Storytelling with Crochet

Crochet is captivating in its beauty. Hundreds of little stitches are combined in millions of possible arrangements to create a final a final work of art, whether it is a lace collar of intricate thread crochet or a simple hat to keeps a child's ears warm.

In our enjoyment of its beauty, it is sometimes easy to forget that each piece of crochet carries with it it own story, and that story can be just as beautiful as the piece itself.

The Fan Edging on this elegant baby pillow (at left) is breathtaking. The intricate thread lace is worked with a size 13 steel crochet hook, and each fan consists of 24 rows of tiny stitches. My mind is spinning with ideas. Wouldn't this be lovely at the edge of a sleeve or the hem of a dress? Luckily inspiration doesn't have to contemplate the hours of crochet needed to create the yards of lace I would need.

Bart Elwells adapted this edging pattern from a pillowcase created by Mary Rebecca Spagnola, who passed away while her children were still young. And it was Mary's needlework and crochet that led her granddaughter Rosemarie on a journey to discover Mary's story including how her gift at crochet had helped to support her family during the 1930s and early 1940s.

Another one of my favorites is the Orenburg Lace Shawl. This motif based project is a stunning work of art. But until I saw this shawl in the page of PieceWork I had no idea about the story of the goats of Orenburg. Orenburg goats, from which cashmere is derived, live near the southern tip of the Ural Mountains. White and gray are the most common fiber colors due to a fashion trend that led to breeding away from the brown that was seen as common. Due to this misguided breeding, brown cashmere is rare, but some Orenburg goats still produce this rare shade.

The story each piece of crochet tells is as beautiful as the project itself. Learn the stories behind crochet with a subscription to PieceWork magazine.

Best wishes,

P. S. We would love to here your crochet stories.

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