Friday, August 30, 2013

Book Review: Crochet At Home by Brett Bara

Crochet At Home: 25 Clever Projects for Colorful Living

by Brett Bara

As the title implies, this new book is geared toward using colorful crochet for home décor and other objects that make living a pleasure such as switchable "Seasons Wreath" or "Tiered Tea Cozy".

Brett Bara, a new York-based author, television host, blogger and designer, specializing in crafts, has gathered together some important names in the crochet design field to contribute to the book. Color expert, Kathy Merrick, offers up a blanket with motif after motif in stunning color. Fashion maven, Mari Lynn Patrick taps into the traditional filet technique to create a lovely blanket. Architect, Robyn Chachula who just had a baby must have been thinking of her own as she designed "Pinwheel Baby Blanket". Doris Chan, known for her “exploding motif” fashions, diverged a bit to provide the “Racy Pink Runner.”

Bara’s curated collection includes twenty-five projects divided into items for the kitchen, living room and bedroom. Skills levels in the patterns range from beginner friendly to intermediate level. These DIY crafts have a fun-spirit, retro, and kitschy feel, but the overall focus is on useful and attractive projects. 

I think experienced crocheters will be looking for more unusual crochet projects instead of just updated takes on tired items that we have seen re-created over and over since the 1940s. Hopefully this happy, affordable and occasionally humorous take on home décor will appeal to more than beginners who are just discovering the craft of crochet.

Published by Interweave, Crochet At Home retails for $26.95.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Case for Crochet: Why it is More than a Hobby

I hesitate to place the “hobby” of crochet on a continuum with the many other crochet niches such as teaching, design and production where it would fall at the bottom with crochet art at the top. It is not my intention to discriminate against crochet hobbyists. In fact, hobbyists are indeed the backbone of this craft genre.

For anyone who has even given thought to the illustrious history of crochet in Ireland, the concept of crochet as the tool that contributed to saving a nation from starvation is poignant and memorable story.  Working in unspeakable conditions by candlelight sometimes resulted in the workers losing eyesight! Crocheters developed fine skills which contributed to the production of exquisite crocheted laces sought after by the wealthy classes. Crochet became a business and a successful one at that. People were taught to crochet and urged to teach another in order to save the nation from starvation during the Potato Famine from 1845 to 1851.
Celtic Crochet Design
I am continually reminded of unsung crochet heroes who donate countless hours each week crocheting goods for charity causes. They are depended upon to create the blankets that comfort students as they head off to college, taking those first steps toward independence, with the comfort tucked under their arm that only a little touch of home can bring! Crocheters will also say that their hobby has provided them personal comfort in the form of relaxation after a long day at work or as a distraction while working through some of life’s most critical troubles while the rhythm of their hooks takes them to soothing corners of their minds.

Hobbyists are so important that the craft yarn industry has thrown great effort and grand sums of advertising dollars their way since 1994. Think Vanna White! Granted, crocheters needed a boost to their egos and an education about the vast possibilities of crochet at the time. Many thought they were the “only” crocheters within their realm of existence. How often have you heard, “I just do afghans”? As the participating companies of the Craft Yarn Council  began reaching out through promos, classes and give-aways, crocheters began to come “out of the closet.” An amazing celebration, I Love Yarn Day, sponsored by CYC takes place on October 11, 2013. Join in!

About the same time, the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) came into existence, and gave crocheters a collective voice. They were able to further their skills through conference classes offered, meet like-minded passionistas, and find inspirations as they shared their skills. The CGOA made a huge contribution by promoting art crochet exhibits from 1994 at the first conference and throughout the succeeding ten years. Crochet as art nudges pre-conceived notions of crochet out of the arena of “grandma’s rocking chair” and into the realm of “almost anything is possible.” This serves to impress even the most seasoned practitioner and inspire them to push their own work to the next level. 
Chunghie Lee exhibited this in the 1994 Juried Exhibit of CGOA
Ellen Moon won the Peoples' Choice award in 1994
A hobbyist may become an artist; an artist may sit down to relax with crochet after a long day in the studio. Much education still needs to be done about crochet art. It flows from the hands and the hook and often the materials guide the artist to the incredible results. No patterns are used or written; crochet art just is. Crochet art is meant to be seen and touched and is meant to move viewers to new streams of thought which in the end is enjoyable!

