RUG BUG: Betty Sommerville at home with her 167th crocheted rug, which earned her a second placing in a recent CWA competition.
RUG BUG: Betty Sommerville at home with her 167th crocheted rug, which earned her a second placing in a recent CWA competition. Jonno Colfs

Warwick woman crocheting up a colourful storm

AT 89, BETTY Somerville is showing few signs of slowing down.

In fact she's just started work on her 168th crocheted blanket, a pastime that keeps her busy and her mind active.

As far as rug crocheters go, Mrs Sommerville is experienced, having started into the craft at the age of six.

"When I was three I was watching my grandmother knit and I thought I'd like to try it myself," she said.

"So I went off and found a couple of six-inch nails the men had had been using and a bit of string and went back and sat next to her with my "knitting".

"She saw I was interested and started to teach me, and when I'd got the hang of that she introduced me to crochet."

And she's kept track too, of every piece she's finished. There are dozens of baby shawls, jumpers, toys, beanies. scarves and of course rugs.

"I've always kept count," she said.

"I used to have a little black book that I'd jot everything down in.

"My husband used to get it out when we'd have visitors and show visitors what I'd done.

"He was so proud of what I could do."

Mr Sommerville passed away in 2004.

"You know I haven't seen that little black book since," she said.

"I'm pretty sure he didn't take it with him.

"I've turned the place upside down looking for it, but it'll show up one day I guess."

Mrs Sommerville said she used to make all of her creations from patterns.

"I can't do that any more though, my eyes aren't good enough," she said.

"They're all my own designs, One thing I really love is making everything very bright and colourful. I really love it and when I enter competitions it's lovely to discover that others love what you're doing as well."

Mrs Sommerville said her 168th rug could end up with family, charity or just given to someone who's shown some kindness.


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