Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Happy Hookers

Moira Clinch an art director from London told me about the Happy Hookers here in Orlando. These Hookers aren't turning tricks on OBT. They are busy creating crochet wonders with their nimble fingers. Moira wanted me to get a sketch of the crochet group to help promote a book on crochet at a book fair. I researched online and found the Happy Hookers Meet-up page and joined. This meeting was at Panera's on Colonial Drive. I went there right after work. The Hookers meet from 6pm until the place closes down around 9pm.

I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a Mountain Dew and I sat at a table next to where the hookers had started to gather. There was a box full of supplies that had been donated to the group and as people arrived they were encouraged to rifle through it. Some hookers were working hard when I arrived while others chatted to catch up. Tablets and iPhones were used to share photos of recent crochet creations.

They had been alerted that I would be sketching, and when I heard them talking about me, I introduced myself. I was promoted to "Honorary Pimp" for the night. There was one other man, Steve Hoel, who enjoyed crochet and he was hard at work. Catherine Nicklow-McGrath of Orlando, started the group in 2006. While sketching, I realized that everyone held the crochet hook differently. Some members worked with slow deliberation while others fingers moved so quickly that their hands were a blur. There was plenty of conversation and the laughter was infectious.

At the end of the evening, I was given a quick five minute lesson on how to use the crochet hook.  It looks like a relaxing process very much like sketching. There are 318 Happy Hookers members in Orlando, but ten to fifteen might show up on any given Thursday night. So, if you have dexterous fingers and you like to kibitz, Mark Your Calendar, the Happy Hookers meet every Thursday evening at Panera's in the Fashion Square Mall (3463 East Colonial Drive, Orlando FL) from 6pm to 9pm.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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