I got interested in crochet when I was 16 years old. My mother was taking a Beginner Crochet Course at a Continuing Education High School and was coming home with her completed projects. I told her that I was interested in trying this out, so she enrolled me in the next Beginner Course, while she took the Intermediate Course, the next semester. I became obsessed with intricate doilies and tablecloths at that time and made a number of them. After a while, my interests changed to needlepoint, then cross stitch and embroidery, so crochet took a back seat for several years. . . like over 30 years. Life happens! Marriage, children, jobs, a business or two or three!
When I retired in the Fall of 2009 and moved to Deep River, I joined the local Deep River and Area Jabez Blanket Ministry. The Ministry’s goal is to produce beautiful hand crocheted or knitted blankets that are added to a “Back Pack of Hope” and sent to orphanages around the world. I became heavily involved with this group and subsequently became the local coordinator. One of my tasks is to encourage donations of yarn from the local communities surrounding Deep River. Some of the yarn donated is not always suitable for blankets, so rather than dispose of it, I decided to try my hand at making head warmers and neck warmers. I began attending craft shows and my hats became very popular. I started out of course using patterns from designers which I found for free on the internet. In the last few years, I honed my skills and felt comfortable in tweaking designs to make them more my own. Since I have such a beautiful variety of yarn… different fibres, colours, weights and textures, I can use these to create a lot of one of a kind hats, headbands and neck warmers. I love to play with textured crochet stitches to see if they will work in “the round” for a hat. To make my product even more unique, I will often use clip on earrings, broaches or other types of embellishments, along with buttons to decorate an appliqué or the brim of a hat or neck warmer.
Since a lot of the materials I use are donated, all of the profit from the sale of my products goes to Charities… The Jabez Blanket Ministry International (which started it all) and other local grass root charities. I provide the labour at no cost, since crochet is also therapy for me. I love creating these useful accessories and then being able to help out worthwhile organizations.
Claire joined the Valley Artisans' Coop in February 2018.