With the advent of Yarn Bombing in 2005, a much wider awareness of crochet to the general public came to light.  As confidences grew on the part of the “bombers,” more sophisticated works of art appeared. Whether they lasted only overnight in public places or remained until weather destroyed them, they brought an awareness to crochet like never before.
The Art of Crochet & Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore

Crochet-as- art came blasting into the public eye. Often times quirky and simplistic, the phenomenon served to bring awareness of the craft to the everyday person.
Crochet is art. Crochet is a hobby. Crochet is a means to keep balance in one’s life from the relaxing benefits that come from the rhythm of wrapping yarn around hook. There is no need to categorize crochet except to put it in the “fantastic” file!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Guest Blogger: Marie Segares - Vintage Crochet Art

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
I'm pleased to announce my guest blogger for this week, Marie Segares whose blog is The Underground Crafter. I first got to know Marie when she asked to interview me for her blog posted on July 14, 2011 which is Bastille Day and also happens to be my daughter's birthday!

Besides our love of crochet, Marie and I have a love of collecting vintage books and patterns in common. Please enjoy her survey via her favorite books through the 1960s to the 1980s in search of artful design inspiration.

I’m an avid collector of crochet books.  While contemporary books can’t be beat for crispy color photos, I find that books from the late 1960s to early 1980s tend to provide the most information about design and exploration with crochet fabric.  Even the wearables and home décor projects were often so creatively designed that they were more artistic than functional. If you like vintage crochet books, you may want to check out my occasional blog series, VintageNeedlecrafts Pick of the Week.

Written in 1973, Crochet and Creative Design by Annette Feldman is an interesting design primer.  Compared to contemporary texts, it is long on explanation and short on illustration.  If you are new to crochet design and can get your hands on a copy of this book, you will definitely learn a lot about how crochet fabric can be created and manipulated. This book also has some great ideas for stitch patterns and join-as-you-go strategies.  I especially love these circular motifs.

Anne Halliday’s 1975 book, Decorating with Crochet, appears to be a straightforward home décor pattern book.  But it actually stretches the boundaries to share some funky crochet wall art alongside granny square blankets and other crochet classics.  This framed piece of 3D crochet wall art is really cute.

But this eagle tapestry is even more dramatic.

Design Crochet, a compilation of the work of eight nationally known crochet designers, was edited by Mark Dittrick and published in 1978.  Many of the included projects are wearable’s that aren’t the types of outfits you’d wear around the house.  Rather, they are striking statement pieces.  One of my favorites is this Fantasy Coat by Del Pitt Feldman.

Another is the Butterfly Shawl by Jacqueline Henderson.

1979’s Crochet Workshop by James Walters (scheduled for re-release in March, 2014 takes a detailed yet whimsical approach to crochet.  Walters, along with Sylvia Cosh , was a freeform crochet advocate (or revolutionary, depending on your perspective).  My favorite piece from this book is his body suit.

Crochetqueen's Note: 

I've showed that picture of James in his body suit to my daughters and to this day, they haven't gotten over the memory! I was privileged to have James Walters and Sylvia Cosh stay at my house for two nights in 1997 after the Chain Link Crochet Conference that was held in Chicago. As I cooked dinner and Sylvia and James relaxed in the living room, she crocheted a "scrumble" for me which I treasure to this day.

And my favorite illustration from this book is this one demonstrating spiraling techniques.

What’s your favorite vintage source of inspiration for crochet art?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A History of Crochet, Part 2

1945-60 - “Well-Scrubbed Boys & Girls”-

With the return of the soldiers, priorities revolved around making up for lost time and fixing up the nest.  America settled into domesticity.  By the 1950’s, wholesome families were being raised in suburbia and stay-at-home moms formed sewing circles and gathered together to create friendship quilts.  Crochet was found in crafters’ totes everywhere.

Projects reflected the range of creativity from sequin snowflake tree skirts to ripple afghans.  “Aprons:  Icons of the American Home” is a retrospective exhibit that toured American museums through 2002.  “While these bow-in-the back aprons aren’t likely to return as a fashion statement, they are coming back, this time as collectibles.  As they disappear, so does an era’s worth of memories.  Aprons that wiped sweat off foreheads in steamy kitchens, dusted furniture, doubled as hot pads, and held peas from the garden when the bottom was pulled up.  Aprons remind us of mothers, grandmothers and our own pasts.”  Organizer, Trix Kout’s, says that among her favorites is an ecru-colored, doily-like crocheted apron with a yellow ribbon woven through it.

