Friday, October 03, 2014

Flashback Friday: Crochet

"Crochet-round" by flora - Own work.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Quite often we see those who provide crafting instruction--whether knit, crochet, cross-stitch or other--bemoaning the fact that they still need to give beginner instruction in their book or magazine or blog because young women are not being adequately trained in the fine crafts at home.

I find today's flashback entry interesting because it suggests we've always been losing young crafters. Well, maybe not always, but for longer than I suspected.
The above instructions ought to have been given in advance of any of our crochet patterns; but we did not give it, supposing that most young ladies were acquainted with the art; but having been frequently asked for preliminary instructions, we now give them in full.   
"The Work Table: Crochet"
Godey's Magazine and Lady's Book; Jan 1848; Vol 36, pg 62
Check that date! 1848, It's longer than you expected too, isn't it?

In some ways, this reminds me of when I went to Poland to teach ESL (late 90s). One of my duties was to provide afternoon activities twice a week. I asked the director of the program that I'd be working with whether I'd have a classroom of beginners or if I should expect the students to have some needlework experience. "Every young girl in Poland has used a needle," she responded with great conviction. Maybe in the Poland in her imagination! I brought an intermediate project (with needleweaving!) and I had to teach people how to thread a needle. Still, every girl who made it past the first week got to the point where they had done some needleweaving and could finish the project on their own, and one finished the whole thing!

I wonder why we expect the body of knowledge young girls (and boys) learn to remain static?


Linda said...

Interesting Nikki.


Margaret said...

That's very interesting! Even way back in the dark ages, we had the problem of young ladies not knowing their needlework skills, huh? And your experience in Poland. lol! That's pretty funny! I'm enjoying these Friday posts.

C in DC said...

I love your Flashback Fridays. I'm starting to teach my girls (and some of their friends on occasion) basic handiwork skills. If you happen across any quotations I can share with them, please send the quotations along. Thanks.