I come from a long line of crafters. When I was a kid, all
of my sweaters, hats, scarves, and mittens were crocheted by my maternal
grandmother, and all without a pattern! When my sister and I were kids, my mom,
thinking she would keep us out of trouble, taught us how to do needlepoint,
then how to crochet, and finally how to knit when she started taking lessons at
a local yarn shop. She also bought us bags and bags of beads and buttons and
sequins when she ordered her knitting and crochet supplies, and my sister and I
quickly learned how to string these into colorful necklaces and bracelets. That
was how I got bit by the beading bug, and thirty years later, here I am as the editor
of Beading Daily
It was my mom who encouraged me to send my very first
original beading project to Beadwork magazine
back in 2004. She had always held the Interweave family of magazines in the
very highest respect, and I soon started following in her footsteps when my
piece was accepted for publication in early 2005.
Over the years, Mom and I had talked about doing a series of
bead crochet and beadwoven bags based on vintage patterns from the turn of
the twentieth century. But time and work and college and other responsibilities
always led us to put off working on them. But we still talked about knitting
and crochet and beadwork, and whenever Mom had a question about sourcing beads
she would call me to find out where she might find a hard-to-locate product.
When I was learning how to do bead crochet, I called her when I was absolutely
stuck and ready to chuck my whole project out the window.
We started talking about the collaboration again in 2007
when I found out that I was pregnant with my son. My husband and I had decided
that I would be a work-at-home mom after our son was born, and I was going to
earn my income through my original beading designs and my finished beaded
jewelry. But in July of 2008, Mom passed away after her health rapidly declined
following a car accident earlier that year. I was devastated not only by her
passing but also by the fact that we never got to work together on our collaboration.
||One of the many crocheted vests Mom made for me throughout high school and college. I still wear this one all the time!
Then on my very first day at Interweave, in my very first
meeting, I was introduced to some of the other staff from Interweave Knits
as well as Toni Rexroat, the editor of the online community Crochet Me
. It was a real treat to
finally get to meet and talk to Jeane Hutchins, the editor of PieceWork
magazine, who remembered my
mom fondly from her many submissions to the magazine. Jeane gave me a copy of a
, in which the author of an
article mentioned the article by Mom about restoring an antique lace tablecloth
as her inspiration for the restoration of an antique crocheted lace scarf. I
found out later that week that Toni was working on editing some of Mom's other past submissions for Crochet
, a special issue that showcases projects in a historical and
Mom would have been thrilled and honored to have her work
included in this issue of Crochet
Traditions - part of what she loved most about knitting and crochet was the
rich and complex history of needlecraft, something that she instilled in me
when I started my own explorations of beadwork and glass bead making.
Her articles in the newest Crochet Traditions include: A Shell-Pattern Bonnet for Baby; Ann Scott's Lace; and Repairing a Treasured Crocheted Tablecloth & Wheel Motifs, about how she painstakingly repaired her mother's crocheted lace tablecloth. You can find all of her articles, along with lots of other beautiful heirloom crochet projects, in the 2011 edition of Crochet Traditions.
Have you carried on with your own family traditions of
crafting and needlework? Or have you started new traditions that you hope to
pass down to your children? Share your stories and experiences here on the blog!