‘Crazy Knitter’ unwinds at Meet the Maker

Shawna O'Neill, TC Media
‘Crazy Knitter’ unwinds at Meet the Maker
Cathy Varrette with her son outside of MPP Jim McDonell's office on Monday

CORNWALL, Ontario – When you see a bag of knitted goods at a bus stop or street corner in the winter, there is a good chance that Chantal Gilmour placed it there. 

Community members were welcome to learn from and meet the local knitting enthusiast on Saturday, Oct. 6. Gilmour hosted Meet the Maker at Maker Gift Shop between noon and 4 p.m.

Gilmour, otherwise known as the ‘Crazy Knitter’ of Crazy Knitter’s Creations, started knitting about 19 years ago. After being involved in an accident and suffering an injury, her hobby intensified.

“I turned to knitting so I had something to do,” she explained.

What started as knitting for her family and selling locally soon grew into donating to local charities. By selling her pieces through Crazy Knitter’s Creations, available at Maker Gift Shop, Gilmour is able to finance Warm Up Cornwall, an initiative she Co-Founded in 2015.

“I agree and wholeheartedly love local, so this is just like home to me,” said Gilmour in regards to the shop.

Warm Up Cornwall strives to provide winter hats, mittens and scarves to all community members who are in need. Gilmour wants everyone to be warm during the chilly months. After finding knitting partners, she now spends a majority of her time driving yarn to knitters and distributing goods around the city, but she still managed to create about 200 hats last year. She is very grateful of anyone who has donated yarn to her to help her initiative.

“She practically knits in her sleep,” said Tina-Marie, Gilmour’s daughter. Gilmour admittedly switched to small knitting needles after falling asleep knitting one evening. Her husband rolled onto the pair in his sleep.

After being approached by Canadian Red Cross throughout her knitting journey, Gilmour became spearhead of a knitting initiative for all local school boards.

“With just the school boards alone, last winter we distributed over 2000 pieces,” said Gilmour. This number doesn’t even account for the goods that are distributed to local nursing homes, day care centres and the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH).

Gilmour and other avid knitters now teach and knit alongside community members on a monthly basis during Knit Night at the Optimist Club of Cornwall.

“You knit it, I will find a place for it,” said Gilmour. Glimour is always looking for a set of helping hands with her various charitable initiatives.

The next Knit Night will take place on Oct. 19 at the Optimist Club from 6 p.m. to  9 p.m.

To get involved or find out more, visit Warm Up Cornwall on Facebook or contact Gilmour at 613-571-7925.

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