Skip to main content

The Many Paths to Crochet

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 It is really amazing and gratifying to stop a moment and to contemplate how far we have come in the crochet world. To think that back in 1994, when the Crochet Guild was beginning to hatch, we were begging for good patterns, rarely saw a new book, didn't have a conference, didn't have guild chapters...We've come along way baby! During this last week, I've been gasping for breath, running around, busying my mind all due to crochet activity. There is so much to celebrate and October 12 was I Love Yarn Day sponsored by the Craft Yarn Council (CYC). I had the idea of yarn-bombing as a way of showing my love of yarn. I threw out the idea and 3 other chapter members stepped up to join my effort. I had spied a "delicious" set of 3 bronze statues depicting children holding hands and skipping. "How perfect and easy," I thought, "to string chains of squares from hand to hand to lend color to this wonderful sculpture. Concetta and Annie (no last names necessary) are experienced yarn bombers and Concetta kindly contributed THIRTY squares. I made 5 more and also the six-foot chains on which I connected all the squares. Janice said she never does anything "bad" so she was all a-twitter during out late night clandestine journey on October 11 to the local public library. "It feels so good being bad," she said.
I had scoped out the library during daylight and night-time hours. I needed to know how long to make the chains so they would fit between the hands. I checked out the lighting from the parking garage to see how much light shown on the shadows and I decided on a parking place that wouldn't draw attention from the neighbors. We all met promptly at 10:00 PM to complete our task just as the library was closing. It was drizzling rain. I wore black and Janice was nervous. Annie and Concetta reassured us that even if the cops came along, they wouldn't be too worried. We could be thought of as library employees or artists doing our thing. It happens. We had great success and did our decorating without any problems.
The morning after. The library seemed honored to be yarn-bombed and they posted a photo on their Facebook page. We also got a shout out on the Facebook page of the CYC! I've been busily finishing up some more of my signature cabochon pins
using fused glass created by my friend, Debbie. She is having a glass show this week and invited me to add these pins to the mix. It will be catered and BYOB, so should be a fun evening. EXCITING News: A grassroots movement has staarted in Wisconsin to establish a Knitting & Crochet Heritage Museum. A symposium will be held on Nov. 8-10 to discuss the progress and where to go next. There is corporate sponsorship and some big names will be presenting at the symposium. The Vision: Raising the status of knitting and crochet Enhancing the visibility of the art form Making knitting more attractive and relevant to current and future generations Creating a space dedicated to knitting scholarship and public education. In sum, we want to preserve, promote and help knitting and crochet continue to evolve. Goals: To preserve and promote the wonders of the works of our hands: past, present and future To restore the status of knitting and crochet to its historic levels. To increase access to and the accuracy of its documentation in history, costume and textile collections. To create a home for the source materials of the America’s knitting superstars, as well as exemplars from all the ethnic groups who brought their fiber traditions to America with them. To foster the continued development, exploration of, and experimentation with, knitting and crochet as an expressive art form so that they remain relevant and vital elements for future artists and crafters. Objectives: To collect, preserve, document and share knitted and crocheted objects and related study materials. To provide academic research resources and internship opportunities To create display space for both permanent and traveling exhibits, as well as a home for the collections and papers of leading designers, To host workshops and classes and the social interaction that promotes creativity and the expansion of our art. Why? Sadly, beautiful exemplars of vintage and historic knitting and crochet are being lost every day, as attics and trunks are “cleaned out.” Existing institutions are not meeting the needs of our knitting and crochet community for access, accuracy and inspiration. Whether as part of general collections held by historic museums, or more specialized costume and textile collections, knitted and crochet objects seldom get first billing. Documentation of the few knitted and crochet objects in these collections can be incomplete or inaccurate. Articles are seldom available for study, or exhibited to the general public. Recent Developments An Ad Hoc Exploratory Team of knitters nationwide is discussing forming an American institute/ museum to serve the goals and objectives outlined above. With the support of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Dr. Ellsworth Brown, Director, we are planning a one-day symposium Spring 2012 in Madison, WI, to explore the concept, and determine next steps. On June 8- I located the collection of Mary Walker Phillips, safely with her family. I can say the Knitting Heritage Museum was born June 12, 2011 when TNNA’s Yarn Group, the committee that supports knitting and crochet, voted to give the symposium effort $5000, $2000 more than my request. Jim Bryson, one of the Yarn Group leaders, created an endowment fund for the Museum, in memory of Bev Galaskes. AMAZING how far we have come since April 29. There is so much more to do. For more info, contact cityknitsdiva or Knitheritagemuseum at gmail dot com


Popular posts from this blog

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years ~ Part 3: Juried Crochet Art Exhibits

Saturday, March 29, 2014

In August 1994, I hosted 90 avid crocheters for a weekend conference at De Paul University in Chicago that included classes taught by Bill Elmore, Joan Davis, Arlene Mintzer and more;  a Keynote Address by Sylvia Landman (Crafting for Dollars); a lecture by Annie Potter; marketplace, meals together, door prizes a plenty. An optional tour of Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago was offered along with an optional post conference workshop with Pauline Turner. The most ambitious of all during the weekend was the Juried Exhibit of Crochet Art.
At the time, I firmly believed that crochet art was an amazing way to educate people about the vast possibilities of crochet. It is amazing to see what can be achieved with just a hook and flexible lines from many, many materials. Today I still hold the same belief: crochet is as varied as the crocheter who does it. Crochet art, however, moves and amazes even the most seasoned professionals when they see how artists apply t…

Wartime Crochet With Attitude, Part I

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Karen Ballard and I have a mutual love of free form crochet. We met for the first time in a class taught by Prudence Mapstone of Australia at the Chain Link Crochet Conference 2011. I admire Karen's vast knowledge of needle work history and am grateful for her willingness to share with us as my guest blogger this week.
World War 1 Attitudes About Crochet by Karen Ballard
In 2008, I coined that term, "Workbasket Campaigns" to describe the organized efforts during World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII) coordinated through the American Red Cross {ARC} and the Navy League to create needle crafted items.  These items were mostly knitted but also sewn, quilted, and crocheted for, or in support of, the military, wounded, allies, refugees, and the patriotic home-front. This effort was a significant: contribution of enormous numbers of needed items to those in war-torn areas and of improved morale for those on the home-front.  
As a crocheter, I real…

Blogging is My Comfort Zone

June 18, 2012 I have not blogged in over a month...this is very unusual for me. May was an incredibly busy family month with my birthday, Mother's Day, my dad's birthday and my grandson's baptism, plus some weekend travels. I started writing for on the Crocheting Chicago channel and I think I put all my energy into writing there instead of here. Today, I came to my blog not knowing what I wanted to write about, but I found it to be a place of comfort, of familiarity. Once I was here, I found it easy to start writing. Today I wrote about the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair for and it's where I'll be this weekend. I am excited to say that I had two art-wear pieces juried into the Garment Extravaganza: Floral Profusion shawl and Orange Sensation: Also my Coral Reef Sculpture was accepted into the Fine Art Exhibit!Coral reef Sculpture detailDetail two Of late, I've put myself on a strict diet of FOs (Finished Ob…