Jane's Hooked on Crochet

A place to write about my crocheting, things I'm learning, book reviews, ideas, projects in mind, works in progress, patterns, photos, fair entries, whatever...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I've crocheted myself into a medical condition. I have tendonitis in my right shoulder. I am trying very hard not to do any crocheting, and give the shoulder a time to heal. Problem is, I have all those ideas from the conference.
In my usual crochet time, I am looking at patterns on the web and at crochet books. From the library yesterday, I borrowed Woman's Day Book of American Needlework. This was written by Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder of the Little House on the Prairie books. The book's subtitle is A Comprehensive History, from Colonial Times to the Present with 140 Full-Color Illustrations and 50 Black-and-White Drawings, plus Step-by-Step instructions for every type of Traditional American Needlework with Hundreds of Graphs, Diagrams and Charts. That's a mouthful.
The book reads a little like a history book with a totally different point of view. No lists of wars, battles, dates and generals, etc. But American History told through the point of view of women transported from the "Old World" to a "New World". Chapters include Embroidery, Crewel, Cross-stitch, Needlepoint, Patchwork, Applique, Quilting, Hooking, Crochet, Knitting, Weaving, Candlewicking and Rugmaking. Of course, I read the crochet chapter first, but the writing is so engaging that I started from the beginning and I'm enjoying the entire book. Rose Wilder Lane has such a love for needlework, and I appreciate her view of crochet as America's real lace. "Someday collectors will value American laces as now they value the laces of fifteenth-century Italy, and they will say: "The revolutionary spirit of the New World is in this lace. It follows no tradition; it is true only to eternal principles of mathematics and art. Each piece of it has its own individual character. Patterns are repeated, but the tension of the thread, the rhythm of the stitches, the effect of the whole, shows you the personality of the unknown maker.'"Of interest to me is that the afghan stitch is included in the how to crochet section, but only one example of the stitch is shown in the 200+ pages of the book, and that is in the chapter on needlepoint! There is a beautiful needlepoint of a dog, surrounded by a wreath of ivy, in the center of a carriage blanket made in afghan stitch crochet. Correction, the 5-Panel afghan shown in the crochet section has 3 panels worked in crochet with front post doubles, and 2 panels in a striped pattern with a variation of the afghan stitch.
The book was printed by Simon & Schuster in 1961, 62, and 63. It would be a great addition to a needlework collection.


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