How a Thornton woman who runs The Wool Loft in Fleetwood is hosting social crochet workshops in Fleetwood and St Annes
Former teacher Louise Marham is keen to help others find the joy of crocheting through weekly workshops in Fleetwood and St Annes.
The 36-year-old from Thornton launched The Wool Loft six years ago, following the birth of her youngest son.
As she went back to teaching at Flakefleet Primary School part time, she realised where her true passion was and her hobby became a full time business, with her studio above Glazey Days Creative Cafe, in Bold Street, Fleetwood.
She runs two weekly workshops across two Fylde venues, co-ordinates a charity project with Blankets Sent With Love, and has made hats which have been worn by celebrities’ babies.
Louise, a mother-of-three, said: “I’ve crocheted since I was a child. I find it very therapeutic and calming.
“Nobody realises until you do it, how good it is for your mental health, as it is very soothing and repetitive.
“I compare my life to how it used to be, where I was rushed off my feet and juggling work and family life, to now where everything is so relaxed and laid back.”
Louise runs social sessions every Tuesday at Vintage Sewing Bunny, St Annes, and Thursday at Glazey Days, Fleetwood, both 6.30pm until 8.30pm.
She added: “People come to me to learn how to crochet and have a chat. I always joke that I do crochet with counselling.
“I enjoy the weekly socials as it gets people out and they are learning a new skill.
“As a primary school teacher, I could not always be creative as I had to focus on the academic, but this is a chance for people to learn something fun with me. I have guest from age five to 84. It is mainly women, but there is one man who comes to the session in St Annes.”
Once a month, on a Wednesday at her studio, Louise invites people to crochet a square which is put with other pieces to form a blanket for cancer patients through the charity Blankets Send With Love.
She added: “A woman who came to my crochet sessions told me about her daughter, Sarah Kinghorn, who ran Blankets Sent With Love, which makes blankets for people diagnosed with cancer.
“Sarah has been poorly recently so I have taken over that for her. It is a nationwide charity, but I just deliver the blankets locally to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Trinity Hospice. It can be daunting giving someone a blanket, but they are so grateful.”
Louise said she began crocheting gifts for people and the business grew as more people started ordering them.
She added: “I made hats and a Manchester photographer, Nikki Lyons, bought 100 to use for her photoshoots. She gave people to the option to buy the hat afterwards. One of her photos, with one of my hats, was featured in The Sun in 2013. It was of former Big Brother contestant Sophie Reade’s baby. I could not keep up with the crochet orders at that point.
“Now, I don’t really do a lot of orders, as I sell wool and teach people how to crochet things.”
Louise added she is proud of her community and was part of a BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary Fleetwood Voice and the #Love Fleetwood campaign last year, promoting the town.
She said: “I am just a mum who decided to go for it but I am really lucky to have such lovely customers and to be able to carry on my passion which fits in with my family.”