(Description: Crochet star, made of fine white cotton. The star has eight points.)
The intricacy of this star astounds me. I wonder who made it, and why she chose to make this particular piece of craft. Did she do it for sheer pleasure, or was she paid for it? Perhaps the unknown maker made it to sell to support her family.
I enjoy doing craft work, ‘though these days, it’s mostly knitting, making jerseys (jumpers) and cardigans for my girls. There are some wonderful craft blogs about the place: a few weeks ago I found The Little House by the Sea, written by Calypso. She’s got a pattern for some perfectly delicious hats there at present. Kakariki engages in seriously seditious stitching at Radical Cross Stitch, and Sue Tyler crafts at SuperVery – take a look at these beautiful tree pendants. I love the geurilla knitting on display in Outdoor Knit; we came across one of their earlier works (scroll down) during our last trip home to New Zealand. M-H at Witty Knitter has been a little quiet of late: I’m guessing that the thesis-crunch is biting hard at present. Her knitting is a joy to behold. There’s the lovely, smart, thoughtful, glamorous Megan, at Craft is the New Black. A glorious melange of feminism, food, thinking and craft: what’s not to like? On this side of the Tasman, Mim writes feminism, food, thinking and craft, and I am very proud to wear a beautiful bead necklace that she made. To me, there’s something special about wearing or using some beautiful thing that someone has crafted, especially if they have made it with me in mind. I’m guessing that tigtog loves the scarf that her mother made for her, not just for its beauty, but because her mother made it for her.
So many women I know do some craft work, and derive immense pleasure from it. But because we call it ‘craft’, it’s so easy to overlook the artistry in it. Or to fail to give it the honour it deserves. I enjoyed reading Rosemary McLeod’s book Thrift to Fantasy : Home textile crafts of the 1930s – 1950s (on loan from the library: I don’t have my own copy) not only for the glorious craft, but because it celebrates the skill and artistry expressed by women in their craft. (Douglas Lloyd Jenkins discusses the book in The Listener: “Getting through the Kiwi Gothic”.)
My current project is a jersey for the younger Miss Eight. After that I plan to knit something for me. Are you crafting at present? If you are, what are you making? Or what do you plan to make, one day…?