Crochet Guild Australia is the brainchild of passionate crocheters from NSW and QLD.
For over a year this desire has been becoming a reality! More passionate crocheters joined the effort who were willing to put their time and work into this huge undertaking. Now here we are.
Amazingly we launched in November 2019, very soon the benefits will grow beyond what we can offer today, meanwhile our foundation members have received a beautiful free pin saying 'We made this happen'. We know there are many more people who love crochet and are excited for a Guild that is definitively Australian.
Have you ever dreamed of a Guild in Australia?
JennY KING - President
Jenny’s earliest publicity cited her as having a terrier dog’s determination in the book ‘Crochet for Fun and Profit’ by Darla Simms in 2000.
Jenny’s 50 year crochet history has seen her: crochet commercially, own a yarn store, self publish 13 pattern books, write 7 more, design for magazines and books globally, teach all over the world, appear on TV teaching crochet in USA , winning International Crochet Awards and being in an Australian crochet exhibition called “Hooked” with her beaded crochet designs. Jenny has had a diploma of teaching since 1981 and is a certified crochet teacher with the Craft Yarn Council of America. She is also a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) since 2001.
She has developed and trademarked her revolutionary design concept called Get Squared® And Kids Squared®. This novel designs concept has never been done before.
After teaching at the CGOA conferences since 2000 and the Stitches and DFW Fiberfest events in USA Jenny was determined to bring some of that magic to Australia. She is delighted to say that, thanks to this wonderful committee, her dream has been realised and now Australia has its very own Crochet Guild.
Lynda Tomkins - Treasurer
Lynda learned to crochet from her mother when she was a youngster growing up in Central Queensland. It remained a hobby for her as she pursued a career in accounting until 2014 when she decided a change was needed and crocheting and yarn became her focus.
Since then Lynda has been running Crochet Australia where she gets to play with yarn and crochet tools every day and drools over the many new patterns. She also teaches crochet and runs regular crochet workshops. Lynda also been conducting workshops at various craft events and is involved with the knitting and crochet committee of the Queensland Country Women’s Association. She likes to crochet everything and has recently been turning her hand to designing garments.
Lynda has a passion for passing on the skill of crochet to ensure this skill never dies.
Rhonda Bennett- Secretary
Rhonda is a Hairdresser by trade, ( 35 years), but is now an Internationally trained Fitting and Draping specialist. Also, a sewing & pattern drafting teacher. She has been teaching sewing since her late teens and expanded into fitting and pattern drafting 6 years ago with a newfound love for this side of the industry. Regularly travelling from Australia to USA to attend refresher courses in Fitting and Draping. This allows lots of crochet time!
LyNDALL REEVE - Membership officer
Lyndall originally taught herself to crochet from books and with help from friends and has been crocheting for over 20 years.
She trained and received her Craft Yarn Council of America’s Crochet teacher certificate in 2010 and has been teaching and demystifying crochet pattern reading for her students ever since.
Lyndall has worked alongside Jenny King from Jenny King Designs and Prudence Mapstone at craft shows around the country, has taught at Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane, and at retreats in Nundle NSW and on the Sunshine Coast QLD. Locally in her home-town of Murwillumbah NSW she has also taught at Jabiru Art & Picture Framing, Tied with String Studio, CWA Hall and more recently at Mill and Make.
The most exciting place she has travelled for crochet, is to America twice for the Annual Conference of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). During these events, she attends as many classes as possible to expand her crochet skills and knowledge.
She has studied under such professionals as Myra Wood, Melissa Leapman, Edie Eckman, Lily Chin, Robyn Chachula, Mary Beth Temple, Darla Fanton, Sharon Silverman, Marty Miller and Laurinda Redding.
Lyndall brings many years of experience volunteering and on committees, holding various positions. Lyndall has previously been employed in the positions of secretary, office manager, pay clerk, book-keeper and she currently fills all these positions in her family’s businesses, one of these is a cane farm.
I cannot imagine my life without crochet it is such an amazing stress reliever, I love the sense of comradery and joy that the crochet community brings to my life and all the wonderful friendships that I have made.
SANDI OWEN - COMMITTEE MEMBER
My interest in Crochet goes back to my childhood. My grandmother crocheted the altar cloths and vestments for both the Church of England and the Catholic Church in Coogee NSW. Her work was so fine and really beautiful. Unfortunately she passed away before passing her knowledge along to me.
A few years ago The Buderim Craft Cottage was advertising their Winter School. A crochet workshop with Jenny King.....this sounded like what I was looking for.
First day I turn up...no one had told me you were supposed to know how to crochet...it wasn’t a beginner course. Long story short Jenny and I muddled along and I managed to learn a few basic stitches and finish a very simple wrap.
My favourite things to make are wraps, which I wear a lot and beanies/hats for my family in Melbourne.
Away from Crochet I am Queen of a Red Hat group. (Red Hats is for women over 50 who wear Purple clothes and Red Hats when they go out, it is a fun social group and we don’t take ourselves seriously.) I am also the President of the local bridge club. I took up bridge when I retired 5 years ago, if you have the opportunity to learn do it as soon as you can, the younger you are the better. It is fun, strategic, social and frustrating.
I was asked to go on the Guild Committee for my “life experiences and overall outlook” rather than my Crochet skills.
I have huge admiration and am in awe of the younger women and their amazing talent the Guild is attracting.
This craft of crochet will not die out with the sharing of knowledge and the splendid works so many people are doing.
