Discover the Story of Crochet

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a good friend's wedding reception. They wanted a homey feel, and so we gathered at local home that is being maintained by a historical society. The rooms are still furnished with original and early 20th century home decor.

Crochet Lace Edging  
Bart Elwell's adaptation of the crocheted fan edging sewn to a purchased baby pillow embellished with embroidery. PieceWork Nov/Dec 2012   

The pieces that really caught my attention were crocheted. There were pillow shams, doilies, table runners, and full bedspreads, each with a unique lace pattern. I am planning a return trip to study each delicate pattern. I want to know not only the stitches that create each piece but also the stories that they can tell about crocheters who came before me.

This fascination with not only crochet but its stories is why I love PieceWork magazine. Each issue is filled with stories of crocheters, embroidery artists, knitters, beaders, tatters, and more who told their stories through the work of their hands.

I am inspired by the delicate lace crochet pillow edgings of Mary Rebecca Spagnola.  Her daughter remembers that she "would ask friends and neighbors the color of their sofas and chairs and later would . . . incorporate those colors into lacy doilies and antimacassars that quickly and skillfully spiraled off her crochet hook." The fan edging pattern, adapted from Mary's edgings, is gorgeous. I plan to soon add a bit of Mary's story to my own bedroom.

  Crochet Edging
  My in progress lace sample created from the shown original Welsh lace trim. PieceWork Nov/Dec 2012 

The latest issue of PieceWork includes the sad story of Linda Ligon's family, filled with many of the common hardships of the time. Like many families in the late 19th century, they were soon divided by great distances as they went in search of a better life. There are few physical heirlooms left to tell the story of some members of these families besides a few pieces of lace. Linda says, "The lace itself has lived in trunks, boxes, and drawers for almost a century. It serves no useful purpose but to stand in mute testimony to scattered lives. And maybe that is use enough."

Imagine the stories your crochet will tell to future generations of crocheters. Discover the history of crochet, embroidery, knitting, and more as well as historical techniques and patterns by subscribing to PieceWork today.


Best wishes,

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