Dear Ms. Spencer,
I read your article "Know thy closet, know thyself" with interest, especially once I hit upon the topic of crochet where you expressed your fear of it after seeing it displayed in two interior design publications.
Crochet items as decor in the home does not need to be frightfully tacky as you described it. Have you checked out the beautiful crocheted leather pillows in Erika Knight's book, Simple Crochet? What about the Tunisian pillow featured in Pauline Turner's book, How to Crochet? Long time authors Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss teamed up and just released a new book with a wonderful array of afghans (for everyone's tastes) in Heirloom Afghans to Knit & Crochet. Also, have you ever seen "Freeform Crochet?" (If not, then you're in for a treat!)
Crochet is not just about tissue covers; it's about tradition, heritage and freedom of expression. It's about following rules then learning how to effectively change them to lead to new discoveries, not just in technique but in pleasure too! It's about embracing an art form that touches our past while with today's new fibers becomes refreshingly modern!
Crochet is about sharing, and caring a stitch at a time with loved ones too -- you see, decor is not just about decor, it's about living! Ask someone why they have crochet on display in their home and you're bound to learn something about that individual! (One can't help but wonder about the story behind your sweet little white hand towels with the crocheted edging.) After all, decor says something about thyself, and what better way than expressing it than through crochet?
There is nothing scary about it, unless you lose your stitch count, but even that can be overcome with practice. The key in resolving your fear of displaying crochet is in understanding it's history, knowing about the many different types & techniques, and about understanding why some 35-plus million people enjoy creating this art form stitch by stitch much as a painter enjoys creating images brush stroke by brush stroke.
If we pull together, I'm sure we can help break the stereotype unjustly placed upon this fiber art form, and continue on with this growing Yarn Evolution! I invite you to embrace the "Revolution;" crochet is here to stay!
If you have any questions about it, please feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to answer any questions about it.
The above is the email I sent to the author, Melanie Spencer, today after reading her article titled "Know thy closet, know thyself."
11/21/05 UPDATE: A Response from Melanie:
Thanks for your response to my column. I knew I'd hear from someone on the crochet issue. You are quite the spokeswoman for the artform. I absolutely agree that it can be done tastefully and this is why I do have a few crochet items in my home. As I said in the piece, I just hate cozy covers for items and loath to see them come back in fashion. So, know that I am on your side when it comes to crochet in every form except the cozy!
Thanks again for writing!
Home Design/Style Reporter
I think it's wonderful Melanie took the time to write me back -- and proclaim she's a crochet fan, minus crochet cozies! Thanks Melanie! :)