Home for Crochet
Note from the PieceWork editors: Marcy Smith, editor of PieceWork's sister magazine, Interweave Crochet, just spent the last few weeks working in our home offices in Colorado, so we asked how things had been going. She regaled us with stories of detours and pit stops on her road trip from North Carolina, the alpaca farm location for her next photo shoot, and her penchant for vintage crochet magazines, but her musings on Wyoming's needlework past was our favorite. Here's Marcy:
I like to rescue vintage fiber crafts. At estate sales and flea markets, I always have my eye out for handmade fibers looking for a new home. A recent find was a hand-pieced and handquilted queensize quilt that I found loitering in a costume shop in Los Angeles. I purchased it for a ridiculously low sum of money, washed it up, and put it on my bed.
Recently, I was in Cheyenne, Wyoming, thrift-store mecca, and wandered into a big building with Antiques emblazoned on the side. Downstairs I found a circa 1970s granny-square afghan for less than 10 dollars. Surely that needed a home in North Carolina. I thought my work was done. Then, over by some tiny tin Jell-o molds and trinket boxes from London, I found the most extraordinary thing. It was a swath of crocheted fabric lashed to a stick. It took me a moment to figure out that it was—a crocheted flyswatter!
It might have been white kitchen twine at some point, but it is now dingy with darker spots that I don't want to ponder too much. It has been darned in a couple of places, so it saw some use. I secured my flyswatter (set me back a buck) and wandered out, pondering its origin.
Thelma is in the kitchen of her remote ranch house (in Wyoming? Nebraska?), done, done, done with the flies that keep pestering her as she puts up peach jam. She needs a way to swat them away. She could get one of those new-fangled flyswatters, thought up by that Kansas doctor in aught-five. But she wouldn't be trekking to the dry-goods store for a few weeks yet.
An hour or so of work and her life was better, all thanks to crochet.
A sense of the past informing the future is what we aim to capture in Interweave Crochet. You'll find fashion-forward designs that you can use for years. It's both practical and beautiful, and all of it builds on the crochet techniques used by Thelma and her crocheting peers of the past.
P.S. I'm seeking out the true history of this flyswatter and will let you know when I learn more!
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