Aunt C learned crochet from a Presentation nun, which was to stand to her all her life. To my eight-year-old mind, she made spiderwebs and flowers and grasses come to life out of boring old mercerised cotton. Out of her hands came christening robes and tops and tablecloths, a wedding dress, a Communion dress four of us wore and loved. I didn’t think of what she made as fusty then, and I appreciate it on a whole other level now.

I look at the work of my friends who crochet- N, who made a Spiderman blanket and another N whose first crochet project was a triangular shawl in shades of berry and spice- and I see them in the same way. I cannot believe what they’ve done with that magical equation of yarn + time + hook. Crochet is not fusty. Crochet has beauty, timelessness, energy, elegance and even a sense of humour about it. And just like knitting or any other art form of the like, some use it to amazing ends (Aoibhe Ni, are your ears burning? They should be!) and others forget the helpful maxim, “just because I can, doesn’t mean I necessarily should”.

Recently, two people (one on crochet and the other on knitting) have misrepresented both, when a few minutes research would have uncovered the incredible resource that is Ravelry. Ravelry would’ve answered any questions they had, put a few myths to rest and everyone would’ve been happy. Oh well..

So, to review: plenty of people knit in Ireland, and crochet is about many things beyond doilies. I could go into much more detail- line by line refutation- but it strikes me that neither party is willing to listen, considering that one of them talked of being “misinterpreted” when offered her own direct quotes.

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Ah, January- not only home of delightfully crisp diary pages and finishing the stragglers in the Thornton’s box, but one of those months that is chock-full of sneak previews of Ripping Good Stuff (TM). Let me just channel the spirit of Jesse of Jesse’s Diets Fame to get in the mood:

So, to the jewellery..

This year so far, I are bin’ mostly indulgin’ my new-found love of shell. Last year I introduced some chunkier neckpieces, using shell paired with Bali or Hill Tribe silver or Swarovski crystal. This year, a little more of the same but with new, contrasting materials.

You can expect more use of various fibres in my jewellery- silk and felt and organza oh my!-as well as a bit of fabric here and there. Think wearable, elegant multi-media pieces that don’t itch, damnit.

I am also working on a range for people who like their jewellery a bit more lean– expect silver, wood and a bit of knotwork.

In my fibre work- more crochet this year than last. More lovely small bits and bobs to adorn yourself and your home for not too much spendage, and in lovely new yarn blends. I will be paying attention to wool alternatives for my vegetarian and vegan friends, so expect a bit more on that.

Papercrafts will involve a couple of new techniques here and there (awfully curious about quilling, for one!), and an increased usage of recycled and/ or reclaimed materials.

Overall, 2010 in WaterMemory Towers will be about continuity- I tried some new things in 2009 and they worked- as well as a few new bits and surprises, and expanding my merciless dominion of the Internets. (Well, a shop at DaWanda is as good a place to start as any, right?) Sustainability is not going to go by the wayside with me, just because times are tough. You can expect me to continue paying keen attention to where my supplies come from, continuing my support for smaller suppliers and choosing the ethical alternatives.