'It helps families': N.B. woman's grief project turns into fundraising efforts for local charity
Winding recycled wool into stars started as a way for Michelle Swan to manage her grief.
"My brother passed away in March. He had a long, hard battle with cancer,” Swan said.
After six years of battling the illness, Swan’s brother passed away.
“It was really overwhelming and I just needed something to channel my grief because I knew it could overtake me if I didn't find something to do,” said Swan.
Swan began creating stars from the left over wool pieces at Briggs and Little Wool Mill, where she works.
"There's some waste product in the process of yarn making, I've been kind of dabbling here and there with other things, and so I did just decide to make something easy, really kind of tedious. Something to lose my thoughts in,” she said.
So, for the last six months, Swan has been saving scraps and shaping stars.
"I don't knit. I've tried to knit, I don't enjoy knitting I find it's hard on my fingers and there's so many other people who knit very well,” said Swan.
“I just started saving the colours that I liked, and the colours that made me feel just a little bit of joy and I thought they'd make a nice star."
Those at Briggs and Little say they were happy to see Swan make use of the wool wastage.
"It's a wonderful project. The pieces that she's using would typically not be used for anything else, so she's recycling something. It's making a beautiful Christmas project for her," said Leah Little, a manager with Briggs & Little Wool Mill.
Proceeds from Swan's stars will go to a local charity in Harvey, N.B. called Christmas Mommies.
"The money stays in the community. It helps families with their Christmas wish list or food in the winter. I think there's high school bursaries, just any community member that needs help and asks for support, they try to help them out,” Swan said.