Appalachia crafts

I Love to Crochet

Today’s post was written by Chatter.

From a young age, I loved anything fiber. Yarn, fabric, clothes, if it was made of fiber, I liked it. Even though I was young, and didn’t really know how, I was always trying to make something with fiber.

I remember cutting and stapling pieces of fabric together to make little books when I was a kid. The pattern and colors in fabric spoke to me.

I had lots of stuffed animals as a little girl (neither Chitter nor I were ever interested in dolls) and tried to make them little outfits to wear.

Granny and Chatter (Granny made Chatter’s sweater)

I’ve been fortunate to grow up right next to my maternal grandparents. And Granny is the queen of crochet. She learned to crochet from her mother Gazzie.

When I would visit as a small child, which was usually every day, I would play with her jars of buttons and yarn and look through her pattern books. At some point she handed me a little pink hook and some pink yarn and taught me how to make chains which is the foundation for any crocheted piece.

Before I knew it, I had made dozens of chains in all different colors. Eventually she taught me more and more. Today I make all kinds of things, like the sweaters you can see in this post. I always have a project going (usually more than one since I procrastinate) and it feels nice to always be working towards a goal. Sometimes I make mistakes, but I always learn every time I pick up my hook and yarn.

There are lots of traditions in Appalachia that are important to me and I am truly grateful I was born into this culture. However, the tradition of making things with your own hands, is perhaps the most important to me.

Some of my best memories are sitting in Pap’s chair watching the crafting show Granny had on tv. Now that I think of it, I would say that my grandmother was the main inspiration of my creativity. Since we have the convenience of clothing stores, I don’t have to make my own clothes, but I get such a thrill when I pick out the yarn I like and make something I can wear.

All of the old crafts of Appalachia, be it fiber, woodcarving, blacksmithing, or anything else, are a vital piece of the culture and I feel proud that I am carrying on the torch.

Chatter

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan
    July 9, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks for the shout out about crochet. You and Granny’s items are perfect. The sweater pic with the long back makes me want to see the front. Way to go Chatter. Crochet is fun and calming for me. I am left handed so I turn patterns around sometimes and reverse things in my head. Now people are giving more left handed instructions. Please enjoy crochet all your life.

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    July 9, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Good for you! It seems so many young people are no longer interested in learning crafts. Sure you can buy something in a store or on-line, but knowing that you made it with your own hands gives such a feeling of accomplishment. I love to crochet, too. I can knit, but I prefer crochet. I haven’t branched out into sweaters or other apparel, but I love making scarves, afghans, and baby blankets for my friends and family.

  • Reply
    tmc
    July 9, 2020 at 5:42 am

    You’ve done a really good job with your craft. My Wife is fabric crazy, she has rooms full of different kinds from linen, to hemp, soft cotton, silk, she grabbed up years ago when everything started going towards polyester blend, fleece, some of this fabric she has is really hard to find to hear her talk, but also she took on the fabric design on spoonflower, she bought a program for her computer and is self-taught and now has a little monthly income, she has had her design on off-broadway shows, it’s been sold all over the world, she doesn’t have as much time anymore for setting down and designing but what she has uploaded still is sought after today and has been featured in their mazazine many times.

  • Reply
    SusieQ
    July 8, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    Such a Blessing that torch carried on, and the love you have for one another .. special treasure 🙂

  • Reply
    Jackie
    July 8, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    My wife crochets a lot. The only thing of that nature I ever tried was macrame and that was many years ago. I taught Sr ladies in Georgia to macrame back in the 1980s. My wife makes hats, booties and blankets for newborns at our local hospital. We usually take over 15-18 sets every 5-6 weeks. With the virus we can’t take any now. She said she has 34 sets ready now.

  • Reply
    Glenda C. Beall
    July 8, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    So proud of you, Chatter, for learning to make lovely things like your sweater. I am thankful you have your granny to teach you. I never knew my grandmothers. They died before I was born. So great that you are learning these skills and passing on the traditional methods of making things with your hands.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 8, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Tipper,
    And Chatter,
    I was only about a month old when Mama had a Stroke, Daddy didn’t know how to care for a baby, so he got his younger sister to take me down to her house. Toot’s husband was in the war with Hitlar. His name was Tommy Higdon. When she wrote him, she told him that she had a baby boy, and that he was Mae and Harley’s youngest child. She told him the story of how my Mama was in the hospital, and was helping out for a time. He understood.

    Neither of my Grandma’s didn’t know anything about Crocheshaing ( Spell check don’t work). Ola Roper, dad’s Mom didn’t fool with it, cause she had many boys and girls, and Grandma Delia had 16 from her two husbands. The first one died early from an infection, and the second one was
    Hugh Passmore, Mama’s Dad. He was Dead before I got here, but he was a Railroad Man. Perhaps that is why I like Trains.

    I love the way you made the Sweater, longer in the back to show Character. …Ken

  • Reply
    Gaye Blaine
    July 8, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    MA a could do drawn needlework, tatting, crochet and knitting. She tried to teach me crochet but was too free with criticism with my efforts. Never could please her so I dropped the idea.

