When I happen upon antique lace, embroidery or old linens at boot fairs, I find it impossible to haggle over prices. The work and love poured into every thread is always worth so much more than the price being charged. A couple of weeks ago I bought this large, luncheon-style, hand-embroidered table cloth from an elderly woman who stitched it herself when she was 11. She nearly apologised for charging me £3. I wanted to give her a little extra but she wouldn't take it. When I told her stitching crafts are popular again and that I love teaching little ones to embroider it warmed her heart more than a few extra pounds would have done.
Though embroidery is probably still my favourite type of stitching, I'm still really enjoying my quest to crochet. Admittedly, it hasn't been the easiest task, so I thought I would share some of the individuals who have inspired me to persevere.
Crochet covered stone and crochet+Liberty stone mushroom by Margie
I've probably said it before, but Margie is one of the cleverest people I know and she's inspiring in so many ways. Her pretty, lacey, crochet covered stones and creations are gorgeous and highly coveted. I feel lucky to have my very own to look at every day. She also kindly offers many, many tutorials on her blog, crochet among them. Little G has been begging for a tiny pocket necklace like this for one of her stones (we have no pretty acorns around here so a stone it will be.) I dream of one day sitting on Margie's big porch, stitching with her side-by-side.
Olivia, from un jardin de hilo, has such perfect looking stitches I can only marvel at the beauty. I love her colour choices too, maybe grey wasn't the best example, but I really adore this motif. Her Etsy shop is definitely on my wish list - I can't decide on which piece, really any of them would please me very much thank-you! If you crochet, Olivia also offers a few tutorials (in both diagram and instruction form.) Scroll through her site to find the tutorials, you'll be glad you did.
Found via Design for Mankind, this porcelain lace may not be soft to the touch but it is sweet and so pretty to behold. I fancy having a whole wall of Kristen Wicklund's porcelain crochet, just like the one hung at her solo show at Heath Ceramics in Los Angeles.
Kristen also works crochet on a very big scale. I've seen plastic bags re-purposed in many ways, but I've never seen them looking this pretty. Maybe she'll exhibit in London one day - I'd love to see her work in three dimensions. To view much more of her work in two dimensions also see Kristen's Flickr photostream.
Nanou's Forest Friends combine two of my favourite things, wood and crochet, in the most magical way. I love the way Nanou brings fallen branches to life then dresses them up in fancy crocheted clothes. See more of Nanou's friend's on Flickr.
If you'd like to get "hooked" too it's definitely worth mentioning again two other people whose sites helped rekindled my interest in crochet. Alice, from Futuregirl; I tried her bracelet pattern early on with success, and Lucy of Attic 24. Lucy's hexagon pattern encouraged me to try new stitches and stretch myself, I even managed a scarf.
I hope you've all enjoyed the weekend as much as I have. Today was spent in the beautiful garden of a local pub (yes the whole day.) It was our last full day with my visiting mom and dad and we were bathed with warm sun while sipping long cool drinks. It was so pretty I had to take a few photos, they may make it to my Flickr at some point soon.
Have a good week!