An exhibit of aprons in 2013, at the Gray’s Lake Historical Society Musuem  in Illinois shows that the allure of aprons has not gone away! The exhibit traced the history of Gary’s Lake through the array of aprons that were worn by its citizens in various jobs throughout history. A stunning example of a crocheted apron was included. 

The ubiquitous crocheted apron in Grayslake exhibit
Classic pineapple crochet apron from author's collection
The crocheted potholder, also representative of the fifties, was highlighted in Martha Stewart Living Magazine (2001). Nearly every branch of the needle arts including crochet was employed in their creation. Elaborate examples were crocheted for parties and holidays. Clearly crocheters were making pot holders for aesthetic reasons rather than for simple protection.

"Dress" potholder from author's collection

 1960-1970 - “Swirling Shapes”

There were many novel ideas and youth was celebrated in the 60s:  rock & roll, the mini-skirt and bell bottoms made in colors not found in nature like hot pink, lime green, turquoise!  President Kennedy reigned over a confident America but social change was beginning to swirl.  The Vietnam War incited protest and parents couldn’t figure out what the world was coming to. 

Without well-stocked crafts stores, most crafters contrived projects from common household items.  Knitters rejoiced in fuzzy mohair and crocheters added to bleach bottles and greeting cards.  Often a retreat from these unsettling times, crafts became common at the kitchen table.

After the war ended, adult boomers set out to “find themselves” while focusing on projects with and for the kids.  Influenced by the “Hippie” Movement,” crafters hastened to “let it all hang out” with tie-dye and batiks.  Outlandish colors were combined in outlandish ways in all these techniques.

The “boomers” were in college in the 70’s and women’s Liberation kept the protests going.  The economy was bad and “polite society” was out the door.  “By 1975, the Art to Wear movement had found its voice” according to Julie Schafler Dale, author of the book, Art to Wear. Crochet figured prominently in the movement in which “the body became a vehicle to express and animate visual imagery.”

Sit on It; Cedrus Monte; 1980; Cotton and wool; knitted, crocheted. From Maximum Coverage
“Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party (1979) was not the result of Chicago being a fiber artist. She chose to speak about women’s history in a medium commonly associated with women in this culture. Chicago is the first to point to the skills of many needle workers as invaluable to the completion of her fiber projects.” (Fiberarts Magazine, Summer 1990)

1980’s- 1990’s-“Freedom of Expression”-The 80’s were a “greedy” time and the emphasis was on the individual.  The pursuit of wealth dominated our life styles:  parents worked, children were over-scheduled after school and weekends gave them time to catch up.  Leggings and the over-sized sweater were in mode.

Trendy mothers embraced the country look, and sewed clothes for bears; Dads learned to cut out folk-art hearts in garage workshops.  Families invested in computer and the stock market only to be surprised by its great fall.

People sped through the 90’s hurried by the course of advancing technology.  They retreated into a world they understood; where they could create anything they wanted:  faux-painted walls, stenciled borders.  The harsh world didn’t matter as long as there was comfort waiting at home in the form of creating with their hands. 

In an issue dedicated to the womanly arts, Bust Magazine says in the editorial, “You’d figure that today, freed from the constraints of the home, we modern gals would have no problem reaching our full human capacities.  Don’t get me wrong-I dig my job, the ability to support myself and most of all the freedom to make my own choices.  But lately I’ve been rediscovering the joys of cooking, crochet, sewing, and other simple domestic activities, and the more I do, the more I realize how important these things are to a balanced, satisfying—even fulfilling-life.” 

Bust magazine for “women who have something to get off their chest,” is published by Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel. Debbie Stoller went on to write books that rode the wave of creativity that was flowing at this time. Her very popular “Stitch ‘n Bitch” series included a crochet version, The HappyHooker.
Vintage crafts, like filet crochet, took women a million miles away.  Still holding onto the old, yet embracing the new, they relished crafts they could do faster and easier. Crochet lace reminds us of the aura of yesteryear.  It is timeless and period styles add to a feeling of nostalgia.  Some lace is simply not made anymore.  Their beauty deserves to be worn and enjoyed by the wearer and by those who see her. 

