2011 in crochet: Dolce and Gabbana, poker afghan, Magda Sayeg, yarn drum

Each week I go back to these same dates on the Crochet Concupiscence blog last year. I look at what I was writing about then and update you about the things that have changed in relation to those posts. It’s a way for you to see things you might have missed and learn how crochet art, fashion and design are developing over time. At the end of the post is also a look at this date in crochet history. I hope it’s a series that you enjoy! Here is this week’s information …

Crochet Art

The crochet artist I profiled was successful yarnbomber Magda Sayeg. I explained that she’s primarily a knitter but also includes crochet in her yarnbombed work and that she sometimes works with other stitchers to complete large projects. What I enjoy about her work is its bold colors and the way she really adds some edginess to how crochet and knitting can be perceived by the genreal public. Sayeg has been hired by several large brands, like Smart Car and Sudafed, to bring yarnbomb art into advertising. Her blog shows that she spent a lot of time traveling this summer, doing various art projects around the globe, and mentions two upcoming projects that I’m excited about: a pop-up shop and a collaboration with TOMS.

Crochet Books

I was reading a lot of craft books that weren’t crochet specific like Maria Elena Buszek’s Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art Crochet Book Winner, Lots of Reading and More in Kathryns Corner, which is about the role of craft in art over time.

I reviewed Cute & Easy Crochet Cute & Easy Crochet Book Review by Nicki Trench. I concluded that “This is a well-written book with a lot of fun projects designed to take the beginner through a progression of crochet skills. I like it!” Nicki had a new crochet book come out in April 2012 called Cute and Easy Crocheted Baby Clothes, which looks like a garment-based natural extension of the Cute and Easy Crochet book. Nicki is also has a brand new book out that I’m personally really interested to see called Geek Chic Crochet: 35 Retro-inspired Projects That Are Off the Hook. It’s filled with quirky-but-stylish modern garments based on vintage styles.

Crochet News

My favorite news-y post from this time last year was a roundup of 25 crocheter interview links. Other news included:

The CraftSocial monthly Twitter chat had started. I participated in the October 2011 chat where we talked about “crafting, how we identify ourselves as crafters, how we tell people about the craft work we do, etc”. Although I haven’t participated every single month that it’s been available, I try to participate in these ongoing chats when I can because I find them extremely useful, informative and fun. I participated in the October 2012 chat, as well, where we discussed what “value” means in handcrafted business and how to add value.

I shared the story of Margaret Rosina Perring who was still crocheting at the age of 106. I don’t have an update on her but have to wonder if she’s still crocheting now at 107!

Lots of people were crocheting for charity; I did a roundup post of 8 different news stories on that topic.

Crochet Fashion

My favorite piece in the October 2011 celebrity / designer crochet roundup was this great coat by Cardon. I’ve since learned more about this Argentinian company founded in the late 1980’s. “Cardon set out to rescue the tradition of country clothing and accessories in the conviction that the identity of a people comes before fashion.” Their work incorporates handcrafted details including, but not limited to, crochet. I like the brand’s overall approach and style.

Crochet Quotes

Here were some of the smart things people said:

“A beautiful edging is the perfect finishing touch to any design.” – source

“Granny and I have had an interesting relationship. I’m not going to pretend to be one of those crocheters who has always been enchanted by granny squares. For most of my life, granny squares were associated with tacky couches covered in clear plastic, saggy nylons, and the smell of mothballs. … It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve see the versatility in this classic shape, the vibrant color potential, and how fashionable granny squares can be. Granny’s everywhere, y’all, and she’s staying out late!” – Art, Like Bread

“You might be under the impression that crochet design is a free flowing process from inspiration to finished project. It often involves more blockades then you’d expect.” – Poetry in Yarn

“As a designer, I do a lot of swatching. Whether just for fun or with a specific idea in mind, making swatches gets me in the groove of crocheting, and in an almost meditative way, lets my mind wander to think of new ideas.” – Linda Permann

“Crochet has now established itself as a popular contemporary craft with people flocking to classes to learn this traditional skill that has somehow missed a generation, while the previous generations took it for granted as a handed-down knowledge.” – Nicki Trench

Crochet on Etsy

I compiled an Etsy Treasury called What’s Your Vice showing crochet items related to vices like gambling, smoking and drinking. Cheeky fun. The image above is a crochet sock monkey coffee cup cozy by CloudTwine, which I included because coffee is my own personal vice. In fact, I also put together a blog post during this week last year featuring 5 crochet items for coffee lovers.


I was interested in ArtBin’s Yarn Drum as an option for organizing crochet hooks. I still think it looks like a good option although I haven’t tried using it myself.

I reviewed Rowan’s Designer DK Wool. I concluded that although this yarn has been discontinued, it seems to still be widely available and may be worth checking out if you enjoy working with 100% solid color wool yarn. Coincidentally, I worked with what I had left of this yarn just a few weeks ago to make a slouchy beret style hat. I do think it’s a decent yarn although I have since found other DK weight wool yarn I’d prefer such as Innamorata by Yarns of Italy.

What I Was Up To

I made a crochet plarn contribution to the Something in the Water art project. I can’t believe that was already more than a year ago! The project grew from there with a spinoff project in Brazil. It has now recently been introduced in Turkey.

I made quite a few crochet bags to use in place of holiday gift wrapping.

I was exploring the blogroll links in various blogs for my Hooked Together Project. I explained that “one of my biggest goals of Crochet Concupiscence is to help strengthen that community by supporting the work that other crochet bloggers are doing as well as introducing those bloggers/ blogs to one another.” Strengthening ties within our community continues to be something I enjoy doing.

I asked you, my wonderful readers, to consider nominating me for inclusion as one of the Inside Crochet Top Craft Blogs. You came through for me and I was nominated and ended up being named one of the Top 5 Craft Blogs of 2011. I was featured in the magazine this year, too, in the October 2012 issue where they reviewed my book, Crochet Saved My Life.

This Day In Crochet History

I looked up this date in crochet history and found that a lot of newspapers in 1961 were featuring crochet patterns for sale by a designer named Alice Brooks. The image above is of one of those patterns, which is described as a “practical set in white with gaily colored flowers” that will make your daughter “look as cute as she is warm!” The pattern could be obtained via mail for 35 cents plus the cost of shipping, which at the time would have only been ten cents.

Did you miss any of these posts last year? You can visit the originals using the links throughout this post.


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

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