It all started with the creation of a flamingo. Then there were cows, rabbits and bears. They are eye-catching creatures of many colors made with finely sewn thread from a resident of Wyalusing.
Diane Bates has been operating “Diane’s Critter Corner” and selling her crochet figures for about four years now. Crocheting has been her hobby for over 30 years.
She said crocheting is a little more difficult for a left-hander, but she taught herself how to do it.
“It’s been quite a journey for me,” Bates said. “It’s a process and it takes me about three to four hours to do one. It takes a lot longer than people think.
Bates has been shrewd all her life. In her previous career, she worked in a clothing factory in Meshoppen. After retiring, she decided to pursue another creative outlet.
“I don’t need to crochet for a living, I just do it because I love it and it’s really fun to do,” she said.
Her crochet process begins with selecting a pattern that she creates herself or sees on Pinterest. She then selects colored yarn and proceeds to make each individual part of the crochet animal before assembling everything.
Large items are around $20 while smaller ones are $15. She even makes small bumblebees for $3.
“I like to keep my prizes where everyone can buy them and enjoy them, and I’ve had no trouble selling them,” she said.
Bates branched out into creating popular fictional characters like Spider-Man, Yoda, and the Minions. She also takes special orders that people ask for.
“It’s so fun to see them come out the way I want and they all look different,” she said. “My best-selling creation is of a possum with her babies on her back.”
Creations can be found at craft shows throughout Bradford County as well as the Blue Heron Craft Shop in Wyalusing. Bates also donates some of the items and creates baskets for charity which she calls “A Basket of Diane’s Critters”.
“I made a lot of people happy with my designs, so it was really fun,” she said.