Filet crochet pillow designed by author, Old-Time Crochet magazine, Spring 1999
As we entered the new millennium, crafts continue to both shape and reflect people’s heritage across generations.  Through war and peace, good times and bad, crafts offer a sense of continuity and accomplishment.  The D-I-Y (Do It Yourself) Movement was coming alive. “For those of us who consider needlework an essential part of life, we’re glad to see youth jumping on the learning curve of needlework ideas. According to Anneli Rufus, ‘It is a rebellion to our processed and homogenized world and it’s rebellion against paying retail.’ Every youth revolution must present itself as radical and new – even if in this case, the tools and fruits of that revolt are age-old and one of its driving forces is nostalgia.”  To read the entire article, 
"Craftivism," by Gwen Blakley Kinsler:

Yarn-bombing, an off-shout of the new wave of confidence felt by crafters is a type of yarn graffiti. Its bright and cheery colors bright out a warm and fuzzy feeling to viewers who don’t always know what to think. The crafter’s who do it want to beautify their world with yarn, make a statement or just plain have fun. They are secure in the notion, that it may not last but over night.
Dog Sculpture outside Radisson Hotel, Manchester, NH
Bombed with yarn from the conference goody bags

“Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting which included crochet, opened in 2007 at the Museum of Art and design in New York. It addresses issues of ‘craftivism’ that were spreading across the world. According to Martha Schewendener of the New York Times, “Given the show’s title, some visitors will arrive wanting to know how needlework, which runs counter to our technology and information saturated age, has become such a cultural juggernaut, and how it might serve to break down the barriers between artist and amateur, art and craft.” (from The FineArt of Crochet )

Author at Radical Lace exhibit, Indianapolis, IN

The ‘era of collaboration’ brought crocheters out into the public eye in 2007 and validated the worth of crochet as it took center stage in the Coral Reef Initiative. Thousands of crocheters came together to pay homage to the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. Still touring and engaging crocheters today, the Coral Reef has been responsible for enlightening museum and gallery patrons and raising awareness of the skill and diversity of crochet.
By continuing to embrace crochet as an important aspect of our lives and by teaching just one person, especially a young one, we are celebrating our foremother’s legacy and contributing to craftivism as well as to the future history of crochet!


Better Homes and Garden Crafts & Decorating Showcase

Cox, Elizabeth.  “The ‘Wearable’ Movement in Contemporary Art.’”

“Designer Wants People to Use Their Old Lace.”  Monterrey, CA:  Sunday Peninsula Herald, 9.22.85. 

Ferris, Monica.  Crewel World.  CA:  Berkeley Publications, 1999.

John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, wisconsin. Maximum Coverage: Wearable by Contemporary American Artists, Sept. 7-Nov. 9, 1980.

Kiewe, Heinz Edgar. The Sacred History of Knitting. Art Needlework Industries, 1967.

Matchan, Linda.  “Apron Strings Tug at Hearts of Collectors.  Chicago Tribune, October, 29, 2000.

McDaniel, Lynda.  “Portfolio:  Visions, Revisions.”  American Style Magazine, Fall 2000.

Schafler Dale, Julie. Art to Wear. New York: Abbeville Press, 1986.

“Take Back the Knit.”  Bust Magazine.”  Spring 2001.

Stoller, Debbie. The Happy Hooker. New York: Workman Publishing, 2006.

Trucko, Terry.  “Pot Holders”   Martha Stewart Living Magazine.  Winter, 2001.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A History of Crochet, Part 1

The word crochet is derived from the French word, croche, meaning hook.  Early on it was almost entirely a convent art, classified as nun’s work.  The exact origin and date of crochet is in great doubt.  Some believe it goes back to before the time of Christ, but there is no record of this form of needle art before the 1800’s and it was not until the 1840’s that written instructions were published.

Hand-turned hook from author’s collection

Archeologists believe the Israelites were familiar with crochet during the time of Solomon, before the first millennium BC when they left Egypt.  Heinz Edgar Kiewe, in his book titled The Sacred History of Knitting, concluded that crochet hooks were probably implements of that time. He refers to the story of one of Jesus’ followers, Akida Ben Joseph who was said to have used a crochet hook so that he might spend his time as a shepherd more usefully.

Crochet has been handed down from generation to generation through family and friends without written patterns.  It was very common to work directly from a picture of the finished work or from a sample of crochet.  Needlework was taught to the young women in school from the early 1800’s through the early 1900’s.  The needle workers never sat down with idle hands; they were also so in love with what they did that they found joy of making it.

Crochet sampler from author's collection dating from 1885
Before patterns were widely published crochet sample books provided a way to record favorite patterns and to share them with relatives and friends.  A crocheter added to her collection by exchanging samples with friends and relatives or by copying them.

Whether for commercial or personal use, sample books of this period, with their 100’s of carefully preserved patterns, document lifetimes of work by women dedicated to their craft. 

