers that search the area veterinarians for baby birds that have been found, which are then nursed back to health. The Center only uses one nest per bird. After the bird leaves, the nest is thrown away to prevent the spread of diseases.
Stephens became interested in the project through her nephew and his wife who live in California. They heard the Center needed help with nests and thought of Ruth.
They sent her instructions and patterns for the nests, which range from 3-6 inches wide and 1-3 inches high.
“It’s for the birds,” she said.