Crochet in the wild

There are a lot of things I love about crochet, but one of the things I love most is how wonderful it feels to stumble across a piece when you don’t expect it. I love that paradoxically startling and reassuring feeling I get when I come across a crochet object in what I think of as “the wild.”

It gives me the sense of being an explorer discovering something that is familiar in a setting that is not.

It can be something like this crochet afghan I rescued that was being used as a window covering in an abandoned house that had been condemned:

crochet granny square blanket
Crochet granny square blanket resuced from an abandoned house

Or this doily (also used as a window covering) in a window somewhere in Savannah, Georgia, that was another delightful serendipitous find:

window with crochet doily, crochetbug, crochet circle, crochet in the wild, ecru
Serendipitous crochet doily in the window of a building somewhere in Savannah, Georgia

Or the small crochet hat worn by this plastic toy that was spinning without pause on a turntable in an Urban Outfitters display in Washington, D.C., one Thanksgiving:

So I was beyond delighted recently when I went to get myself a cup of coffee at a nearby Starbucks and  ran into a woman with this obviously handcrafted purse:

Aluminum can tab crochet purse observed in the wild
Aluminum can tab crochet purse observed in the wild

I stopped to ask her if I could take a photo, and she graciously agreed, telling me the story of how she got the purse (a relative made it), and she told me about all of the other crafting that her relative did. I am always delighted to learn that there are others similarly obsessed.

As for the purse, it embodied so many elements of crafting that I love, it was hard to pick a favorite feature.

While it very much has a “use what you have” aspect to it with the aluminum tabs, it is also very fresh with the simple, but underutilized, stitches, and a very “everything old is new again” approach.

I am always inspired when I find crochet “in the wild,” and it helps give me some perspective and insight into just how much a person can change the world, even if she only works one stitch at a time.