Feb 05, 2024
MEET THE MAKERS: Owner of crochet business in P.E.I. embraces creativity, meaningful projects
STORY CONTINUES BELOW THESE SALTWIRE VIDEOS SaltWire's Atlantic regional weather forecast for August 28, 2023 | SaltWire ST. LOUIS, P.E.I. — Every project starts with a simple chain. From that simple
STORY CONTINUES BELOW THESE SALTWIRE VIDEOS
SaltWire's Atlantic regional weather forecast for August 28, 2023 | SaltWire
ST. LOUIS, P.E.I. — Every project starts with a simple chain. From that simple chain the most beautiful creations emerge.
So explains Christina Green who hails from St. Louis, P.E.I., a small town in the western end of the island near Tignish.
“It’s beautiful that something so simple creates a work of art,” says Green.
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Based on this concept, Green has aptly named her business, A Simple Chain Design. Through this, she makes and sells crocheted items.
For as long as she can remember, Green has been making things. She typically would float from craft to craft, but nothing ever stuck. She has always enjoyed making flowers, candles, rock art, wreaths, driftwood crafts, bags, baskets and so much more. She spent a lot of time looking at things thinking about how she could make something with that.
“I really like to learn new skills and work with my hands,” says Green.
But, throughout this, Green would bounce around from hobby to hobby and get bored and move on to something else. That was until she tried crochet about seven years ago.
“Once I started to crochet that was it; my search was over I was hooked and never looked back,” she says.
The patterns and stitches in crochet are seemingly endless, which made it appealing. It was like being a kid in a candy store and Green wanted to try all the patterns. To learn how to crochet, she watched YouTube. Mikey from the Crochet Crowd was her go-to because he was a great teacher.
It took her about a month of frustration to figure out why her square continued turning into a triangle but once she learned how to count her stitches, Green says she was unstoppable.
“Now I can crochet just about anything. I love diving into a new pattern, especially if it requires learning a new stitch or pattern,” she says.
However, Green has encountered another problem. She had to figure out what to do with all the items she was making. So, shortly after starting to crochet, she began selling her crafts. It really wasn’t Green’s intention to start making and selling her crocheted items but someone suggested she try putting them in a local shop. She did and things started selling.
Besides selling her creations, Green also donates her handmade items to fundraising auctions, bingos, to help raise money for local charities, churches, animal welfare organizations and for those raising money for people going through hard times.
It’s all because crochet is her happy place. When crocheting, Green says she is completely relaxed.
“If I’m feeling stressed when I start to crochet, I tend to start off tense and fast and the longer I do it for the more my body relaxes. I can get lost in the repetitive motions as the yarn moves through my fingers. I can zone out and enter an almost meditative state. I don’t even have to think about the pattern; it’s like once my hands start, they work on their own almost independent from my mind.”
Then, when Green starts a new project she hasn’t done before, she describes the excitement of something new forming. Sometimes she will do the pattern over and over again until she could do it in her sleep.
“I still haven’t lost the amazement after a project is done of wow, I did that,” she says.
And Green’s work also has an impact on others.
She once was contacted by a lady she didn’t know who asked her if she could make matching shawls for her and her sister. They had fond memories of wearing shawls her grandmother made for them as kids when the family settled in for a movie on television. It was a great memory she wanted to recreate for her sister at Christmas.
Green only had three weeks to get them done. It was a tight deadline and Green told her she would try her best but couldn’t make any promises. In the end, she made deadline and the customer was delighted.
“It (makes) me extremely happy when I’m able to do that for someone; to recreate the past,” says Green.
Out of everything she creates, Green says her most popular items are her fbombs. These are baseball sized stuffed balls with a fuse and a big f on them.
“People get a real kick out of them,” she says, adding they tell her they are going to throw these balls at their partners.
Her second-best sellers are hats. She makes a cable knit crochet hat with fur pompom, a beanie with a flower and a children’s hat featuring ear flaps with braided strings ties.
When deciding what to make next, Greens says she will usually see something and think how she could make it or wonder what it would look like in this stitch or that colour. Or she will be on the internet searching through pictures, patterns or social media until something catches her eye.
Sometimes Green does custom work but it always seems to be a challenge. The items people want usually don’t have an easily found pattern or they’re knit and not crochet, says Green. Although she can knit, she chooses not to, as she doesn’t enjoy it as much.
So custom work sometimes proves to be a challenge, but she does enjoy it. She ends up finding patterns in various places like YouTube, social media, Etsy, Ravelry or Google. If all else fails, she creates her own or tweaks an existing one to create the perfect item.
A Simple Chain Design is not a full-time endeavour for Green. She works at an assisted living facility and runs a household as a single mom of a teenager. She also has many other hobbies she dabbles in like sewing, household décor and soon she will branch into making furniture such as shelves, cupboards and plant stands.
“Crochet is still and always be my favourite pastime,” she says.
Even though she has been crocheting for seven years, there is still much to learn. Green would love to turn this hobby into a profitable business someday. That is the future goal to branch out further and eventually be able to make a profitable living from it; maybe even open her own seasonal craft shop. Until then, she would like to have her items in more craft stores.
Green also wants to keep learning. Soon she will be venturing into amigurumi, which is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. Currently, she is learning Tunisian crochet which is a form of crochet that combines crochet and knitting.
To view or purchase anything from A Simple Chain Design, visit Green’s Facebook page by the same name. Although it’s currently barebones, she is continuing to develop it. Also, any questions, comments, or product inquiries can be sent to [email protected].