THREADS OF CREATIVITY AND PERSONAL GROWTH INTERTWINE IN THE WORLD OF LEGIN KNITS.
When Nigel “Legin” John took a family trip to Trinidad in 1996, he was just a teenager looking for a crochet cap to hold his dreadlocks—but what he found was a way of life.
It was here that Legin’s cousin introduced him to a Rastafarian crochet artist named Sean. Rather than just sell him a hat, Sean chose to mentor Legin, showing him both how to crochet and how to make a living out of it. “I got to see that crochet isn’t just creative, but that it can make you the source of creating things,” says Legin. “You don’t have to go out and buy everything, and that really stood out to me.”
“ When you use crochet therapeutically, wholeheartedly, the mind is clear and the yarn just moves.” -LEGIN
Legin immersed himself in the craft as soon as he landed back in Toronto, picking up skeins of yarn from Romni Wools and whipping up caps for his friends. His new hobby transformed into a business, as Legin and his now crochet-converted friends set up shop to sell their wares at local flea markets. The group was guided by the ethos of providing quality handmade crochet items—made with love and natural fibres—to a growing clientele, and thus, Legin Knits was born.
In the decades since, Legin Knits has expanded beyond retail to include workshops that highlight crochet’s therapeutic and meditative aspects. “When you use crochet therapeutically, wholeheartedly, the mind is clear and the yarn just moves,” says Legin. “That’s the part that I teach—how to free your mind and just embrace the moment.”
It’s a message that resonates deeply with his workshops’ diverse participants—particularly frontline hospital workers seeking relief from their daily stresses. At the Drake Hotel, Legin hosts a series of public events like the “Art of Crochet and Jazz,” where participants can pick up the hooks in a social and supportive environment. Carrying the torch from his former mentor Sean, Legin encourages his students to ask questions, explore new horizons, reclaim their narratives, and discover their own potential—a powerful transformation that unfolds in the realm of crochet.
“I’m always coming from the roots and culture perspective when I teach crochet,” explains Legin. “It’s about knowing your past so that you can be present. Then, it’s about embracing the present so that you can flow with the future.”
Check out our What’s On calendar to see when The Art of Crochet returns to The Drake Hotel.