A Guinness World Record first! Wool on the Exe is proud to host Natalie Morrison, a mental health advocate and crafter, for her attempt to achieve a world record for the longest crochet marathon! In just a couple of weeks a corner of the shop will be transformed to a cosy crochet den ready for Natalie to sit and crochet for a full 24 hour stint whilst raising funds for important causes and awareness of the health benefits of crafting.
The event will take place on Friday 1st November from noon until 1pm the following day, Saturday 2nd November at Wool on the Exe. The shop will be open throughout this time and visitors will be very welcome to keep us company!
We were pleased to get to know Natalie more and find out about her challenge.
Natalie’s background is in television production and she has always enjoyed being creative. Five years ago Natalie taught herself to crochet using YouTube videos following an accident. She took to it immediately and continues to enjoy developing her crochet skills, finding that it is also a useful tool in managing long-term mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Natalie has founded a mental health organisation and reference website, Rainbow Arch of Mind, which is currently awaiting charity status. This organisation is one of the good causes that she is raising funds for. The others are Knit for Peace and St Petrock’s, a local homeless charity, which will also benefit from a donation of all of the scarves that Natalie will be making during the 24 hour period.
This will be Natalie’s first time fund raising on this scale. She had previously ran races to raise funds for cancer research but found that running was something that she struggled with, so now she decided to focus on her strength in crochet! After checking the Guinness Book of Records Natalie noticed that there wasn’t one for a continuous length of time crocheting and so she set about applying to break a new record, in the process aiming to raise £1,500 for her chosen causes.
To achieve her goal Natalie will be crocheting scarves continuously for over 24 hours with only 5 minutes rest per hour - and with two volunteer witnesses present for each four hour slot. A lot of work has gone into planning for the event! As well as the admin and paperwork for the record attempt, and the fundraising, Natalie has had to find volunteers prepared to commit to witnessing. The challenge being that the volunteers must not be associated with Natalie herself, must know basic crochet and in some cases also be prepared to sign up for quite unsociable hours! Luckily Natalie herself seems quite prepared for the lack of sleep;
"Many years ago I used to do night shifts, I’ve had children and a partner who snores...so had quite a lot of practice!"
Wool on the Exe is glad to be able to offer Natalie a venue for her challenge and also to be supplying the yarn for the crocheted scarves.
"I needed to find a venue that was open 24 hours. Unfortunately, Tesco couldn’t accommodate and then I was literally thinking of petrol stations!!!! I spoke to Debbie at the yarn shop earlier in the year just about what I was doing and she said why not open the shop for 24 hours?? I couldn’t believe it. How perfect, crocheting in a wool shop! Thank you so much for your support!"
The shop will be open for the whole duration of the challenge and we are hoping that some of our customers will be able to drop in, perhaps to crochet or knit along with us and support Natalie as she attempts the record.
"My main aim was raising money and promoting mental health awareness. I have already done that and am proud of what I have done. If I manage the record then that would be a bonus but it has been hard to arrange and there are so many factors out of my control that could affect the record. I will not beat myself up if I don’t achieve it."
If you would like to be involved here's how you can help:
- Volunteer for a four hour witness time slot as required by the Guinness Book of Records. We have some volunteers but extras would be so helpful as without the witnesses the record can't be verified.
- Bring in a cake for us to sell, or buy a slice of cake or hot drink. All funds raised from refreshments will be donated to Knit For Peace.
- Come in to keep us company, perhaps with a project of your own that you are working on!
- Contribute to Natalie's fundraising via her crowdfunding site.
We hope to see there!
If you would like to find out more please see Natalie's facebook page.