If you sit and quietly reflect, you can imagine the quiet hours spent, peacefully creating with crochet hook and thread.  It is as if the life of this needle worker is contained within the pages.  All the thoughts she had, problems she solved and pleasure she enjoyed during the many hours of stitching are contained there as well. To read the entire story of my sampler in Piecework magazine, 2001.

Monica Ferris in her mystery novel, Crewel World, wrote “If she could get into the rhythm of the needlework, she would find peace.  That’s why she loved needlepoint-it worked like meditation.  It was better than meditation, actually, because after a while you found you had both peace of mind and a work of art.”  

In the 1890’s women had no vote and could own no property.  The feminine ideal was to be a wife, mother and if healthy, she was considered property. In Victorian times words like “proper” and “well-to-do” described the status of women and their needlework.  Around the Turn of the Century, young girls sewed crochet edgings to towels, sheets, tablecloths and napkins and put them away in their hope chests for future use.

1900-1920 - “From Hard Work to Handwork”-Early in the 20th Century, the world was changing.  With the end of Queen Victoria’s reign and the 1893-97 Depression, colors and outlooks were appearing brighter.

In 1907 women were freed from the arm-wrenching laundry with the advent of the electric washing machine.  In rare moments of leisure, women did needlework.  Well-educated young ladies learned to crochet edgings and filet crochet adorned dressers and chairs.

Filet crochet chair back: "Take a Seat My Dear" and embroidery table runner
Fashion evolved rapidly from 1915-1920 when the Great War changed forever the role of women in society.  A continuing love of feminine details and an increasing need for practically in dress came together in the graceful lines of the Armistice Blouse and was enhanced by a soft delicate fabric and lace trim.

1920-45 - “The Thrifty Homemaker”
Women were flaunting their new-found liberation.  They more freely powdered their noses and advertised the fact by carrying elegant silver compacts and fancy compact holders.

Replica of an Irish Crochet compact cover -  
used by the author to teach beginning crochet 

Sewing machines and refrigerators allowed mom less time for housework and more time for handwork.  Home décor became the priority:  matched linen sets, bedspreads, curtains embellished with flowers.  Handwork catalogs offered handwork options like crocheted edgings and bedspreads.

The Depression forced thrifty homemakers to stretch their resources even thinner.  Mom crocheted and darned socks as the family listened around the radio to FDR’s encouraging words.  Crafts like table cloths emphasized practicality.

Making a pair of socks is certainly not something we have to do when we can buy a pair of socks for much less than $5.00, but a nostalgic step back brings us satisfaction.  Crocheting our own socks and learning techniques for to achieve fit and drape has proven to be wildly popular today. The very first pattern published by the Crochet Guild of America pattern series was a sock designed by Jackie Young.

When World War II broke out, thousands of women learned to crochet and knit socks, scarves and sweaters for care packages to the solders overseas.  As big band music blared, college girls crocheted purses and re-sewed gabardine skirts inside out to extend their wear.

Wartime left young brides at home filling their time making soap, sewing pillows and dreaming of a house with a picket fence. My best birthday present ever from my mom was two boxes of someone’s crochet work that she bought at a garage sale.  Department store shirt boxes served to contain samples of stitches and motifs along with a very kitschy crocheted hen and turtle.  I have always kept those boxes intact; I couldn’t bear to break up the legacy created by this anonymous needle worker.

Best Gift Ever

Turtle Soap Cover

To continue through the history of crochet to modern times, read my next post, The History of Crochet, Part 2!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: Blueprint Crochet Sweaters by Robyn Chachula

Monday, August 19, 2013
Blueprint Crochet Sweaters Techniques for Custom Construction
by Robyn Chachula

Wunderkind designer, Robyn Chachula, works as an architect, has babies and designs architecturally-inspired best-selling fashions! Her newest offering in the “Blueprint” brand is Blueprint Crochet Sweaters just published by Interweave. 

Because of her background as a structural engineer, Robyn has the ability to take big projects and break them in little chunks that anyone can understand. Her book will become the go-to guide for anyone who has ever been frustrated by less than pleasing results when crocheting garments. It is also a fantastic reference for wannabe fashion crochet designers, as well as a for seasoned professionals.

A one-of-a-kind, Blueprint Crochet Sweaters provides an approachable introduction to the topic giving readers a deeper understanding of crochet design, and helping them to make better-fitting garments in the process. Robyn’s purpose is to show the reader the various ways that garments come together. She uses sewing tools to provide a better understanding of crochet patterns and to demystify the making of changes and customizations based on their style and fit preferences.