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    July 8, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Wow! What beautiful sweaters you make! You can’t find anything as pretty and as nice yours in a store. The one your Granny crocheted for you is so festive! I can knit and crochet, but I’d rather sew because I don’t necessarily like the clothes in the stores or else they’re beyond my budget, plus I like to sew gifts and do machine embroidery. It is wonderful that your Granny is so close by.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Now that you have mastered crocheting are you going to try knitting and tatting?

    • Reply
      Tipper
      July 9, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Ed-maybe knitting but right now I’m sticking with crocheting 🙂

  • Reply
    Allison B
    July 8, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Very nice post 🙂 I can relate…. I enjoy similar memories, and love to make things myself.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 8, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Beautiful work, Chatter. You’ve become very talented with the crochet needle. Keep up the good work!
    It’s very satisfying to create a garment with your own hands. I am very proud of you!

    • Reply
      Melinda
      July 8, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      I agree! Thanks for sharing, Chatter ♥️

  • Reply
    Dee
    July 8, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Chatter your creations in crocheting are beautiful!!! You were very blessed to have your Grandmother living so close and that you had the desire to learn how to crochet from her. I had a dear Aunt who was a master at crocheting and she taught me. I tried to knit also but I am not as good. I love crocheting more and your ability to actually make sweaters that look store bought or better than some store bought is truly wonderful! Treasure your Grandmother with all the special love and wisdom she has for you all. God Bless!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    July 8, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Good work! You might enjoy making come clothing, too.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    July 8, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Glad Watkins mentioned crocheted rugs. My Great-Grandmother (“Granny”) crocheted rag rugs. Although she was the most even-tempered person I knew, she let my aunt know in no uncertain terms that she was not pleased when she learned that all the rugs she sent them were carefully wrapped in tissue paper and stored in the attic. My Granny made things to be used!!!
    I like crocheting better than knitting because, to me, it seems much easier to pick up one hook and work than it is to keep ahold of two needles and the material you’re working with.
    Have you learned the pineapple pattern? When the time comes, one of the most beautiful wedding dresses I ever saw was a form fitting dress with scoop neck, small cap sleeves and a “fish tail” made in the pineapple pattern.
    As always, reading the Blind Pig posts sets my mind to wanderin’ in all sorts of delightful directions!

    • Reply
      Tipper
      July 9, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      Tamela-That’s so neat that she made rugs! I’ve seen the pineapple pattern but never tried it myself 🙂

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 8, 2020 at 9:20 am

    What a great post, Chatter. Keep on doing your creative work, you’ll find so many ways to use your talents.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    July 8, 2020 at 8:48 am

    It makes me so happy to know you still carry the torch! I love to hear stories about young folks keeping the tradition alive. Granny taught you well.

  • Reply
    Margie Golfstein
    July 8, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Tipper, you should just soak in the pride of your lovely daughter CHATTER who is talented beyond belief!!! I especially liked the sweater with a lower hem in the back. That young lady has real crocheting talent and I believe she could easily sell her crocheting items. A homemade quilt is about 300$. Pretty Afghans that are crocheted per custom could fetch 300$ or more or less depending on the size. Baby afghans are very popular and in NYC will run about 150$ or more for custom colors. Here’s a TRUE CONFESSION, Chatter dear. I took 4 H to learn to crochet but never did catch on. I tried many times through the years and got no ability to knit or crochet. It’s a special talent of which the good Lord missed me. Lol and knit on you KNIT WIT!!!! ( get my pun? It’s in humor so please don’t take offense.)

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    July 8, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Beautiful! Those lovely garments represent many hours of your life, Chatter, and Granny’s too.

  • Reply
    Patricia Small
    July 8, 2020 at 7:56 am

    I crochet also but I never tried to make clothes. I’m sure if I did one arm would be at least 2 inches longer than the other, ha ha. Making clothes takes a lot of skill and you’re doing a great job!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 8, 2020 at 7:52 am

    The satisfaction of making something original with your own hands is a major reward of the effort. Of course there is a lot more to it, like carrying on a family tradition and being creative. I can see you are your own person in your choice of colors and technique. Using white with the red and green changes that sweater from being just Christmas to being Winter. And I would never have thought of combining purple and brown, or is that lilac and chocolate?

  • Reply
    Rebecca Layfield
    July 8, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Wow what a beautiful gift you have Chatter!! I tried to learn crocheting when I was young from my Grandma Moore but just never could get the hang of it!! You and your whole family are so talented and thank you for sharing your life with all of us!! God bless yall!! Love from Alabama!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    July 8, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Oh, what beautiful creations! It is a wonderful thing to carry on those old traditions and there is something so soothing about crocheting. Thank you for sharing this, Chatter! Much love and many blessings to all of you!

  • Reply
    Watkins
    July 8, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Have u ever crochetrd a rug?

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