Sunday, May 28, 2006

Crochet: Technique or End Results?

Is crochet a technique, meaning a process where a fiber (string, thread, wire, yarn ...) is manipulated with a hook, or is it the end results (what the stitches resemble when the project is completed)?

I've been asking this question since attending the 2003 National Crochet Conference that was held in Chicago.  The Conference featured a Juried Exhibit, called "Rhythm of Crochet," that featured many different types of crochet -- including a piece created with wire by Joan Dulla.  (I even traveled to Massachusetts to revisit the Exhibit.  You can read about that 2004 Fiber-adventure here.)

Clover Wonder Knitter Having taken a class with Joan prior to attending the Conference, I knew that she created her pieces with a crochet hook.  But was her technique what we'd call "crochet?"  If you look at her work closely, one would think it was knitted.  It resembles the look one could possibly achieve using a Wonder Knitter, except you need to omit the Wonder Knitter and create the stitches "in the air" with your fiber & hook. 

The piece caused such a controversy that it was eventually pulled from the Exhibit.  But my question remained; what is crochet?  Is it the technique that qualifies it as crochet, or is it the end result, what the "fabric" looks like?  I've been searching for the answer since that time.

iconicon Interesting enough the answer would arrive yesterday via the United States Postal Service ... in a little brown box from Amazon.  Inside was the new book, "Crocheted Wire Jewelry: Innovative Designs & Projects by Leading Artists" by Arline M. Fisch.  I had ordered the book "blind" -- without prior knowledge of what lay between the covers, between the pages.

As I turned from one page to another I was delighted with the wonderful jewelry pieces -- each one inspiring, each one absolutely amazing!  And to my further delight, they discuss Joan's technique as well as Michael David Sturlin's.  While I personally would not consider David's technique shown in the book as crochet (they reference to it as "Viking Knitting" -- he uses a knitting needle to lift his loops) they do validate Joan's technique as crochet since she uses a crochet hook to lift her loops.  And that means that crochet is defined as a process, not the end result.

So the next time you look at something and think it's knitted, you might want to reconsider.  For me, I have my answer:  Crochet is a process.

Interested in checking out a copy for yourself?  Here's what I found thus far:

  • Barnes & Nobel is selling the book (reg $24.95) for $19.96 ($17.96 for members);
  • Amazon has it listed for $15.72
  • Overstock now has it for $14.93

    The book was just released (May 2006), and in my humble opinion should be checked out by every crocheter interested in crocheting with wire.  Ask your local library to get a copy!

    Now, while we're on the subject of crocheting with wire, please give Marleen a visit and check out her beautiful creations ... A Little Crochet ...

  • 2 comments:

    crochooked said...

    Dee, Do I need another cup of the sacred black water?  Or have you forgotten to give us the name of the book?
    Jane

    crochetwithdee said...

    Hi Jane ... it's right there in the entry ... " Inside was the new book, "Crocheted Wire Jewelry: Innovative Designs & Projects by Leading Artists" by Arline M. Fisch.  I had ordered the book "blind" -- without prior knowledge of what lay between the covers, between the pages. "

    The links at the bottom of my entry should lead to the book, but just in case, here's the ISBN: 1579906605

    ~Dee
    :)