Nancy Chaney of Jay has been knitting, crocheting and crafting for years in her spare time. Chaney, center, stands next to her husband, Ted, and daughters, from left, Hailey, Hannah, Hillary and Heather. (Submitted photo) 

JAY — Nancy Chaney is a registered nurse who learned to knit and crochet from her mother years ago.

Nancy Chaney of Jay is a registered nurse and makes a variety of crafts in her spare time. (Submitted photo)

She expanded her crafting skills to sewing, making quilts and jewelry.

She has worked at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington for 18 years, currently as a clinical coordinator, which is like a nurse supervisor.

Chaney usually works the night shift and does crafting in her spare time. In fact if she doesn’t do a craft every few days, she gets anxious, she said

Chaney graduated from Livermore Falls High School in 1984 and moved to Jay in 1989.  She has been married to her husband, Teddy, for nearly 30 years. They have four daughters, Heather, Hillary, Hannah and Hailey.

When did you learn to knit, crochet and sew? I learned to knit and crochet from my mom many years ago. She knit socks and loved making knit-o-graph sweaters for grandchildren. She died when I was 18, and as time went on I picked it back up as a way to connect with her. Dabbled with sewing in home (economics) in school. Expanded that when the kids were little making them pajamas and trying my hand at quilting. Recently I have been trying my hand at jewelry making.

These are some of the items that Nancy Chaney of Jay makes in her spare time. (Submitted photo)


Why do you like to make the crafts you do? Knitting and crocheting are incredible stress relievers for me. The rhythm and repetition can be very soothing. Things like sock making are instinctual now and it’s a great escape from work. I love my job, but it takes a toll on your spirit at times. It’s a wonderful, hard job that I love.

What is your most favorite and most difficult items to make? I love love love making socks. I tend to stick to a style that I don’t really need to use a pattern for anymore, but I have been trying to learn new styles, such as toe-up socks and different types of heals. I find quilts to be my biggest challenge. I can manage basic large-scale patterns, but the more complex piecing is intimidating to me. If I make a mistake in knitting or crocheting, the fix is usually quite easy. If I make a mistake in a quilt it can be an enormous undertaking to fix it.

Do you create your crafts for family or does it extend beyond that? In the beginning I only made things for family and friends, but have recently started making items for sale and taking special orders from people. I have a Facebook page, Maine Mountain Crafts, as well as an Instagram of the same name. I also have an Etsy store, although it is seldom well stocked because I have so many orders from friends and family. I recently had a logo developed for the site by Barbara Richards at Office Services on Demand and am working on a logo for a line of hats.

How many skeins of yarn do you go through in a year? I can’t even fathom how much yarn I buy in a year, it’s a bit of an obsession. I love to hold it and think about what it could turn into.

With a full-time job, where do you find time to create? I make time for my crafting because it is therapeutic and makes me feel calmer. I actually get a little anxious if I haven’t done some form of crafting for a few days. It keeps me sane.

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