Crochet redux: The empowering nature of craft

Note to my readers: This post was first published on August 28, 2011 under the title “The empowering nature of craft.”

Yesterday when the power was out at my house, I had ample opportunity to work on my 2011 North Carolina State Fair project uninterrupted and free from distraction. I made substantial progress crocheting rectangles and squares for the 169 Bauhaus quilt blocks that will comprise the project.

Today the power was back on, but I tried to bring forward the focus yesterday’s storm had imposed on my crafting, and while I continued working on pieces for my 2011 state fair project, I also continued to think about the nature of craft and why it is we do what we do.

In her book, Crocheting in Plain English, Maggie Righetti notes in the title of her second chapter: Dreams Are the Stuff Reality is Made of.

This observation/chapter title certainly strikes a chord with me. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I will be just 43 days away from transforming this bowlful of crocheted pieces (and many others):

crochet bauhaus squares and rectangles
I continue to work on filling the pioneer bread bowl with Bauhaus crochet pieces for my 2011 North Carolina State Fair project

from a tangled jumble of colors with trailing strings, into a coherent and usable blanket, and for me, it is the element of decorative utility that craft embodies that makes it both enduring and endearing.

One project that is particularly dear to me is a skirt I made from a pattern featured in Doris Chan’s book, Amazing Crochet Lace.

There is, in the introduction, a delightful story about how Ms. Chan came to design these pieces which she describes as “exploded lace,” and the story exemplifies the fact that dreams are indeed the stuff reality is made of.

I made this skirt when I was at a point in my life when I was experiencing a slump in my crochet. I was a bit off track, and not only was I not starting new projects, I wasn’t even finishing old ones. I needed something to reset my crafting self, and this project proved to be just the thing.

Armed with a 4.5 mm hook and several skeins of Patons Grace yarn in the Tangelo colorway, I set to work, carefully following the directions.

In two days time, I had finished the skirt and renewed my will to craft. Here is one view of the skirt:

crochet skirt
Doris Chan’s design, Walking at Midnight crochet skirt

and here is another:

crochet skirt
Another view of Doris Chan’s design, Walking at Midnight crochet skirt

This skirt is special to me not just because I love the design and the way it works with the yarn, but because it helped propel me to once again find my way in my chosen craft, and crafting is, ultimately, about the power to transform ourselves and the world around us.

4 thoughts on “Crochet redux: The empowering nature of craft

  1. Needed to hear this. I am too in a slump. my tornado hit house,Having some unexpected company that demands a lot of my emotional attention.and all sorts of full-moon life things.. Reading this great blog and others does help me stay and touch.Your last line says so much,Thank You..

  2. ps Love The Skirt….Doris Chan is amazing..I am a fan of pineapples in any form (just made a scarf of them) in the skirt they look wonderful….(at least I hope I am seeing pineapples)

  3. your comment…This piece is so true. A few projects have surprised me lately and relit my enthusiasm for my crafts. A Doris Chan sweater for myself is one of these projects. I am always looking for inspiration and this blog is thoughtful, insightful, and inspiring. Thanks.

  4. I too have been in a slump. Projects remain unfinished. The Hawaiian Flowers and a shawl..You give me renewed interest and hope to pick up my hook.
    I have been so homesick for my friends and son up North

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