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I’m with ERIE

February 3, 2011

Barb GrossmanBarb Grossman
Customer with Casper Insurance Agency

Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival
Handmade yarns from the 2010 Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival

Where you’ve seen her: At the Annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. Barb founded the event seven years ago, which now brings in more than 2,000 visitors from the tri-state area.

Spouse of Steel: Barb is the wife of Randy Grossman, former tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. “Through Randy, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the people that gave this city so much pleasure. I had a tremendous misconception of the players once — turns out they’re as gentle as lambs!”

Where they watch: These days Randy and Barb watch the games from home. “Randy gives his tickets away. It’s difficult to be a spectator when you’ve been a player.”

Close-knit fam: It was Barb’s daughter, now 15, who rekindled Barb’s love of knitting and crocheting. “When she was in first grade, Sarah learned handwork like knitting and weaving. She came home with it and it was a natural segue back into it for me. She even showed Randy how to knit! He made everyone hats and scarves for Christmas that year.”

Passing on the crochet torch: One of Barb’s goals is to keep the fiber world alive among younger generations. “Today, lots of people reuse materials and remake clothes by embellishing them, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone teaching traditional hand and fiber arts.” So Barb, who learned from her mother, teaches young people a variety of methods such as needle felting, which is a huge hit. “They love it. There’s this perception of how good you’re supposed to be but that’s not what it’s about. It’s a creative outlet.”

The weight loss secret? “We spend so much time these days surfing the Web and people aren’t working with their hands anymore. Knitting and crocheting goes back to a simpler time, and it’s a great diet! You can’t eat when you’re knitting!”

Why ERIE? Barb says she has always been very satisfied with her home and auto insurance policies. She and Randy have been with Casper Insurance Agency of Pittsburgh for more than 20 years and have no complaints. “Over the holidays, a woman backed into me. ERIE called me and asked if I had any questions, then handled all the paperwork and even the rental car for me. They made it easy! Service like that is uncommon anymore.