Chloe Cottam

Growing up in the Crowsnest Pass, I was always interested in the arts, and particularly drawn to textiles. Both my grandmothers were prolific sewers, and during her visits to our home, my paternal grandmother taught me a lot about all aspects of sewing. When I was about 11 years old, a knitting class was offered at a local yarn shop, and I enrolled in classes where I cultivated a passion for this new hobby. 

I continued knitting throughout high school, and enjoyed pursuing various forms of art and craft, deciding during my post-secondary studies to focus on becoming better at one thing. I chose knitting, experimenting with new techniques and patterns that I taught myself by watching YouTube videos and through a lot of trial and error. I loved the challenge and find there are always new things to learn. I work with a variety of yarns, and whenever possible I like to source out natural hand-dyed yarn. In the last couple of years, I have also learned to crochet and have begun to experiment with new designs, such as 1970’s inspired crocheted halter tops.

When COVID came along, I found myself out of a job as a massage therapist, and decided to throw myself full-time into my knitting. I found a lot of support for my work through the markets I attended as well as the website I created to showcase my work. I even received bulk orders for dozens of newborn baby booties and hats, which I was so grateful for. Knitting through the first year of COVID in particular proved to be a wonderful antidote to the anxiety and uncertainty of the time.

In 2019 I joined the Fernie Arts Co-op, which has been a wonderful venue in which to showcase my work. I love giving people handmade gifts - it’s one of the best things about creating! Through my interactions with people at markets and the Fernie Arts Co-op, I know that there are many people who feel the same way. Knowing that people are wearing my creations and finding pleasure in the fact that they are handmade, brings me joy and keeps me knitting! I am the sort of person who needs to keep my hands busy, so knitting is the perfect accompaniment to an evening with Netflix during the long winter evenings, and I am grateful for all the support I receive in my creative endeavours.

For more on Chloe and to see her work, follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @cj_handmade_ or stop by the Fernie Arts Co-op in downtown Fernie.