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A Common Thread: Passing on Knowledge

At the Cercle de Fermières, knowledge is passed on first and foremost at meetings throughout the year. Although there are sometimes classes, the instructor or workshop leader is not the only one who has the opportunity to share her knowledge.

A smiling woman sits behind a table. Behind her, crocheted centrepieces, greeting cards and paintings are displayed. In front of her, crocheted items and cards are arranged on a table.

Fermière Lucille Gauthier at the 2010 exhibition and sale

Passing it on, as told by Lucille Gauthier. Listen to the audio clip with the transcript (EN).

Four photos joined together. The first two show a woman’s hands crocheting the body of a small bee. The third shows the completed body of the bee and a ball of yellow wool. The last photo shows a crocheted raccoon in a striped sweater sitting on a table.

Creating amigurumis

A crocheted gnome showing only his hat, head and fingers, with the rest hidden in a wooden basket, from which he seems to be emerging. He has big eyes and a prominent nose. On his brown striped hat there are flowers, strawberries, and a bug.

An amigurumi created by Jennifer Thomas


What makes these exchanges especially rich is the fact that the Fermières all bring different things to the table. They have learned a wide range of techniques from family members, friends or teachers, from books, the Fermières’ magazine L’Actuelle, or from websites. There is room for methods of all kinds, from the old-fashioned to the contemporary. For example, Alice’s friend Jennifer, who is 29 years old, has taught a few the Fermières how to make amigurumi: crocheted stuffed toys.

While some have had the inevitable school knitting classes, others have learned to crochet from Pinterest. Today, the internet is an essential source for new patterns or memory aids. For example, there are sites such as Ravelry offering crochet and embroidery patterns, and online tutorials on YouTube that allow the women to add new techniques to their repertoires.

The Fermières 2.0 (subtitles available in EN and FR). Watch the video with the transcript (EN).

Referring to the older Fermières, Marie-Claude, the treasurer of the Cercle de Saint-Eustache, explains:

They mix […] the patterns they find online with what they have in their old books, with what they’re used to doing. […] They’re right up to date, they’re online… Hey, ladies! There they are with their tablets, [laughter] it’s really something.

Knowledge and skills are passed on in a multitude of ways, and the Fermières in Saint-Eustache can find out what’s happening all over the world in the blink of an eye.