Tuesday, June 12, 2007

“Power to Crochet”

The Merriam Webster Dictionary
states the following:
      Pronunciation: ri-'spekt
      to consider worthy of high regard; an act of giving particular consideration

From the Oregonian, quoted from an interview with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee: "After the yarn shop riots," she warned, knitters would retreat to underground stash rooms to defend "against the crochet marauders. Because you all know it's gonna get ugly with them first, since crochet is so fast." But, really, she worries "about the lack of respect for knitters."

I am sure she meant that to be funny, but looking deeper into the knit vs. crochet issue I can't help but wonder when crochet will get the respect it rightfully deserves. 

I have been reading with great interest about the lack of crochet representation at the recent TNNA event.  TNNA stands for The National NeedleArts Association, an international trade organization comprised of businesses & professionals specializing in "needlearts products and supplies."  Crochet designers took note -- and ACTION!!

I have, as a CGOA Professional Member (teacher/budding designer) have long desired to attend this event, and if the heavens, the stars, and the moons align just right, then next year it may become a reality.  For now though I still need to experience it through those who have attended the TNNA events.  Vashti is one of those who did attend this year, and wrote about it in her latest blog entry.  She discusses a Crochet Sit-in that took place in the center of the show!  The purpose of the sit-in was to bring attention to crochet in a positive way ... the start of a crochet revolution focusing on getting crochet the respect it rightfully deserves.  Stay tuned to her blog as she promises more details!

Gwen Blakley-Kinsler, founder of the Crochet Guild of America, and I discussed this topic during a phone conversation a few evenings ago.  She sent me the following about her experience at the recent TNNA:
Equal Opportunity for All!

A highly visible group of crochet designers who are also members of the Crochet Guild of America staged a “Sit In” on the main show floor at the Spring TNNA in Columbus, OH to protest the low-visibility of crochet this year by exhibitors. Refusing to be at the “back of the booth” any longer, the designers used humor to get their point across: there is not enough crochet being promoted at this show by manufacturers and it is now politically incorrect to exclude crochet.

Sitting in a circle on the floor in the center of the hall, they sang crochet parodies led by Lily Chin, followed by opera diva/crochet designer Dora Ohrenstein performing her crochet rap song, "Stick It." Their shouts of “Power to Crochet” echoed through the hall as they held their fists (and hooks) high.

Being bi-textural, they welcomed with “open yarns” any and all stitchers to the group. In this peaceful show of solidarity, they expressed the hope that all vendors will make an concerted effort at the winter show to exhibit the crochet that they have and seek out designers to use their yarns for more. They believe that working together we can elevate crochet from its image of “poor step child” at this show, increase yarn sales and educate shop owners and consumers that crochet can “twist & shout” just like knitting!

I am in full agreement; it's about walking away from the negative connotations and embracing all that is positive about all of the fiber arts!  It's about giving proper consideration, especially to crochet as  R-E-S-P-E-C-T for it is WAY OVERDUE!!  Vashti & Gwen, thank you so much for sharing this with us! Tags: , , ,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will be at the TNNA show next year..providing that it will be back in Columbus, OH. I already have my crochet "posse'" on stand by. Besides..Columbus is only a 2hr drive for me and I will have have free room and board at my brother and sister in laws home. Woop! Woop! Hmmm...can the TNNA show handle HookZilla?