Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

Needle and Yarn Arts: Losing A Bit of My Heritage


I have a small sewing cabinet that belonged to my grandmother.  The little bit of research I have done on the cabinet indicates that it was probably made in the 1930s or 40s.  Still in the cabinet are cards of needles and the spools of silk thread that my grandmother used.    I don’t know if she did embroidery, but I suspect she did since my mother, her daughter, did quite a lot of embroidery.   Women of that era often taught their daughters these types of needle arts.  Along with embroidery, my mother’s other favored needle art was crochet.    Most evenings after the dinner dishes were dried and put away, my mother would sit and crochet while watching television.  She made lovely throws that were in high demand at craft fairs.

In keeping with the tradition of mothers teaching their daughters these traditional crafts, my mother tried to teach me how to crochet.  That did not work out too well.  For one thing, I am a lefty; she was a righty.  We could not bridge that gap.

However,  I think it was more that I lacked the patience and focus for this type of work.  One had to pay attention and count, making the same movements over and over.   It was as much of a meditation as a traditional craft.

In my foolish inability to learn these crafts, I have broken a tradition of hundreds, if not thousands of years.    And that bothers me.



ljg (c) 2017


14 thoughts on “Needle and Yarn Arts: Losing A Bit of My Heritage

  1. Never too late to learn. Might not be exactly passed down, but the legacy is still there.

  2. Oh, never fear! There are LOTS of classes and helpful individuals! Do it! Do it! Do it! You won’t be disappointed. Just make small things first. Doing crocheted squares that can be joined later… most things don’t really have to be counted – it gets to be a rhythm and you can SEE two or three of a stitch without counting them. You will do just fine! Use a mirror if you have to to switch your viewing to left handed. Wouldn’t that work? Go online! Lots and lots of left handed instruction FREE! Here’s a beginner video I found:

    Hope you try it! Don’t lose that legacy!

    Donna Smith
    Mainely Write

  3. Started crocheting again when I was not feeling too well this last few months. Made two bedspreads for my grand-daughters . If you want help in the basis I can help you. It is really good for the hands and the soul!

  4. I’m learning how to crochet at my craft class. Trying to make a hat. Lots of counting and ripping out stitches because the count is off. My aunt tried to teach me when I was a kid. All I learned was how to do chain stitch. Never give up.

  5. My grandmother tried to teach me to crochet once. I want to do it, but I’m a bit like you — too monotonous. I think my mother might still know how… I do cross-stitch, though!

  6. My mother sews, but none of her daughters have really taken it up. I taught myself how to cross stitch. My father’s mother tried to teach my mother to crochet but at the time Mom didn’t really take it up. It wasn’t until my sister was pregnant with the first grandchild that Mom really started to crochet. We have several blankets from my great-great grandmother and grandmother. I like having them but I too feel that not by learning these crafts I have missed out on something. Girl Who Reads

  7. It’s been many years since i crocheted or knitted or cross stitched, and i never did teach my girls. They are artists of another sort, painting and drawing and doing all the stuff i can’t. Maybe someday i will pick it up again.

  8. My late best friend was left handed and a teacher; she was also an excellent crocheter and needleworker. I think she would tell you it is never too late. I also encourage you to give crocheting a try.

  9. My mother tried to teach me to crochet. It failed. However there is just a small gap in the chain. My oldest learned the skill from her. Apparently I have two left hands when it comes to yarn work, that and I can not count while stitching.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s