Once upon a time, crochet may have been the hobby your grandmother or aunty used to pass the time. Their needlework generally resulted in doilies, tablecloths, kitschy detailing on dresses, and those often-ill fitting waistcoats that were briefly popular in the Nineties. (I’m speaking from personal experience, here).
That was then.
There’s been a HUGE renaissance in fiber arts in recent years. Thanks in part to Bust Magazine’s Debbie Stoller, there’s been a new wave of women versed in the needle arts, who proudly refer to themselves as Stitch and Bitch. There are craft mafias. Knitting, sewing, and crochet have become tools of self expression. Your grandma or aunty’s hobby of choice has become a fresh avenue of fashion for today’s generation. Allow me to share some of my favorite crochet finds with you!
If you want to dip a toe into the world of crochet, I think the best place to begin is with accessories.
Lovenia Leapart, designer of StarCrochet Creations, makes gorgeous earrings that will for sure get you noticed. Check me out in her Purple Lacie Teardrops. $20, and the color and style is so on trend for Fall it isn’t even funny!
StarCrochet designs are colorful, funky, and bright without being childlike. Her Looptyloops are interlocking crochet circles that move individually and come in alternating colors. Tres chic! And the Peace Signs look awesome with jeans, especially in shades of blue. Love Lovenia’s work, and love the prices!
You can add a little crochet to your look AND support fair trade initiatives, look no further than Harriet and Leo. Their Hand Crocheted Butterfly Pins are $15 for a set of two, and they’re made in Peru out of local wool.
I love the purple pair — and I totally wore one to the Blogalicious bash here in Chicago, to compliment my La Grande Dame lilac dress! I know — how Mariah of me! But I couldn’t help it. These clever little crochet butterflies are very cute, very whimsical, and as summer wends towards autumn, they’ll allow me to keep a touch of warmth and sunshine in my style.
Those crochet designs whet my appetite for wanting to master the art myself. But I can barely tie my shoelaces, dare I dream of being a skilled crocheter? According to wonder twins Erika and Monika Simmons — it isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and practice can definitely make perfect!
Together Erika and Monika are known as the Double Stitch Twins, and they make crochet that’s sexy and fashion forward.
The twins picked up their skills when they were in the 4th grade. “One of our favorite teachers, Mrs. Pugh, taught us in an after school program. I remember making a hair item. But Erika made an afghan and won a school competition!”
The sisters admit to coming to be skilled quite quickly. They’re both great with their hands (and are also amazing hair braiders!). But they make things accessible for those willing to learn with their pattern book, Double Stitch Designs for the Crochet Fashionista. $20 and it comes personally autographed by the twins! The book includes patterns for some of their sickest fashions, which range in price from $50 for a hat to $450 for a dress. They’ve made items for Common and Eve in the past, and their future is limitless.
“Crochet is so endless. You can make home accents, children’s clothing, jewelry… and it’s not even the items it’s the way we do it. We tend to make items that are brighter, we use feathers… we feel free to dive into the world of home accents now.”
Check out some of the fly stuff Monika and Erika have made!
You can learn more at Double Stitch Twins.com, purchase items from the Double Stitch Etsy page, and the twins host a program and feature videos on Virtue One Radio.com, a contemporary Christian network where they uplift listeners and viewers through their handicraft.
Don’t be surprised if someday soon you see these gorgeous twins hosting their own crafts show on television, teaching classes around Chicago, or (and I LOVE this idea) hosting a craft cruise! I’d love to learn in that kind of environment!
Do you already know how to crochet? What kind of stuff have you made? Or are you like me and just want to learn?