Hello Everyone! I hope you had a great summer and are looking ahead to the new season ahead.
I went back to Central Asia this summer, to the land of Kyrgyzstan. An amazing place, with fantastic people and a rich tradition of crafts. You can see my favorite photos of the trip if you click the link at the bottom of this page.
When I was in high school, I decided to teach myself to crochet from a stack of library books. I'm left-handed, so at first I was so confused by trying to flip the instructions in my head that all I could do was chain. Eventually I figured it out and have been crocheting every winter since.
Designs don't fall from the sky, all finished and ready. They are built up out of knowledge, memories and inspirations. Innovative as it may be, each crochet pattern uses crochet stitches. Not all designs have a history that is easy to unravel. To give you an impression of how small design elements wind their way into becoming a pattern, I'll tell you how my slanted skirt came into being.
This beautiful afghan was instigated by a sad event: our friend and design colleague Pam Gilette (www.knottygeneraton.com) was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. We all followed her online journal, where she wrote with great courage and eloquence about her experiences.
I don’t know when my love-affair with motifs started. It can probably be traced to the day I was making a granny blanket from scraps in my mother’s yarn stash. I noticed that making a new color combination
for every square, and discovering all the possibilities as the combinations unfolded, was quite magical. Fast forward 25 or
more years and 100 blankets later, and I have written a whole book about motifs! I love the potential of
overlapping stitches and colors.
Some months ago I learned of this fabulous wedding dress made by Nikki Owens for her own wedding. Not only was it absolutely gorgeous, but Nikki, a practicing M.D. in Dublin, was a beginning crocheter! I had to find out more about this great story, and here is an interview we did by email. BRAVA NIKKI - you are an inspiration!! - Dora
DORA: Clearly you have design talent -- what have you designed before?
It all started with toys. My Grandmother
decided that my favorite little doll needed a new wardrobe. A couple of days
later, the doll sported fancy-looking red pants, a cute yellow vest, and
multicolored hat. They were not made of fabric
like his old outfit: they were wonderfully crocheted!
I immediately had to know how. So Grandma showed me her tool — a thin crochet
hook with beautifully decorated wooden handle. She then took a ball of
cotton thread and the magic began. For me it never stopped…
I am terrible at following recipes. There... I said it. TERRIBLE. “How? Why?” You might ask. “It's not so hard! It tells you exactly what to do, and you do it.” My problem, if you think of it as such, is that I like to tweak things. It's a compulsion. I can't leave it alone. For example, pretty much ANY pasta recipe is better with more garlic.... so I add it, even if the recipe didn't call for it....
Textile historians tell us that crochet is a relatively young craft. The time to put crochet on the map and develop this craft even further is at hand. As a teacher, and a lifelong learner, I want to encourage the reader to join, or continue (depending where you find yourself) the journey of learning more about crochet. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a flock of crocheters to raise the profile of our craft.
I love antique consignment shops, the kind usually found in old carriage houses, or someoneâ€™s stand alone garage. No wonder when I flipped through the digital pages of my first vintage knitting and crochet manual, Woolcraft: A Practical Guide to Knitting & Crochet with Beehive & White Heather Knitting Tools [c. 1915] I became an enthusiast and a collector. ...