Seasons In The Studio

Nature, and the things it inspires..........

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crochet and NATCROMO

It's March, which means National Crochet Month (NATCROMO for short) to those of us who crochet.  Sounds silly, you might say.  Why dedicate an entire month to celebrating one craft.  Why wouldn't a day, or a week do instead?

The answer is simple really.  Because we crocheters need an entire month to celebrate what crochet means to us, and to the world of crafts.  Still a skeptic?  Consider this.  Without crochet, the fishermen who fished with handmade nets (back in the days when people made their own nets) would have been catching the fish one at a time....in their hands.....

Not a great way to make a living, much less feed your family.

So, NATCROMO is for teaching people about the craft.  Also for teaching people to make the craft.

In some countries, knitting with two needles and crocheting with a hook are both considered "knitting".  There isn't a word for crochet in the Russian language.  At least, that's what I've been told.  Knitting with one hook, rather than two needles, is more economical.  It's also more accessible to beginners. 

If you still aren't convinced about the need to have a whole month to celebrate the craft of crochet, think about this.  A crocheted garment, shawl or object of any type, can ONLY BE MADE BY HAND.  There are NO machines invented that can create a crocheted fabric.  So, when you buy a crocheted sweater, you are buying a work of art.  That sweater is a product of a maker who has spent many, many hours learning the craft, and perfecting their stitches.

Lots of retail stores have been advertising "Crocheted" garments in their spring 2012 ready to wear lines.  Most, if not all of what is being advertised as "Crochet" isn't crochet at all.  It is a machine made, mass produced lace.  Not handmade.  Not even close.  Certainly not a work of art.
It surprises me so many people don't know the difference between the two. (When I tried to post a review about this, on one particular website, they didn't publish my review.)  Makes me wonder.......
I looked through the pages of another women's retail catalog that advertised, "Hooray, Crochet!"  I found only 2 crocheted garments in 17 that were advertised as "Crochet".

When you take the time to learn what is, and is not crochet, you can tell the difference.  It might not matter to most people, but buying those mass produced garments puts the people who depend on crocheting for a living out of work.  It greatly cheapens the work we all do.

Would you want to pay hundreds of dollars for a garment that you thought was crochet, only to find out that it was an imitation?  I wouldn't either.  If we don't hold retail buyers and marketing people to a higher standard, the craft could disappear.

Crochet is special.  There is no machine that can make it.  It is the epitome of "Handmade".