Meditative Knots

Written by Rhonda Lee McIsaac

Ever since I was little, I would watch my grandma crochet and would aspire to be able to create the things that she once created.
Allanah Jacobson follows her artistic heart as a maker. With every beat she carefully stitches carefully crafted items, including children’s toys, using her two crochet hooks. With every other irregular beat, she may stitch a potholder or banners. She is currently concentrating on crocheting.

Crochet is a needlework technique performed using a crochet hook with a fibre or other similar material. Each delicate stitch is beautiful and unique to Haida Gwaii. “Ever since I was little, I would watch my grandma crochet and would aspire to be able to create the things that she once created” she says.

After her grandma passed away Allanah followed through on her aspirations by going through many years of trial and error, watching YouTube videos, reading crochet books, watching other people online to try and explain how to crochet and eventually got the hang of it and started creating things for her friends, she states of her journey in healing and following in her grandma’s stitches.

“I mostly crochet little stuffed animals and fun little knickknacks like potholders or banners” she says of her handmade products. Nestled among the jungle of house plants in her home, and with the soft ocean reflecting upon her, she quietly crochets a stunning chanterelle mushroom stuffie - the perfect plush companion for island kiddos or a lover of the magical forests of the island.

You have to start somewhere and the gratification is quick and the smiles come faster. “I really enjoy being able to gift my things to people who I know that will enjoy them” she says. 

Alannah recently showed off her handmade wares at one of the islands winter craft fairs, and her stunning creations light up the eyes of young and old alike. Many children beamed with excitement and instinctually reach out with energetic arms to grasp her creations and look at them closer. She created an immersive experience with her table full of illustrative wonder on handmade chimneys and trees that adorned her crocheted creations.

Like other artists, she describes how getting lost in the process is often easily achieved and results in exceptionally inspired creations which is truly a delight to witness!
“I tend to get lost in the crochet process finding peace within each stitch and also frustration at times but in the end it’s all worth it when I see a project come together...especially when I think of those who are going to be receiving the little creation that I just made.

It’s so sweet to see faces light up when someone loves something you’ve made!” she exclaims. 

If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing her hand made creations in person, you can see this journey in each stitch.
All of these carefully calculated twists and bends of the yarn or wool work together to create this very special, well made, and thought out piece to last it’s new owner for years to come.

Just as high as happiness takes her, so does the lows of having to pull out a row or two of completed stitches because one was missed, or having to sew all the tiny pieces together, and working through the anxiety that builds up as a piece comes together.

Either way, Allanah looks forward to seeing how her creation turns out. 

“Each piece is unique and not quite uniform but that’s what I like about them. They all have their own little character and personality about them” she says of her knarly stuffie’s.

They are as unique as their maker!

This article was written by Rhonda Lee McIsaac and photographed by Jessica Fairweather.

Rhonda is an Anishnawbek writer, journalist, and artist based on Haida Gwaii. Her work focuses on local, national, indigenous, and environmental issues.

Jessica is a Haida Photographer who was born and raised on Haida Gwaii. She has been practicing photography for 9 years and began her business "Studio Simone A." In 2020. She has experience with product, portrait, lifestyle, maternity, weddings, and many other forms of photography. 

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