Vintage Crochet Flowers
In February of 2010, Lesley and I did and interview for the UK handmade blog and the final question we were both asked was 'If you had time to learn a new skill, what would it be?'. Lesley answered 'Tatting' and my answer was : 'crocheting – using vintage thread of course. Also bookkeeping, I need all the help I can get with that one!'
The brain splinter I had the whole time was to be able to make vintage looking five petalled flowers in faded old threads to include in Medieval/Victorian workbox inspired accessories. I think I'd got the idea from these lace samples I'd bought at a vintage fair www.flickr.com/photos/wychbury/3866930573/in/ set-72157612....
Well this Christmas I'd asked for 'The Happy Hooker' book and I bought a set of hooks from ebay but still to no avail, I just couldn't wrap my yarn around it! Once again the crochet got shelved and I resigned myself to askill unmastered. until my lovely friend Sharon stepped in. Almost immedietly on our arrival for tea at her house, she put a hook, some sparkly yarn and a glass of white in my hand and informed me quite bluntly that I was not leaving until I had made a granny square. She knew all along that she could teach me but I was a little resistant, I'd tried and tried after all and my loops were still tight and my yarn was still split. But with a quiet, smiling certainty Sharon insisted that if I followed her instructions I could do it - anyone can.
She firmly corrected me when I screwed it up, when I got it right she encouraged me in a 'Of course that's right - it's that simple' kind of a way and one glass later I had a 3" piece of very wobbly double crochet in sparkly teal wool. OK then, moving on - straight headlong into the granny square, guess what - it's easy! My friend's approach is that she is 'sharing' rather than teaching, she has a discovered something joyful and firmly insists to the most unsuspecting people that they share in the joy. The yarn and hook is presented as a binding contract between giver and receiver and you feel unable to fail. And she is right, we DO need crochet like we need those new boots or NY vanilla cheesecake, we will forgo sleep for it and work on a blanket in public unashamed.
As you can see I have now completed my first project with the balls of James C Brett Twinkle as bequeathed by my tutor, mentor and possibly my religious leader! My knee rug is 120cm square and used up more or less every scrap of Twinkle Yarn I had. I had since met some amazing crochetists and discovered some wonderful online recources. I'm never going to be in their league I don't think, I will always be a fabric and thread kind of a girl at heart, but what about my vntage flowers? Well using this wonderful tutorial from Applehead, they too are becoming a reality! applehead.typepad.com/applehead/crochet_flowe rs/ I am definitely needing some even smaller hooks that the 2mm one I have used so far and I may also need a magnifier if I'm honest but my first attempts are encouraging and I am looking forward to combining them with some old pearl beads and bronze findings to combine my new skill with some Wychbury style! www.flickr.com/photos/wychbury/6901502491/in/ photostream/
Many thanks to Sharon Lambert, Chrissie Freeth at The Yorkshire Craft Co. folksy.com/shops/TheYorkshireCraftCompany, Christine Harvey of Rose Cottage Crafts www.etsy.com/shop/RoseCottageCraftsUK?ref=pr_ shop_more, Lucy's attic24.typepad.com/