Not quite a rant: Crochet en Vogue

Vogue Knitting just released their Crochet edition this May, the first since 1994. I know many were waiting on pins and needles excited to see what would occur between the covers of this infamous magazine. I have to say, I wasn’t really one of those people, I opened my copy with one eye open.  I was pleasantly surprised to see some really interesting and meaty designs, I was also in eye rolling mode when I looked at what appeared to be an editor’s take on what makes crochet cool.

I’m not writing this to talk about designs and designers though, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we do not eat our own, and I will not disparage our designers knowing full well they do not have full creative control over the process. Suffice it to say, it’s a nice issue, it is not ground breaking, it is not avant guard and it certainly is not the epitome of high fashion. That’s ok, that’s fine, they published a crochet issue. ( I will say that Mary Beth Temple and Jennifer Hansen rock. I’m glad I got the magazine for that reason, their designs are cool, but would we expect less?  As with Jenny King and Candi Jensen’s offerings, they were cool.)

I wanted to ask the editorial staff what planet they have been on, because from the written copy you’d think that Crochetville was a new website or something. Really? It’s been around for a really long time. I understand introducing in such a way because they are newer, but Crochetville? Not, new and has been there for us, tried and true, loyal to crochet. Just saying, they deserve a bit more kudos IMHO.  Crochet has been cool for years, no thanks to the publishing industry.  Thanks to the Internet and places like Crochetville and CrochetMe and dedicated bloggers, crochet designers especially have hustled and pulled and pushed their goods to the market.  That’s okay, maybe it was Vogue’s way of saying, “Oh we see you now.” Nod, fine I get it, we have our braces off and got contacts, and we’re not gangly knock kneeded tweeners any more, at least in the eyes of the publishing industry.  (rolling eyes)

No, what really hit me the wrong way, because this post wouldn’t be happening had I not read it, was when I read the Editor’s Letter and Trisha Malcom stated, ” Techniques like broomstick and Tunisian crochet have been wrested from the true technical enthusiasts and are now the cool new stitches.”  Wrested? Really? Wrested? What do you mean by this? Pried from our cold dead fingers? Like crocheters have a secret society and refuse to accept new comers and that’s why the information hasn’t been out there? No, I don’t think so.  Do you know how hard we have fought to get this information out to the public, do you know how many designers have fought rejection after rejection to get their work published and made available to crochet lovers? Wrested, no;  co-opted maybe.

Crochet lovers are a generous lot who eagerly share their knowledge and skills with others. To have the worm turn and a recalcitrant reputation foisted upon us is egregious.

The next thing I want to address: ” Being knitters, they of course knew all about crocheting with yarn but less so about crocheting with thread.” No, being knitters they would not de facto understand crocheting with yarn, no my friends they would not understand it of course. They might understand it as people who crochet, but they would not understand crocheting with yarn any more than I understand the intimacies of knitting with yarn as that is not my forte.  No I’m afraid this haughty attitude is lost.  People like myself and Vashti Braha and Julia Chambers have written many blog posts and newsletters full of information about crocheting with yarn, because funny enough there are NO BOOKS about crochet and yarn. (And yes I am still writing mine…)

You know I wasn’t going to write this post, I was going to bite my tongue and let myself bleed a little bit, versus give a mini rant. But, I posted on my Facebook Page and there were enough voices that mirrored my own. In fact, I didn’t say everything I was thinking on Facebook and several of you stated exactly what I had been thinking. So, that’s why I’m writing this, I might as well, after I’ll I’m the Bad Girl, right?

So, I guess I have to say, if you want to see some good crochet, get the magazine, it is worth it. It’s not innovative, but it is interesting and there are some lovely designs.

To Vogue Knitting, hey next time, why not do what Interweave did and actually test the waters with a new magazine?  The crochet community would be more than likely to be really intrigued by something like that, but if you do bring us more crochet can you check the attitude at the door?

I’m really glad I wasn’t excited about the issue nor was I shocked by the contents.




About Laurie A. Wheeler

Laurie A. Wheeler is a blogger, crochet addict, yarn designer and champion for independant artisans and crafters. She is also known as Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front.

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