Rachel Devitt - Committee Member
Rachel has been obsessed with Crochet since the age of 8. She taught herself at the age of 6 and 2 years later her Nan saw her struggling with tight stitches and gave her a few pointers. Suddenly knitting was out, crochet was in! Until 2014 Rachel had resisted the pull of Social Media and had only ever worked patterns from books. In 2014 she joined Social Media sites and made the Sophie's Universe. With renewed zeal for crochet her WIP pile quickly grew from 4-6 items to 25-30.
Rachel brings to the Guild over 20 years’ experience in Customer Service, experience in event planning, training, marketing and a passion for Australian yarn crafts and crochet in particular.
She believes crochet and the community that gathers around it are incredible for mental health and wellness. Rachel has worked in libraries for 15+ years and cares deeply about providing education and learning opportunities for all ages.
Mel Richards - Committee Member
Mel has over 15 years’ experience in Customer and Community information services. A full-time librarian by day, she also runs two of her own small hobby craft businesses in addition to being a committee member of the Guild. She is a qualified Trainer and Assessor and teaches technology, runs readers advisory research and teen and children’s events.
Mel loves crochet, especially large and challenging projects and continues to learn new techniques every day. As well as a crocheter, she is an artist, a jewellery designer, eco candle and soap maker, festival stall holder and a billion other craft things. She is passionate about visual art, festival and market stalls, many different creative outlets, social media involvement and skill sharing.
She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in advertising on social media and outreach to the Guild.
Carolyn Healy - Committee Member
Carolyn began her working life as a Hairdresser, moved to a Customer Service Manager at Telstra and she currently working at a call centre in Maroochydore, Queensland.
Although Carolyn is working to earn a living, she is passionate about volunteering as well. This has brought her here to the Crochet Guild. Her forte is organising large fundraising functions, working with and belonging to many committees. She is driven by her love of seeing people getting together and enjoying each other’s company. Her experience has been with fundraising functions, Director of Qld Police Youth Clubs, Director Caravan Clubs of Qld, and many others. Carolyn’s experience with running large events has culminated with her leading the Crochet Guild Australia team to organise its Inaugural Annual Conference to be held in June 2021.
Although considering herself a novice crocheter, who feels a bit overwhelmed at times when conversing with the more expert crochet members of the Guild, she is passionate about encouraging others to learn and enjoy the company of others in the crochet community. Her motto is “You don’t have to be an expert you just need willingness to be involved.”
Carolyn is very mindful of the role craft and creating plays in everyone’s mental wellbeing. She believes that a sense of community combined with craft encourages positive mental health. It is her desire to be a part of the cure by helping to expand this community.
Crochet and Caravanning are her relaxation and they go together beautifully. She started crochet by chance having her first lesson locally. She enjoyed the subsequent classes, meeting with like-minded people on the Sunshine Coast and becoming involved in the crochet world throughout Australia while travelling . Since moving to the Sunshine Coast Carolyn discovered this group and she feels that it has helped enormously to expanded her world.
Carolyn has been happily married to Denis for 46 years and they have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, 4 step grandchildren, and 2 step great grandchildren. And she takes her Mum on outings every Sunday.
Alison Phillips - Committee Member
Alison was taught to crochet at the age of 4 and hasn’t stopped since.
She has several decades of experience teaching at secondary level in Victoria, and is an accredited Train the Trainer in Victoria.
Alison has also gained her Crochet Teachers accreditation with the Craft Yarn Council of America, and has attended several Crochet Guild of America Conferences.
She is currently teaching Beginner and Intermediate level crochet at the University of the Third Age Nunawading and Knox.
Jasmin Jones - Committee Member
Jasmin Jones is originally trained in fine art and fine jewellery and currently works in her own jewellery and crochet design label.
In 2014 she started to teach crochet and run workshops and during this time she developed a series of skill-based courses which she continues to teach.
Crochet has lead Jasmin on a myriad of journeys including large scale charity projects such as Viva Vittoria in Brescia Italy 2015 (an anti-violence against women project), to working with crochet collectives and yarn companies internationally.
Jasmin’s crochet works and collections have been exhibited internationally in Shanghai, New York, Paris, Italy and Germany.
There’re two areas of crochet that deeply motivate me, first is community work such as charity projects and craft activism. I love uniting with others be that at a local community level or globally sharing a common goal. Secondly is seeing crochet elevated and utilised in the areas of fine art, couture and high fashion, or in some other unconventional application.
Narelle Reed - Committee Member
Narelle learnt crochet growing up in Canberra and the snowy mountains. She recalls drop spindling Merino in the wool bin after the day’s labouring at the shearing shed. Moving to the Sunshine Coast in 1980, she created cotton bikinis, sandals, halter tops, hats and bags.
Teaching Creative and Performance Arts in Queensland, she worked backstage mentoring young people performing in Expo 88, Rock Eisteddfod, sports, arts, music, choirs, bands, dance, street theatre, puppetry, performance, acrobatics, cultural events and audio and visual publications.
Narelle is a director of a successful company operating for over 15 years providing pro-bono community development services in regional and remote communities in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The company gives back to community and thrives through innovative project management, quality systems and social inclusion.
Currently, a mental health clinician, she facilitates health and wellbeing groups using art, weaving and crochet. Narelle has recently established real time and online arts groups for safe social connection and wellbeing throughout Southern New South Wales. She establishes opportunities for others to step into the leadership of these groups.
Expanding practice as a mental health clinician, she uses creative, visual and performance arts for health, wellbeing and community development. She says “Crochet is a mindful and methodical activity with infinite options to create tailored garments and gifts. Crochet provides opportunities to feel good about yourself”