Hooked on Crochet!

Are you looking to pick up a new hobby this year? How about something creative, that you can start straight away, is probably within walking distance of your home and has no expensive set up costs? Want to find out more? Claire Cooper visited Sussex Crafts to find out why villagers are getting hooked on crochet and knitting.

By Claire Cooper

Stepping into the little craft shop on the High Street is like entering an Aladdin’s cave with walls crammed floor to ceiling with colourful craft materials and knitted and crocheted treasures!

Venture further inside and it’s soon clear why dozens of customers look forward to their weekly (sometimes daily!) visits here. Sitting around a large table in a bright and cosy workroom are a group of knitters each beavering away on their own creations while catching up on each other’s news over a cup of tea and a biscuit. Overseeing the happy group, and ready to step in and help with any hitches, are shop owners Philip and Sebastian.

The pair have run the shop for 10 years and during that time have expanded the business to create a haven for knitting, crochet and other arts and crafts.

For French-born Sebastian, who worked as a hotel Maître d’, and Phillip, who ran the Kitchen D’or catering business in Burgess Hill for 15 years, opening the shop fulfilled a lifelong ambition. “I’ve alwasys been creative and made my own cards, but had always wanted to open a craft shop,” Philip recalled. “I was looking at premises in Brighton when a friend told me there was a business for sale in Cuckfield. I came here and it was perfect!”

Surprisingly, Philip didn’t know how to crochet until he started running the shop. “I had a telephone call from a former Cuckfield resident who had written a book explaining how to crochet and asked if I would stock it.” Not only did Philip say yes, he decided to try the book for himself and learn to crochet. Once he started, he couldn’t stop. “I was hooked!” he said.

Read full article on pages 12/13.