Sara’s Craft Blog

Crochet, Quilts, Knitting, and any other needlecraft I can find!!

  • WIPs

    Arbor-style filet crochet curtain (3); Pink Panther afghan (pattern won't be available, this is a licensed product); New theme for checkerboard afghan; Noble Reflections Dimension Cross Stitch (Native American); Baby Afghan to sell; Broom Dolls (Have 4 ready, a dozen in the works); Idea to design for a nurse's item; 2 scrub caps; Re-learning to tat :)
  • March 2009
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Archive for March, 2009

Remember Hope Chests ?

Posted by sara1955 on March 23, 2009

I remember as a teenager receiving a mini hope chest for graduation from one of the hope chest manufacturers. All the graduating girls received them. The little thing is about 1/3 the size of a shoe box. It’s lined with cedar (mmmm!!!). It included a coupon for dollars off the purchase of a full-sized hope chest. I even bought a “good” set of cookware before I moved out on my own. My mother taught us to be prepared.

I’m not sure today’s teens know what a hope chest is. I’m going to rant briefly. It seems we have a few “good” kids and MANY not-so-good kids out there.  I know (this is fact) that many teen girls today want a baby.  They want a baby of their own.  Some of these girls might be the oldest daughter or child in a family and may be left baby-sitting her younger brothers and sisters.  She may want a child of her own so that she doesn’t have to baby sit any more.  Some may want a baby to have something “of their own.”  I’ve heard statements from teens of this fact.  It’s unfortunate that many have sex to start having “their own” family, some girls are younger that 13.  I know of many girls (yes, many) that are 13 and giving birth.  So, my rant is over …

I hope changing a focus for girls (and boys) today might help.

Let’s talk HOPE CHESTS! What is a hope chest, besides a wood box lined (usually) with cedar? It’s a box that girls put their newly made linens, laces, and other goodies waiting to set up their own household. Now you’ll notice I said household, not preparing to marry. Who says we have to marry to leave our parents’ homes? Who says one must be a girl to have a hope chest? I say each and every kiddo out there needs a hope chest. How will we fill it?

Hope chests should be filled with items needed in a new home, whether the home is an apartment or a house, shared with someone else or to be lived in alone. Let’s remember how expensive it is to set up a home with items we take for granted every day. Towels, wash cloths, sheets, pillows, sauce pans, skillets, microwaves, refrigerators, mops, brooms, vacuums, dust cloths, and a whole plethora of other items …. Paper towels, toilet paper, glass cleaner, dish soap, automatic dish soap, laundry soap, etc., etc., etc. Below are a few suggestions of mine to help fill the chest:

Towels: bath, hand, kitchen
Wash cloths: bath and kitchen
Sheets, pillows, blankets
Shelf liners!!!
Sewing kit/Mending kit
Pattern books (never ever, ever go unprepared for needlework)
Pot holders/ hot pot pads
Pretty new nighties (okay, we need those! We do!!!)

Girls and boys should learn how to sew a button on, repair a tear in clothing, knit or crochet an afghan. These are every day skills that come in awfully handy. They need to learn how to do laundry, including how to separate laundry (ugh! Pink underwear for boys hehehe). They need to know how to wash dishes, not only how to load a dishwasher. Learning the basics makes each and every one of us prepared for tomorrow. We may, or may not, be in a position to hire someone to do these mundane chores … but if we have to do them ourselves, we need to know how to do it!!

So, to make things for the hope chests, I’d like to hear YOUR suggestions. Do you have something that you’d like instructions to make? I’d love to see your comments.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Tunisian

Posted by sara1955 on March 17, 2009

There is one site that is absolutely awesome with information about Tunisian crochet, everything from stitches to patterns to …. well just EVERYTHING!!!  chezcrochet.com is out of this world!  ARNie is quite knowledgeable and shares her knowledge in a very logical order.  She has a variety of information available without cost.  ARNie also writes books that are a definite “must have.” 

If you’ve never crocheted using the Tunisian technique (remember afghan hooks?  it’s the same thing), ARNies link is the place to go.  She also has a yahoo group for even more information.  

I can’t add more at this point than ARNie has on her site so do check out chezcrochet.com and tell ARNie Sara sent ya’!

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March is National Crochet Month

Posted by sara1955 on March 4, 2009

So, let’s all learn something.  I’ve always heard that when you become a teacher, you become your own best student.  I’m usually a one-on-one teacher, but I’m flexible <grin>.  So, I’m ready to learn a little more about crochet history.  This is a very brief overview.

Most needlework as we know it has been around for centuries.  That isn’t true for crochet.  As a matter of fact, crochet has an elusive history.

According to my Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, crochet is defined as:

     (as a noun) needlework consisting of interlocked looped stitches formed with a single thread and a hooked needle.
     (etymology) French, from croche “hook,” of Scandinavian origin.
     (as a verb) to make of or work with crochet.

Sailors whiled away time making nets with knots.  There have been reported depictions on ancient shards of pottery of chain-like strings.  I’ve even read reports of “finger-hooking” or “making lace in the air”.  Crochet may have disintegrated so that it is unrecognizable in excavations on ancient sites.  There is no definitive answer on ancient crocheting, nor is there accepted evidence, as of this writing, of crochet before the 1800s.

During the potato famine, nuns, who previously taught knitting and lace-making to the poor for cottage industries, began teaching crochet to those same people.  Crochet mimicked lace borders and European laces.  As these peasants immigrated to the US, they brought their skills.  Pioneer women walking or riding with their wagons would work on crochet to decorate their new homes in the West.  Notables were crocheting as well; Queen Victoria was seen crocheting in public.

Crochet seemed to almost disappear from view in our more recent times.  Today, crochet is “hot” again.  Lacey designs, baby items and warm comforters grace our homes again.  We warm our elderly and cuddle our babies in afghans.

Crochet has evolved with the times.  Cro-tat, crochenit, Tunisian crochet (previously known as the afghan stitch with an afghan hook) and filet crochet (one of the older forms of crochet) keep our creative juices flowing and our fingers busy.  In this month of National Crochet Month celebrations, I challenge each crocheter to teach someone special simple stitches.  I also challenge my fellow chrocheters to learn and grown in his or her own craft.

Remember, the teacher is the best student.

Want to learn more?  Try these links:
     Crochet Guild of America:
          Teacher resources:  http://www.crochet.org/teach/toc.html 
          Crochet History:  http://www.crochet.org/newslet/nl0997a.html 
     Crochet stitches:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_crochet_stitches

Happy Hooking, fellow crocheters!

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