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Art of Crochet - The Handwork Passed Down Many Generations

Updated on September 23, 2014
An Easter Egg Doily that I made
An Easter Egg Doily that I made

Crochet a Lost Art Form? -- My family is keeping it alive generation by generation

When you come into my home, you will see hand crocheted doilies, afghans, tissue box covers, potholders, scarves, shawls and so much more. I love it because of what it stands for to me -- History and Sentimentality

Some might say, "Crochet???" Many people that I talk to, have really no idea what crochet is. They tend to think it is synonymous with knitting. I also find, lately, that fewer and fewer know how to crochet. The ones that are learning are learning from books, which is still great. I, on the other hand, learned the old-fashioned way -- from generation to generation. Each generation has passed the knowledge of how to crochet down to the next generation and on, and on.

I, my mom, my grandmothers, my great-grandmothers, and on back as far as we know crochet has been a huge part of our lives and hobbies. Not only have they taught each generation to crochet, but the wonderful heirloom doilies & afghans have also been passed down.

Each person that crocheted in my family seemed to have a trademark. One of my great-grandmothers made her family dishrags for the kitchen. The other great-grandma made afghans for EVERYONE!!! She did intricate ones that involved needlework patterns AFTER the afghan had been crocheted.

One of my grandmothers made beautiful, intricate, colorful doilies -- the other made adorable clothing for all the grandkids.

My mom takes after her mom and loves to make doilies. I tend to like making the afghans. No matter what our speciality, all of my ancestors were very talented and used their talent to give to others and supply much needed items for the houses.

Crochet is a tradition that I am now trying to teach my daughter, but so far, her interest isn't too much into it. She is 12 and can make some basic stitches. But she is not surrounded, as I was by 5 or 6 relatives crocheting around me. She sees only my mom and me on occasion.

I hope that the tradition will not die. Even though the art is not as widespread, the handmade items continue to be a hit.

The Easter doily, pictured, was done by my mom about 10 years ago. :)

My Grandmothers Handiwork
My Grandmothers Handiwork

Precious Crocheted Heirlooms around my home

Each Crocheted Item in My home has been made by family or friends

Walking through my home, you will see many different crocheted pieces. Doilies decorate end tables, dining table, inside my curio cabinet, under the tv, framed, etc. Some people don't seem to realize how many uses crochet has in decorating and telling a story. In my home each doily, tablecloth, coaster, wall hanging and scarf holds a story or a memory of life in those days -- back when.

My mom framed one of her mothers and hung it in her bedroom. She used scraps from my grandmothers favorite dress and set the doily in the center. It is gorgeous! My grandmother got to where she couldn't crochet in the years that I was alive, so, I don't remember it. I DO remember, however, her doilies that were around her home and ones that she had made and given to my mom. Each one is precious and beautiful, especially knowing that those shaky, soft , old hands that I knew so well, had made them before the arthritis stepped in.

My great-grandma crocheted my mom's doll, similar to the size of a Barbie, a beautiful, intricate dress. The dress is made of crochet thread in yellow with Red trim. After I married, my husband at the time, had a great-grandmother that found out I crocheted and she gifted me with a --- you guessed it --- a doll dress. This dress was from the same generation as my great-grandmother's!!! I came home and framed them in a 10X13 together. Showing not only beautiful handiwork that at the time was at least 50 years + old, but it also showcased to families with rich history in handmade creations.

In a shadow box frame I chose a piece of crochet from myself, my mom, both of my grandmothers and my great-grandmothers. I layered them to where each was showing and showcased all the generations of crochet that our family had made. This piece of "artwork" on my wall is by far my favorite decoration. Talk about the stories that come when people ask about that piece. The background piece I chose was my great-grandmother's hand crocheted dish rag, that really looks like a square doily. The beauty that we display, she once used to scrub pots.

My rich heritage fo crochet, might sound odd. I feel, though, a deep connection to continue on with a tradition and craft that began way back in my family. I would love to know further back that 5 generations, but, unfortunately family tree books don't always tell the stories that truly made up the persons life.

The heirlooms I will pass down to my children, but the stories I will tell till they have them stored in their memory, as I do. A bit of home and heritage tied up in heirlooms around my home.

This doily, pictured, is one that my mom's mom made. The yellow rose at the center is gorgeous! They loved color in that error -- the mid-1900s.

