Centenarian a craft show vendor

Sunday, November 18, 2012
Armintha Haws works on a new item while patrons at the 37th-annual River Valley Craft Fair look through merchandise Saturday at the Arena Building in Cape Girardeau. Four craft fairs continue today. (ADAM VOGLER)

The River Valley Craft Fair features more than 150 vendors, including a 101-year-old woman who has been crocheting for 65 years.

Armintha Haws, of Bertrand, Mo., was selling her handmade crafts at the fair Saturday, and she will be there again today with dish rags, dish towels and blankets for sale.

Haws learned to crochet from a neighbor when she was 36 years old.

"I asked her if she would teach me to crochet. So, she came down with a book and told me, ‘I'm going to teach you to read instructions,' and she said ‘it will give you comfort in old age,' " Haws said.

Upon learning how to crochet, Haws said she made baby blankets and baby booties. Although she lost her eyesight in 1982, she has continued her craft.

"I crochet the simple things now that I'm blind, like dish rags and dish towels," Haws said "I'm so thankful that I can crochet. It has been so relaxing, and it gives me something to do."

Haws' daughter Mary Martin said her mother always has a crochet needle and thread next to her chair. Haws has crocheted from seven to eight hours a day for as long as she can remember.

"It's really a good pastime for her. Because she had a big family, she was always sewing. She was always crocheting and making things for us," Martin said.

At 101 years old, Haws said she is active and healthy. She keeps her mind focused on her crocheting, and that is what she believes keeps her going, She takes an aspirin a day -- no other medications -- and she has no pain.

"Mama had worked in a nursing home in Sikeston, Mo., when she was in her 50s, and she said no one should ever sit still. That's what happens to the older people. They don't keep their minds busy, and she always believed you should learn something new every day," Martin said.

Haws and her husband raised 10 children -- seven girls and three boys.

The 37th-annual fair kicked off Saturday morning and continues today. It is at the Arena Building and the 4-H Building in Arena Park, and it runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3.

Among three other craft fairs this weekend in Cape Girardeau is the Christmas Arts and Crafts Extravaganza, sponsored by the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. Its two locations are the Show Me Center and Osage Centre. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at both locations. Admission is $3.

The Crafts, Gifts and Collectibles Show will be at Notre Dame Regional High School. The show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., today. Admission is free.

Craft Fair Weekend will be in the former Siemers building at 342 S. Kingshighway from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, today. Admission is free.

Pertinent address:

Arena Park, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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