I've been crocheting since childhood; I don't even remember how old I was when my great aunt taught me how to crochet. I used to love making clothes and blankets for my Barbie dolls, and then I progressed to making clothes and blankets for myself and my friends.
When I was in high school, I used to go to the library in search of interesting crochet books and patterns. That was usually a disappointing experience; it was the 1980's, and the library's offerings were mostly from the 1970's and (at the time) were not to my taste. There were a few exceptions; one of them was The Crochet Workbook by Sylvia Cosh and James Walters. I also enjoyed Crochet: discovery and design by Del Pitt Feldman. These book enlightened me to the joys of freeform crochet, which is still a technique I enjoy.
I also became interested in knitting at that time. I discovered so many gorgeous knitting books, and so few interesting crochet books, that I decided to learn to knit. While I do enjoy hand knitting, I still love crochet even more. To me, crochet is faster, simpler, free-er, and much more relaxing.
My love of textiles led me to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, where I obtained a degree in textile design. I later pursued a career in textile design, and I still design fabrics professionally. I've designed knits, wovens, prints and laces. I've designed fabrics for both fashion and home furnishings.
I discovered in 1999, and soon after that I began to stumble upon auction listings for antique crochet patterns. I was totally enthralled by them, and it wasn't long until I became an avid collector. I now own more crochet patterns than I could ever use in a lifetime, which means that I occasionally part with some of them in order to make space for more.
Since discovering antique crochet patterns, I've become much pickier about the projects I begin working on. The way I see it, if you are going to spend the time and energy to crochet something by hand, you might as well make it a worthwhile, heirloom quality project. Since having discovered the amazing patterns designed by artisans like Mary Card, I'm no longer as tempted by "quick and easy" type crochet patterns. (There is no such thing anyway, is there?)
I am most intrigued by the patterns from the 1900's-1920's, which means that antique-crochet.com is going to heavily lean towards featuring those. I do enjoy the patterns from the Victorian era as well.
It's interesting to me that, through my interest in antique crochet patterns, history has come to life in a way I never thought possible before. When leafing through old magazines in search of crochet patterns, I'm always sure to encounter lots of other unrelated yet interesting articles. So from that point of view, sometimes antique-crochet.com veers slightly off the topic of antique crochet. For example, when talking about World War I era crochet patterns, it's difficult to strictly stay on the topic of crochet, without venturing into some discussion of the War and the cultural context in which the patterns were designed and created.
This web site is my outlet for sharing my love of these old patterns, yarns, crocheted items, and the resulting overflow of related ideas and observations.
I hope this brief intro gives you a bit of an idea about where I'm coming from. I also hope you'll join the conversation! I'd love to meet others who share my interest in antique crochet, and I'd be interested in getting to know you and discovering what it is you enjoy- whether it be the crafting, the historical insights, or something else all together.
Please feel free to comment on any entry you find on the site. I do moderate comments, but the aim is to keep the site from being taken over by spammers. Crochet related comments will likely be approved within a few days. I am sorry to say that I've temporarily disabled comments. I plan to enable them again soon, but at the moment I'm having a hard time keeping up with them so I've turned them off.
Thanks so much for your interest! I really hope you'll enjoy this site as much as I'm enjoying putting it together.
If your interests go beyond just vintage and antique crochet, I also invite you to join me at About.com's crochet website. I am currently About.com's Guide to crochet. So if you'd like to view some of my crochet tutorials, original pattern designs, and general musings about contemporary crochet, please be sure to visit me over there too!
With kind regards,