Cats-in-a-Row by my mom - I LOVE Cats

Cats-in-a-Row Afghan by my Mom
Cats-in-a-Row Afghan by my Mom

This afghan, even amazed me on the uniqueness of it!!! Each row is cats! Too Cool!

Small Pineapple Doily
Small Pineapple Doily

The Very Popular Pineapple Design

This pic is of on of many that has the pineapple design

Pineapples in a home stand for hospitality. Well, the crochet world has taken that to heart. There are SO many that have what is called a crocheted pineapple within the design. After you learn what the crocheted pineapple looks like, you will notice them in more and more crocheted designs. Here is a pic of one that either I or my mom crocheted. It is a small circular pineapple doily.

Scraps and Crochet

Scrap Afghan
Scrap Afghan

If you crochet any at all, you will find that scraps of leftover yarn or thread seem to mount up. Well, since crochet can use even bits of yarn -- you make scrap designs. There are SO many afghan patterns that use any and every color of scrap that you have.

My mom took some of the scraps that we had together and made this colorful afghan pictured here. The pattern is called a "Mile-a-Minute" and enables you to incorporate any color you choose.

Handcrafts Do or Don't - Which of these do you do?

One of MANY Scarves that My Mom and I make
One of MANY Scarves that My Mom and I make

Do you.....

See results

Beginner Crochet Books - How-to Books can be a HUGE asset!!!

I like books for crochet better than websites, primarily because you can have it nearby while crocheting for pics, etc.

A to Z of Crochet: The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Crocheter
A to Z of Crochet: The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Crocheter

Just because you don't know how, definitely doesn't mean you can't learn.

 

Crocheted Flower

Comments on Crochet in your Life

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    • kimberlyschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel, MLS 

      4 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      I really enjoyed the pictures. How nice to have things made by those we love!

    • RussnJo profile image

      RussnJo 

      5 years ago

      I love your idea for the shadow box with generation pieces. My family history of crocheting goes way back as well. My sister is a master at filet crochet and mom as a few of these framed on her walls. Sadly, my daughter-in-laws don't have the passion, and I'm hoping my granddaughters will carry on. Thank you for sharing you photos, and a great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I remember all the beautiful crocheted pieces my great grandmother had made. Could only admire her tenacity at working with such fine thread. I have crocheted only in wool so far.

    • profile image

      ScentsWithBling 

      5 years ago

      I do ALL of the above! I love to knit, crochet, sew and quilt. 99% of the things I make go to charity. I ren several groups so the need is always there!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 

      5 years ago

      I love to crochet and make mostly the smaller things like hot pads and doilies and tee shirts. But I give them all away. It's fun to see what the next piece will look like and who I think should have it.

    • katespetcorner1 profile image

      katespetcorner1 

      5 years ago

      Unfortunately my mum has never taught me, but I am teaching myself and I really enjoy it.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Very enjoyable article such beautiful crocheting.

      I do all the the above, lately when I find the time I crochet, I taught myself.

      Thanks for sharing with us.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I love the delicate doilies. So beautiful!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I crochet and used to do needlepoint but haven't in years.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      One year my mother crocheted an afghan for every member of the family, for Christmas presents. An amazing legacy! Love your examples!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      5 years ago from Albany New York

      I have always admired crochet and I buy lovely, handmade ones at thrift shops. What a wonderful family tradition!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I love to crochet! I start dragging out new and old projects at the end of summer to work on all fall and winter long. Right now I'm working on some potholders for myself and gifts for Christmas. :)

    • Debbi Craton profile image

      Debbi Craton 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      My grandmother taught me to crochet. Great memories.

    • profile image

      ChocolateLily 

      5 years ago

      Crochet is a big part of our family too! My grandmother and mom taught me, and my mom and I have turned it into a business. I love making baby hats the most because I can be creative with them, and they work up quickly. I, like you, am very proud of this heritage.

    • alwaysapril profile imageAUTHOR

      alwaysapril 

      5 years ago

      @kerbev: Thanks! Will do! :)

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 

      5 years ago from Upstate, NY

      RocketSquid Tip: Don't forget to change your module titles, like the guestbook and amazon one.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 

      5 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I would like to learn to crochet. I remember my grandmother doing it a lot.

    • tonyaalves3 profile image

      tonyaalves3 

      5 years ago

      I don't know how to crochet, but my mother-in-law does. She made me so many blankets that I would pass by to my daughter. Thanking for sharing your lens

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