Crochet and crafting from one end of life to the other

By Gordon Lambie

As the world turns and times change, it can be easy to believe that more traditional pastimes are falling out of fashion. Speak the words “crochet” or “quilting” and it conjures up the image of smiling grandmothers sitting around a table in the local church hall, but in the lead-up to Christmas The Record spoke with two women who put that definition to the test. Sarah Tevyaw grew up in the Townships and now works as an art therapist at the West Island Palliative Care Residence in Kirkland. “Art, in no matter what form, has always been a part of my life,” she said, sharing that although she dabbled in crafts like knitting or crochet for long time, it wasn’t until she started working with an “art hive,” a community art studio aimed at opening the arts up to everyone in Montreal’s Saint-Henri neighbourhood, that they really became a big part of her life. In her palliative care work, Tevyaw said that her role largely consists of helping to bring art, including those traditional crafts, into the lives of people in their final days, and their families. “Surprisingly, people at the end of their lives often want to learn a new skill,” the therapist observed, noting that some see it as their last opportunity to try something that they never had time for earlier in life.  Tevyaw shared that although the conventional view of her job is one of her bringing art to patients or their families, she has also witnessed the therapeutic value of letting people in their last days pass on their knowledge of an art form. She cited, for example, one of the first patients she ever saw; an older woman who just wanted to teach someone how to knit socks because no-one in her family was interested. See full story in the Friday, Dec. 27 edition of The Record.

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