Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Crochet Shadow

I am drawn to blogs like attic 24 and completely cauchy because the art of the crafter comes through in everything they do.
But I have had an aversion to crochet.
When I was growing up, my mom, my nanny and my sisters and I knit. Knitting was proper. We made scarves and doll clothes and baby things. Once in a while someone would undertake a sweater. I made miles of orange garter for a blanket. There were needles and books and yarn lying around like Bronte novels.
But my paternal grandmother was a crocheter who fancied especially scratchy and livid yarns. We were saddled with slippers that cut our feet and afghans that could be seen in the dark and were too dense to mop up spilt tea.
I did learn to make irish doilies from the craft encyclopedias Mom bought us. I did start a tablecloth on our honeymoon but gave it away when my hand was hurt in a riding accident.
My family was an early adopter of the "Little House On the Prairie" look that diverged from the hip and garish look of the 70's.
So when I drool over Chawne's bold use of stripes or Lucy's riot of happy colour, I am torn from my classic monochromatic, maybe blue comfort zone.
Lately I have been adding colourful accents to my rooms to add a touch of light heartedness.
I have also been crocheting. This colourful crayon granny square blanket is hiding in the basement.
I have one blanket in 3 undyed shades of alpaca,

 and a giant hexagon of black and grey for the dog cushion,

 but I have been dreaming in colour. Slowly I am stepping out from the crochet shadow of the past.
If you follow me on Ravelry, you may have noticed the recent "favouriting" of the afghan patterns that are hot right now. They are especially gorgeous in the new exotic yarns. I cringe a bit when I see them done to my grandmother's satisfaction.
But in the crochet pages, Japanese sensibility mixes with German ingenuity. You must see Rosa P.
I am so happy to have been admitted into this new design world where the ideas and photos are as brilliant as the knitters'.
I am on the verge on no longer apologizing for my crochet. I can make things without a pattern. Because the new blogs and tutorials are so good, I'm actually doing it correctly. I tried to offer a crochet class at our LYS because I would like to spend more time there and have much to offer, but there was little feed back. But now I have all the teaching materials and could help others freely.
Growing up, we sewed and glued and drew and painted. I was about 4 when my mom decided we would make Mrs. Dixon, our babysitter (nanny) a beaded curtain from rolled magazine sheets. I still remember the smell of turpentine. Each sister had a creative stamp from restrained elegance, to Van Gogh colour bravery, to diminutive detail. I was just the caboose, taking it all in and copying until I found my own sea legs.
And I was the writer.
Today I am quarantined as I try to shake the sore throat and keep it from infesting my lungs. I feel blessed to have had such a tumultuous up bringing. I seek out more mentors, and I can use my writing to play with my crafting and exploration of a colourful world.

1 comment:

cauchy09 said...

oh, i'm only in it for the colors! i look forward to seeing your crayon square blanket grow.

when i first started making stuff, i only used blue, white, garnet, gray. but then i read something from Kaffe where he said his solution to color combo problems is always to ADD more colors. that's the policy i live by. always more colors, more colors!

good luck!