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Crochet project looks to give a boost to Fair

Wendy Richardson is spearheading Crochet Anyone? in support of local initiatives in Wellesley. [Damon MacLean]

You can’t crochet a community garden. Or can you?

A new group in Wellesley is getting creative about community involvement, providing a fundraising boost to the township’s fall fair to boot.

It’s the work of Wendy Richardson, long known for her involvement with the Wellesley Township Fall Fair, who started with a simple question, Crochet Anyone?

“I belong to a Facebook group called Canadian Crochet, and they’re always posting all these absolutely beautiful squares that they make. They have a square swap at Christmas at Easter and Halloween, and they create these beautiful afghans out of them. So, I thought with the fair and with COVID we’re looking at doing stuff that we can do at home without friends around. We’re looking at supporting community and supporting local in our township, and I thought it would be a great way to have a community initiative. And at the same time, it could be a fundraiser for the fair,” explained Richardson of the effort.

Richardson aptly gave the project the name Crochet Anyone? based on the theme of a flower garden for the afghan, which will be created from the squares and auctioned off once the time allows for it.

Richardson has distributed flyers for the project, posted on community boards at the Linwood, St. Clements and Wellesley recreation boards, and shared the project through community Facebook groups and the fall fair’s page.

The response was almost immediate.

“I was expecting people would register after they made their squares, supposed to be a 12-inch square, but I’ve already got 12 people registered,” she said. “So, I’m quite pleased with the way people are coming through. I figured I need about 20 squares for a nice size afghan, and I’m sure we’re going to come up with that and might even have enough for something besides that yet.”

In addition to the project, Norma Searth plans to teach those interested to learn how to make a flower square. Richardson warns the tutorial isn’t for beginners but people that have a handle on basic stitching. The video will be posted in the near future through social media avenues.

In terms of the fall fair, no decision has been made at this point, but a possible virtual iteration is a likely outcome given the current state of COVID-19 and public health restrictions.

“I’m not going to say it’s totally cancelled yet, because we don’t know where we’re at for sure. But we are planning virtual stuff,” said Richardson

This year will be different from last fall, when the fair was simply cancelled due to the pandemic.

“We kind of were in hibernation last year, I think. We’ve been looking at what other festivals have been doing, and brainstorming ourselves and basically looking at what we can do for the community … keeping the fair name out there.”

To get involved with ‘Crochet Anyone?’ contact Richardson at wrichardson@bell.net or by phone at 519-656-2961. Participation is open to anyone in the area and beyond, and cash prizes for the top three squares will be awarded: $40, $30, and $25.

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