Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crochet, Embroidery & Other Home Arts

I don't crochet much now.  My sister is a talented and prolific crocheter, she crochets as I used to, in front of the tv, while waiting for an appointment, any excuse to pull out one of many projects finds her busy. I do hope to get back into it, perhaps when I am retired, and have those imagined long blocks of time to pursue it.  Not that I don't have blocks of time now, but I tend to waste them on less productive things, like tv, and, ohhh....blogging and other fun stuff on this li'l computer. Seeing the items Julie produces, tho, I want to reintroduce crochet to my spare time.

There are not a lot of crochet items being used in my house currently, having just packed away my Christmas afghan which has been my largest project to date. I do want to share a piece near to my heart. This lovely ruffled doily was made by my grandma Wiseman, a woman of many talents who not only crocheted but quilted, sewed, cooked and canned what she grew in her garden. She also worked full time and raised a large family. Whether it was preserves put up for winter or finishing up another quilt which was immediately used on someone's bed, many if not most of the items in our parents and grandparents homes were made by hand, with love and skill.

I'm sure many of us have very fond memories of growing up learning from our elders how to embroidery pillowcases, then trim them out with a crocheted edging. There just doesn't seem to be a call for those whimsical dishtowels and pillowcases we learned our sewing skills on nowadays. I will see a prestamped pattern in the craft section of a store, and it makes me yearn to invest in hoops and silky strands of richly colored gloss. 

I occasionally will run across some of these scarves and pillowcases and doilies in a secondhand or antique shop, and I always admire, and wonder if I could find a place to display these as the works of art they are. My mom, beginning when my sisters and I were around 12, would set us up with our first embroidery hoop and either a pillowcase or dishtowel to start our training on.  It was a fun way to learn basic stitching skills, and resulted in a personalized item for our....shall I dare it to say it.... Hope Chest!  I still love the concept of a hope chest, old fashioned as it may be. How outdated can the notion of accumulating items you made yourself to use in your own future home be, really?

Who knows, give it another generation and maybe the kittens hanging out laundry on Monday will be framed and displayed as the art of our parents generation.


crazymotheringchick said...

Well, when we're running the roads together in Nashville, we'll have to stop where they sell the nicest yarns, yes? Swap and share patterns, and come up with some of our own? Can't wait.

I keep saying I'm going to make some edges and sew some pretty nightgowns and robes, gotta get to that.....

Lynette said...

I love crocheted borders and embroidered pillow cases. Look on the Anthropology shop website and you might notice that they have had or still have gorgeous, romantic crocheted bed spreads with loads of different sized flowers randomly scattered all over it and they also have crocheted little dresses etc. You will love that shop. They have 2 big shops in Miami.
I'm still new at crochet but at least I made a little cell phone holder to carry around my gran's neck. I have taken one of my crochet squares, folded it in half and embroided 2 little kitty kat's sitting under a sun. My Gran is getting a special Tracfone SVC phone as she can't see so well, as it's got the big keys and big letters on the screen and she has to wear the phone around her neck in case she falls so that she can phone us for help. It cost only $15 and $7/month for service.
What I love about crochet are the colors of the yarn and old time romance of the craft, you can make cheap beautiful gifts and you can make heirloom pieces that you can hand down the generations.

Denise at Forest Manor said...

These vintage crocheted and embroidered treasures are so pretty! My sister recently learned to crochet, and she's made me two winter scarves. I really enjoy wearing them. :)

Thanks so much for your visit and your kind comments. Hope you have a great week!


Chris said...

Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Kitchen-Dreams said...

Love the doily that your grandma made! I have a lot of these types of items from my mom. I did see a table runner made out of doilies stitched together. If you find any interesting ways to display them please post!

fredafamish said...

Great idea to crochet a really nice cellphone pouch for granny to keep her cellphone in. An even better idea is to purchase her the Tracfone Samsung T155. It's features are compatible for those who strain their eyes or ears. The phone only costs $15 with $7 a month for service. Plus the wool for crocheting you should have a really good gift for grandma for under $27!