2011 in crochet: Alexandra Bircken, Lily Aldridge, MagdaleneKnits, BessetteArt cowl

All throughout the week I share news about 2012 crochet … except on Sundays when we take a look back at 2011 crochet and see if we can find updates to the news from then. Enjoy this week’s roundup:

Crochet Art

I profiled the organic sculptural crochet work of artist Alexandra Bircken. She had solo exhibitions in London and New York last year and she has 3 2012/2013 European solo shows listed on her CV along with participation in a 2012 group show. I know that at least one of the 2012 shows was focused on the idea of household domesticity, which of course crochet lends itself well to in terms of an art medium; the image above is from that show.

Crochet News

I wrote about Grandma’s Bar in Australia, a “granny chic cocktail bar” that sounded like a fun place to grab a drink. (They describe it on their website as a “retro-sexual haven of cosmopolitan kitsch and faded granny glamour.” I may actually get a chance to do this in the upcoming year because I’m going to Australia to give a talk about crochet and health for Healthivate 2013. Other crochet travel news I’ve written about in the past year includes retreats in Provence, Marrakech and the UK – all of wish I’d loved to have gone on if money had allowed.

A Christina Perri music video featured some crocheted text from Nancy’s Crochet. Nancy’s blog hasn’t been updated a whole lot recently but she’s still crocheting in the occasionaly updates we do see. As for Christina Perri, the singer’s second studio album is due out in Spring 2013.

Crochet Nose Warmer Sales Quadrupled in Second Year; it sounds like a joke but it was a real news headline!

Crochet Fashion

I did the November designer and celebrity crochet roundup, which included Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova in a black crochet dress for the November issue of Brazilian Vogue.

I did my roundup of 10 sexy men sporting crochet cowls. It was so fun to put that together – besides looking at cute guys I got a chance to hear some of the stories of how these dudes had ended up decked out in crochet cowls by their girlfriends for those photos and it was lovely to hear that behind-the-scenes support. Later in the year I did an Etsy treasury of men in crochet hats. I stopped the series after that but kind of wonder now – would you like to see more men in crochet featured on this blog?

I looked at the crochet work of Andres Courreges for my Designer Crochet Project series.

Crochet Quotes

A few of the things that some smart people said:

“Making timeless, unisex designs that will endure physically and fashionably is my passion.” Fibrevolution

“The fleece of the alpaca is one of the softest fibers on the market today. Either Suri or Huacaya are equally delightful to the touch. This fiber will have most yarn enthusiasts cooing over it. The first shearing is the softest.”- Holli Friedland

“Nothing says “home” to me more than a crocheted afghan made from loving hands.” – Jaybird Designs

“These days, instead of Cobain we have got the bearded Brooklynites, like the Mast brothers with their beautiful chocolate. Painters and musicians looking to make a decent living at their art, rather than to get rich. People who want to grow their own food, or crochet their own bedspreads. To use less and have less, but to have more beautiful things, and more mindfully. Again, there are growing indications that the craftsmen are trying to bring things back to a more human, manageable scale.” – Maria Bustillos

Crochet on Etsy

I was loving a freeform crochet jacket from Olgemini who does amazing work.

I was liking a crochet beret and sweater set for girls by Etsy’s MagdaleneKnits who made this lovely crochet shawl that I’m enjoying looking at on Etsy now.

I put together one of my favorite Etsy treasuries: 1920’s inspired crochet. One of my favorite sellers’ work featured in the treasury is DialM who also created the crochet cloche hat with bow shown here.


I suggested 3 books for people interested in yarn dyeing, something I was really interested in trying myself around this time last year although I never did end up trying it. I’ll have to add that to my 2013 to do list! The newest books I’ve seen come out about yarn dyeing are The Textile Artist’s Studio Handbook and Hand Spinning and Natural Dyeing but I still think that these first three I recommended would be great resources.

What I Was Up To

I was crocheting these two-toned circle cowl/ capelets that I loved – and still love!

I named 7 things on my Black Friday wish list as a crocheter. I’m not doing any Black Friday shopping (although I’m offering a sale on my book this weekend if you are!) But one thing from last year’s list that I never got and would still really like is a set of glass crochet hooks.

I shared an update of five things I’d learned so far from the Hooked Together project I was doing. I want to revive this project in some form but have to figure out how to make it less time-consuming and also more organized. In the meantime, I keep up with my regular Saturday link love posts to celebrate all of the great crochet bloggers online.

I started my 31 Days of Crochet Giveaways for the month of December. This year instead I’m doing a 12 Days of Crochet Christmas Giveaway.

I also launched my 2011 daily Awesome Crochet Blogger awards, which I’ll be doing again this December. It kicked off with an award for Marie of Underground Crafter for best crochet interviews.

This Day In Crochet History

I looked up this date in crochet history and found an article from 1990 about a prison beauty shop program. The reason it came up in my search is because it mentions that there was so little funding for the program initially that they had to make do and use crochet hooks to pull hair through caps for frosting. This doesn’t actually have to do with crochet but I thought it was a find worth mentioning because it shows that even twenty years ago prisons were recognizing that inmates should be using their time to be productive and creative. In this case it was with a beauty shop but these days there are also plenty of crochet programs in prisons.

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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