Mystery woman crochets beanies for Chet Atkins and the homeless

Posted at 10:43 AM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 19:18:19-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There's a country music legend who bundles up against the winter cold each day in downtown Nashville. But then his hat and scarf disappear, only to be replaced by new ones the next day.

It's a Music City mystery linked to helping the homeless.

"I do like to do it in the morning early when I'm alone ... just me and Chet," says the mystery woman, who meets up at the corner of 4th and Union in Nashville.

She makes sure Country music legend Chet Atkins stays warm. Each winter morning a beanie and scarf appear on the iconic statue.

Inevitably ... they're gone by nightfall ... only to be replaced the very next day. Passers by wonder. "I saw a hat on the great Chet Atkins head and I was kind of curious about it," said one early morning observer.

It's to the point now, where people downtown are talking. Who is the mystery crocheter and why are they bundling up Chet Atkins?

"I thought I'd like to yarn bomb him. I can put a beanie and a scarf on him," said Andrea Lawrence.

She is the mystery crocheter who works in the Philips Health Care building and decided one morning last winter to leave a hand-knitted hat and scarf on the statue out front. "Us people who crochet or knit call it yarn bombing. You'll have to Google it."

It started with that one hat and scarf, then another, and another.

Lawrence said the items are made to be taken, left day after day for those in the city who need them most. "My brother was homeless." And she lost him to the streets.

"He died behind a dumpster in California, and he was part of the homeless community," Lawrence said.

"His death has motivated me and inspired me."

For Lawrence ... the hours of crocheting are a tribute to brother. The beenies and scarfs are made to bring comfort. She knows word has spread, and now the fruits of her labor end up on the heads and shoulders of the city's homeless.

She vows to make as many as needed.

"It's a beanie and a scarf for everyday. I already have them at my desk for November, December and January."

And they are appreciated. "That's great. I love it. I think it's awesome," said Warthal Hawkins who is homeless.

He came by and decided to help himself to Lawrence's latest creation. It warmed him up, and put a song in his heart. "Smile though your heart is aching," Hawkins sang as he went on his way.

Lawrence knows that her hats and scarfs help and she hopes others will join her in giving. "We have to do what follows our heart, whether shoes, two dollars, a sleeping bag or just a little crocheted beanie."