It’s time to make crochet ‘great’ again

By Karen Buffington - Contributing Columnist

Hello, again my friends. As we can see, the last chills of winter have left us, and the warm air of summer is rushing our way.

The world is turning green and sprouting new life. Most of us are putting aside the winter doldrums and welcoming the thrill of summer time into our life.

Many families have, or are planning, their vacation time and looking forward to their escape from school or work. The world is looking to a season of high temperatures and opening of swimming pools.

With July already upon us, many stores have started stocking their shelves with mass-produced, enticing gifts that can be bought, by you, to give to someone for Christmas.

We don’t want to do that.

Christmas in July

During the months of July and August, crocheters and other needleworkers begin pondering the gifts they can make, by hand, for friends and loved ones.

We know summer crocheting can, sometimes, be tedious and sweaty. Try some “take-along projects” such as baby caps, potholders, small toys and brighter projects such as floral afghans. People have been cooped up all winter, so baby items are always in fashion after down time.

I hope you will enjoy your summer and look forward to August, at which time we begin our thoughts of fall and winter needlework projects and designs. August seems to be the time we still try to get those last fun-in-the-sun activities with family or by ourselves, before our summer vacation ends and it’s back to school or work again.

Friendship Day

Did you know that “Friendship Day” is celebrated on the first Sunday in August? This year it is Aug. 7, so why don’t you show your best friend how much their friendship means by giving them a “special” crocheted gift?

For him, a crocheted tie, slippers or socks may do. For Her, a cotton-soft wash cloth, a mesh tote bag, doilies of different shapes, sizes and colors and, maybe, some slippers, too.

So grab your yarns, threads, hooks or needles and enjoy the fading days of summer with lots of fun and creative crochet and other needlework.

An Added Crochet History

Crochet emerged as a result of experimentation with needles and threads during the Renaissance Period in Italy and France. It then quickly spread to other countries.

In any case, the Victorian Period brought crochet to the forefront of art and design. The early 19th century saw the first printed crochet patterns and some of the finest examples of crochet work appeared with the advent of Irish crochet.

There is little documentation of crochet hooks through the years, but that could be due to the nature of the tools. In the early days of the Irish crochet industry, Irish crochet hooks were made from modified sewing needles. A piece of the needle’s eye, close to the needle’s shaft, was removed, leaving the pointed tip of the eye at a hook, which was pushed into a homemade handle, usually consisting of cork or tree bark.

Don’t let anybody deceive you: Crochet is an art!

When all is said and done, this is your summer and you should enjoy it without jumping into thoughts of next winter. Pick-up your hooks, get creative and, most of all, enjoy being creative.

By Karen Buffington

Contributing Columnist

Karen Buffington is a crochet artist who owns and operates Karen’s Korner Crochet Shop, 93 Pine St., Gallipolis.

Karen Buffington is a crochet artist who owns and operates Karen’s Korner Crochet Shop, 93 Pine St., Gallipolis.