In her collection of sixteen patterns focused on four basic garment types, classic, unique, clever motifs and top-down, Robyn’s friendly tutorial breaks down garment design into easily digestible parts and offer readers a deeper appreciation and understanding of crochet.

Available at Barnes and Noble: B&N:, Blueprint Crochet Sweaters retails for $24.95.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book Review: The Crocheter's Companion by Nancy Brown-revised and updated!

Thursday, August 15, 2013
The Crocheter’s Companion by Nancy Brown

Even though she is making a “comeback” with the updated and revised version of her best-selling how-to-crochet book, The Crocheter’s Companion, my friend Nancy Brown never went away! She has been a staple in the world of crochet for well over forty years. Nancy’s contributions to the image and popularity of crochet are endless. Before it was politically correct, Nancy was touting the advantages and delight of crochet in local yarn stores across her vast territory as a manufacturer’s rep for various lines of yarn. In groups and one student at a time, she has taught thousands to crochet. A long-time member of the Crochet Guild of America, Nancy served as President of the organization in addition to volunteering in many capacities.

With impeccable illustrations, an easy-to-understand format, and the most updated information available, this revised edition will soon become the only resource crocheters will ever need. Revised and updated in 2013 by Interweave Press, the book’s classy new cover foretells the precise and informative collection of crochet guidance inside. Its 5 X 7 inch format is designed to be a part of the crocheter’s basic tool kit, easy to carry along in the project bag for handy reference when needed. Inside the A-Z of crochet rules and tips are complete, including tools, yarns and gauges, crochet instructions, basic crochet stitches, advanced techniques, Tunisian crochet, familiar and favorite stitch and trouble shooting, just to name a few.

The bibliography is a source for other classic crochet guides and the list of associations will encourage crocheters to “hook up” with others that have the same passion for crochet. Novice or experienced, the Crocheter’s Companion is a “must –have” in any crocheter’s tool kit.
Nancy’s book is available at:  Amazon: and retails for $19.95.  

Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-596­68-829-2

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Craft vs. Fine Art: How is Crochet Blurring the Lines

I was awakening to the world of crochet in 1972,a time of immense artistic expression through fiber arts; and crochet was not the “ugly stepchild” at the time. In fact, Ferne Cone Gellar who I admire as a successful fiber artist said in “Knitting: The Stepchild of the Fiber Arts?” (Fibercraft Newsletter 1978), “Has knitting been slighted among the areas of the fiber arts? The very word ‘knitting’ evokes images of the little old lady in tennis shoes. Over the years, I’ve learned to ignore all those jokes.” Cone Gellar went on to publish Crazy Crocheting in 1981 and encouraged her readers to create more than bedspreads, providing ideas such as “things to play with or to display on a shelf or hang on a wall.” A photo of single crochet from bread wrappers served as inspiration. 

In 1972 in her book, Creating Art from Fibers & Fabrics, Dona Meilach wrote:

“Why are fibers and fabrics becoming increasingly appealing to artists? Most artists agree that because the materials are so varied, the expressive and decorative possibilities are unlimited. Soft and flexible materials allow you to create a new kind of sculpture, one that you can’t achieve with wood, stone, or metal. Because we all are so familiar with fabrics in our daily lives, we react to them personally, through their appeal to our visual and tactile senses.”

The forward to Maximum Coverage – Wearables by Contemporary American Artists, an exhibit at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Sept. 7-Nov. 9, 1980: “From the first fig leaf, wearing apparel has concealed and protected the human body. Furthermore it has given man a unique vehicle for self-expression and individualization. As the industrial age emerged, however, clothing became more utilitarian and conventional, and personal taste and style were increasingly subjugated to passing fashion and conformity. Then, in the 1960s, the counterculture “flower children,” reveling in an atmosphere free of social inhibition, used clothing as a badge of their newly won freedom. The human body, either unclothed or cloaked in elaborate fabric collages, became a stage upon which the drama of social upheaval took place. Out of this period of transition sprang the wearable art movement. The metamorphosis from simply experimental and self-expressive clothing to an exciting and important new art form was a natural one.”

Friday, August 2, 2013

"Brain Color Hooker" gives me a shoutout!

August 2, 2013
Thanks to my new friend, Sheila Glazov for the shout-out and for her great article which ties crochet to her brain color theories. She is one fantastic and brilliant woman, and I so love it that she has a new found excitement for crochet which is bordering on passion!