Claire is one of the lovely ladies who I met at the stitch-in at the Bluebell Inn in Ponty in May. She kindly agreed to be interviewed by me
Hello, Nice to see you. Who are you and where do you come from?
My specialist subject is cake 🙂
Excellent, a kindred spirit! What’s your crafting story?
I come form a long line of crafty & creative ladies in my family: my Grandmothers and mother knitted and taught me at the age of 8 to make very wobbly scarves. I started crocheting back in 2003. I found knitting to be a little bit too unwieldly for me (sorry knitters) but I still wanted to work with wool. I bought the “Crochet Stitch Bible” and started working my way through the book, making sample squares.
I’ve always been a “have a go-er” at crafts and have built up quite a stash of yarn, beads, buttons and such, some might say hoard. I’ve come and gone with crochet over the last few years, mostly because something shiny and new such as jewellery making or card making has taken over my kitchen table, but it’s always something I’ve come back to. The muscle memory is always there, even if my brain needs prompting sometimes.
My high point so far has been making my first ever blanket. I’ve made lots of little crocheted items but never anything like a blanket. I started with a simple granny square and just carried on! I challenged myself to learn how to edge it and now know how to pull off a pretty decent shell edge.
What’s your Cwtch of Comfort story?
In June 2014 I had a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks for our much longed for second child. The whole thing was obviously devasting for us and still hard, but it’s also now made me want to take action and help others, even if in just a small way.
My friend Liz told me about Cwtch and asked if I wanted to participate and I couldn’t have been more happy to help. The loss of a child is still sadly still very taboo and as it’s not generally talked about, it must be incredibly isolating.
The NHS do a wonderful job but are of course overstretched in many ways. As from my own experience with my miscarriage, the staff were lovely but resources and time to comfort us were minimal. I have heard stories about parents whose precious children have been handed to them in hospital sheets and worse. It can seem uncaring,clinical & sometimes like you are unimportant or low down on the priorities, it’s not intended but can feel like that.
This is where projects such as Cwtch of Comfort are so important in my opinion. It fills in a gap for comfort and love when it is most needed. Nothing can take away the absolute devastation but there are small things that can be done to honour and acknowledge how special and cherished that child was, and that they mattered.
Thank you for sharing, I’m glad that making for others is helping you. What’s next?
Cwtch has re-ignited my love of crochet, particularly granny squares! I will absolutely be carrying on making for Cwtch as well as developing my crochet skills further.
I have a granny square based poncho on the go for my daughter and have been trawling Pinterest for ideas and patterns. It’s very addictive! It’s been wonderful to meet and chat with the other lovely ladies at the crochet alongs, and it would be great if we could continue meeting and carry it on: Pinterest and Youtube tutorials are fab but nothing beats getting together to drink wine and natter whilst we craft. It’s been a very unifying experience, each of us putting our own little bit of love and care into the blankets and an absolute honour to help such a worthy cause.
Thank you, Claire: your support is really appreciated – hope to see you at another stitch-in soon!