HNW - Irish crochet newbie

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at slip.net
Tue Jan 2 14:10:25 PST 2001


I've always had this fantasy about making an Irish crochet garment like the
antique ones I can't afford, which are fragile and irreplaceable, and which
don't fit me anyway.  A few days ago, at a thrift store, I found a cone of
size 60 three-ply cotton thread, which said it had 19,200 yards (17556
metres) of thread on it.  Saturday I bought a size 13 (0.70) crochet hook.
Last night I determined that I could really start from a chain at that
gauge, and that I'm going to need a magnifier to see what I'm doing.  (I
guess I've got no excuses now.)

First question:
I guess what I want here is some encouragement.  I've never done crochet as
small as Irish crochet before.  Does the gauge have to be really tight, or
does it just have to be even for whatever gauge it is?  Is it really
difficult, or merely time consuming?  (Time I've got, and plenty of thread.)

Second question:
Must I do only traditional patterns, or is there a historical precedent for
innovation?  I want my garment to look more Art Nouveau or American Arts
and Crafts (Stickley, etc.) than the garments I have seen.  Did 'they' do
Irish crochet in those styles?  Has anyone seen historical examples of
Irish crochet which uses non-traditional or innovative patterns?  

For purposes of my making a garment I can wear, 'they' can be anywhere from
1860 to 1920.  If the Hippies did non-traditional Irish crochet, they did
it out of yarn, in a gauge big enough to see. 


Kayta
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