Flint Handmade hosts a social and charitable knitting and crocheting group called Yarn Brigade.
We meet at various locations in Flint and Genesee County on the Second and Fourth Friday of most months from 6-8pm. We also meet one Saturday a month from 2-4pm. Check out our Facebook Events or join our email list on the home page for more information.
NOTE: From January-March, we meet virtually on the Fourth Friday. We do not meet on a Saturday or the Fourth Fridays in November and December due to the holidays.
Yarn Brigade Coordinators
Our Yarn Brigade Coordinator is Hayley Randol (pictured front row, far right). Our Assistant Yarn Brigade Coordinator is Liz Svoboda (pictured back row, far left). Special thanks to our previous Yarn Brigade Coordinators, Symantha Foreman and John Coleman!
Hayley Randol, Yarn Brigade Coordinator, and Crystal Pepperdine, Executive Director, recorded a StoryCorps Interview about Yarn Brigade. Click HERE to listen!
Current Operations for Charity
Operation: Warm Up Flint — All sizes and styles accepted!
Since 2012, we have donated almost 5,000 handmade hats and scarves through our Operation: Warm Up Flint project. We place the items on fences and railings near bus stations and shelters as a community service and public art project with tags reading: “FREE TO A GOOD HOME! If you’re cold, please take me to warm up!”
We also donate items directly to basic needs organizations, health service providers, rehabilitation centers and educational programs, including but not limited to Crossover Outreach, My Brothers Keeper, Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, Boys & Girls Club, Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, YMCA, Mott Community College Early Childhood Learning Center, Voices for Children Advocacy Center, Wolverine Essentials at the UM-Flint, St. Luke NEW Life Center, Snuggle Sacks, Wellness Services/Flint Pride, YWCA, Catholic Charities and Carriage Town Ministries.
Operation: Fiddlestuffs — All sizes and styles accepted!
Our knitters and crocheters create fiddle mats, muffs and cuffs to donate to programs for people with dementia and/or autism. These items help keep hands and minds calm and occupied. Tags are attached to the items that read “A gift for you! You are loved, respected and supported by our community.” Our Assistant Yarn Brigade Coordinator, Liz Svoboda, maintains a website of all of the “Fiddlestuffs” she has created.
Thank you for your generosity! There are 4 ways you can donate handmade items:
1) If you would like to donate 10+ handmade items to any of our operations, please contact us by Facebook messenger or email at email@example.com. We will arrange a time for a FREE porch pickup in Genesee County.
2) Bring your donation to any Flint Handmade event. Click HERE for our Facebook Events.
3) Drop off your donation to the Mott Community College Library, which is now serving as a collection site! Please be sure to put your items in a bag and include a piece of paper with your name, city and email in the bag. For their location and hours of operation, visit https://www.mcc.edu/library/index.shtml
4) If you would like to mail a donation, please send it to:
PO Box 13473
Flint, MI 48501
Past Special Operations for Charity
2021 – Operation: Soap Sacks — Click HERE for soap sack pattern!
Our crocheters made soap sacks for a local warming center to distribute to those in need. Tags were attached to the items that read “A gift for you! You are loved, respected and supported by our community.”
2020 – Operation: Fiddlestuffs — See above.
2019 – Operation: Mighty Mittens — Click HERE for crochet mitten pattern!
Our knitters and crocheters made mittens for local children in need, especially those in the foster care system. Tags were attached to the mittens that read “You are strong and mighty! Keep your hands warm with these Mighty Mittens!”
2018 – Operation: Safe Slippers — Click HERE for crochet slipper pattern!
Operation: Safe Slippers provided handmade slippers for women and children staying in local shelters, especially those providing services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Tags were attached to the slippers that read “You are safe in these slippers. You are loved, respected and supported by our community.”
Flint Vehicle City Graphghan
“As Coordinator of the Flint Handmade Yarn Brigade, I wanted to design a corner-to-corner (c2c) graphghan that represented our great city of Flint, MI. All patterns feature Flint landmarks and themes, including Applewood, the Vernor’s Gnome, the Downtown Bricks and more. The blanket is done in mini c2c crochet and measures approximately 75” wide x 86.5” long.”
This graphghan was originally designed by Hayley Randol as a Crochet-A-Long with patterns released weekly and won a second place red ribbon in the 2018 Genesee County Fair. Email us if you are interested in displaying the Flint Vehicle City Graphghan at your location.
Crossroads Village Graphghan
The Flint Handmade Yarn Brigade was commissioned by Crossroads Village to create a graphghan for the 2018 Flint Fiber Festival. It was designed by Hayley Randol and crocheted by Abby Corcoran, Michelle Glick, Hayley Randol and Liz Svoboda. The Crossroads Graphghan can be viewed on permanent display in the Candy Shop at the Attica Hotel.
Nightmare Before Christmas Graphghan
This corner-to-corner graphghan was featured in the 2018 Festival of Quilts in Flint, Michigan and won a first place blue ribbon in the 2019 Genesee County Fair. It was designed by Hayley Randol and crocheted by Abby Corcoran, Christina Geisler, Sandy Gruber, Melissa Peterson, Hayley Randol, Liz Svoboda and Rachel Tisdale. It is available for purchase for $500. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Rainbow Log Cabin Graphghan
RAINBOW LOG CABIN (2019) – NOT FOR SALE
Designed by Liz Svoboda
Crocheted by Christina Geisler, Sandy Gruber, Amber Payne, Melissa Peterson, Hayley Randol, Jessie Rose, Liz Svoboda and Rachel Tisdale
“As Assistant Coordinator of the Flint Handmade Yarn Brigade, I wanted to design a corner-to-corner (c2c) graphghan that was inspired by a traditional pattern since the project would be displayed during the 2019 Festival of Quilts.
The “log cabin” design became popular in the US during the Civil War, according to the Illinois State Museum and squares are traditionally constructed with half darker colors and the other half lighter.
I love the opportunity to use up smaller scraps of yarn left over from other projects and this quilt gave an excellent opportunity to play with so many colors of yarn that Yarn Brigade had in our stashes. I loved the group effort that is reminiscent of a quilting bee.”
This graphghan was designed by Liz Svoboda and crocheted by Christina Geisler, Sandy Gruber, Amber Payne, Melissa Peterson, Hayley Randol, Jessie Rose, Liz Svoboda and Rachel Tisdale. It is constructed out of acrylic yarn in mini c2c crochet and measures approximately 46” wide x 60” long.