Earlier this week I spoke about a a new design to accompany a technique I had developed quite by accident! Today I wanted to continue that discussion with a little post on Crocheting with Color. However, writing takes us places, today it has taken me here:
Most contemporary crochet provides one great advancement after another. In fact, the other day, I was reading a back issue of Inside Crochet. It was issue 46 (as you can see I am a bit behind on my reading) and Joanne Scrace (aka Notsogranny…check out her AMAZING blog here) designed this sweater called the Dorothea Pocket Sweater. When I first saw this I kind of just glanced over and thought, “Hmmm…a single crochet sweater…not that big of a deal. Its beautiful but not out of the ordinary.” The I read the pattern! Y’all! I LOVE patterns like this. Short row shaping, waist shaping, fit. Everything you could want in a proper modern crochet pattern.
I say all that to say this, it is a new generation. It is a new and exciting time in Crochet. The day of oversized drop shouldered sweaters are out. Well fitting, well designed, well though out, garments and accessories are here to stay.
When I began designing crochet a few years ago, I had one goal, to show that crochet (and really handmade as a whole) could be beautiful. Every time I designed something I would ask the Mr. what he thought. “Its crochet, ” he would say, “You know how I feel about crochet…”
However, each month, as I show him the beauty that is being published out there he is consistently surprised and excited about everything I show him.
Now is H the fashion guru he thinks he is? No, however, to me he represents the general crafting public (he knits and crafts a whole) that so often sees crochet as inferior to knitting. Why? I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t care. Looking for answers to a question that you havn’t been around long enough to truly understand is fruitless.
Here is the thing, knitters of my generation have to let go. I think past generations of knitters were keen – rightly – not to be tied to the shameful design past of crochet, but the ramifications of this were that most knitters felt a sense of dread when approaching crochet. How can this be good for anyone? I also feel that to denigrate any fiber craft because it has traditionally been associated with a certain look is in itself detrimental to fiber crafts as a whole.
How do we move on? Well, simply, if I do say so myself, If we allow (especially here in the States) crochet to evolve and expand as a fashionable craft and take the kitschy, hokey, whole 1970s feel of it all, out of the equation…we can get there.
Putting a label on crochet that is negative is most unacceptable. Instead of banishing or even reducing the craft to a place of homemade instead of handmade we have to choose to make sure the designs are bold, inventive, and in loud harmony. We have to break the rules that in the last few years, the craft society has labeled us as.
I have such high hopes for crochet, such high hopes for design as a whole, such high hopes for knitters and crocheters as a community, and such high hopes for myself as a responsible designer.
What are your thoughts? How do you think we can help crochet to bridge the gap? Do you think crochet is fine where it is? Let’s get a discussion going!