We are The Van Elles: sisters, crafters, friends, business partners. Our heritage is Dutch (note the “van”), we are the ladies of our family (dubbed the beautiful french “elles”), and we make stuff (almost constantly.)
Mariet is the matriarch of our family, the inspiration to our generation of crafters. She immigrated from Holland, chasing after the love of her life and her very favorite person: Hans. As Mariet was being welcomed into the family, Hans’ mother lovingly taught her new daughter-in-law to knit. An artistic skill from one generation to another.
Michelle is Mariet’s daughter and one of the five energetic reasons Mariet didn’t get to do much knitting for the first fifteen years (or so) of life in Canada. Michelle, though, is also the first one of the siblings to marry and is the one who prompted Mariet to start knitting blankets as wedding gifts. (We all have one now. Talked about a treasured heirloom!). “I like being productive and knitting keeps me from feeling antsy or guilty while I put my feet up.” Michelle’s own five bundles of energy are the reasons she is now a fan of knitting: after a long, exhausting day of children she loves to sit and knit. Just like mom. (Michelle is also passing down the artistic skills: her oldest is proficiently knitting, too!)
Meghan married into the Van Elle family in 2011 and immigrated from her home in Ohio — a fabulous story, she married the tall blonde after a whirlwind romance and settled into her new Dutch family in the lower mainland. Although she’s capable of wielding the knitting needles, her joy is re-purposing trash into treasure: “I can see things others might call ugly or old and I can visualize its potential. God has a wonderful masterful creativity and I can give Him glory through the use of color and creativity.”
Angela is the newest addition to the gang: she came to the lower mainland from Chile (do we see a pattern here?) and her story wove toward her man and their love-at-first-sight romance. She jokes that she has to knit or crochet in order to fit in, but we all know she fits the family just perfectly and the crafting is just icing on the proverbial gluten free cake.
Jennifer is behind-the-scenes, taking photos and designing websites. She journeyed into the family from North Carolina via Africa.