March is National Crochet (and Craft) Month! An entire month devoted to crafting is really no different from any other month of the year for me but it’s a nice idea to promote crafts, raise awareness and celebrate creativity.
The modern art of crochet was developed during the 16th century. No one is certain but crochet could have European, Turkish, Arabian, Indian, South American and/or Chinese origins. It really began appearing in Europe in the early 1800s and was given a boost by Mlle. Riego de la Branchardiere, who published over 100 books.
Crochet has not only provided much needed warmth but also jobs. During the potato famine (1845–1850), Irish families relied on their earnings from crochet and many saved up enough to emigrate and start a new life abroad.
People used their fingers first but hooks were made from anything they could find: metal, wood, bone, old spoons, combs, brass, ivory, copper, vulcanite, silver and even walrus tusk. And materials used could be hair, grass, animal fur, hemp, flax, wool, silk, cotton, mohair, metal thread or string. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, with hundreds of colour and materials available and hooks made from metal, plastic or bamboo in more than 25 sizes!
Over time, crocheted items evolved from those of necessity to decorative ones like potholders, bird cage covers and teapot cozies. KAS has brought it around full circle, back to the basics. What a difference a simple square can make.
A few weeks back, Lion Brand posted this on Facebook: “Take a minute today to thank the person who taught you how to knit or crochet.” Well, that person is my Mom. When I was about seven years old, I woke her up from a nap and asked that she teach me how to crochet. Imagine if she hadn’t! Of all the things I’ve tried to learn – knitting, drawing, sewing, web design – crochet is the thing that has stuck. I am not only thankful to her for teaching me this craft, I am indebted. To my Mom: Thank you for changing my life, in more ways than one.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
On Saturday afternoon I had a wonderful and recharging visit with my best friend, Jessica. Good thing, because our family spent Sunday afternoon at the new Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan. We had a great time but I won’t miss the sound of 50 kids rifling through piles of Lego. If Mason wasn’t already immersed in the world of Lego, he is now. Evan even found a way to have fun – with Duplo animals.
THE SQUARES – WEEK 9
Embellishments! It occurred to me at the beginning of the week that my squares haven’t been fun enough. I’ve never been one to add things to squares because I find sewing a high maintenance activity but I went all out this week. Square one has a little envelope pocket; square two is a flower field with rolling hills; square three is a wishing star; square four has a heart pocket; square five has a visiting butterfly and dragonfly; square six has a pretty ribbon; square seven is a bobble square.
This week’s squares, combined with helping my superbly talented friend Cynthia at Prairie Sweet Bakehouse, made for some late nights and pie-eyed mornings but I think it was all worth it. Back to Prairie Sweet for a moment, Cynthia was chosen to be a new vendor at the Toronto Underground Market on Saturday, March 9. TUM focuses on promoting emerging companies in the food industry, perfect for Cynthia because she recently started her own confectionary company that uses a family recipe and local, quality ingredients to make delicious shortbread cookies.
Square Count: 63