my passion for textile arts began, for me, right from childhood. it was my mother who influenced me in this department. i would always see her working on some project and be inspired to beg for scrap pieces of fabric and leftover strings to play with on my own.
the first memory i have is sitting on the couch beside my mom, too young to know how to tie my shoe laces, but i somehow convinced myself that i could emulate her wiggling action of the crochet hook next to the string and would therefore be crocheting. even her efficient speed was emulated. apparently this was pretty funny to all onlookers, and me, being such a ham, loved the attention probably a little too much..considering the fact that my work was not growing or ‘getting bigger’ like my mother’s would in a seeming instant of time.
starting at such an early age really set the groundwork for this love of working with strings and fibres, almost like they had interwoven themselves directly in with my heart strings…and there was no turning back. i was hooked.
how this passion develops
first comes technique, things like how you are supposed to hold the needle and wrap strings around your fingers, then comes accuracy, learning to not miss stitches and tension management, and that annoying aspect of ripping things apart when it’s just not looking like it’s supposed to; then comes speed, working faster while maintaining the works’ integrity. all of this development happens over time and with a lot of practice.
i learned to read patterns, which was fun for a while…. and then i learned to make my own, designing and writing them up. that crochet coded lingo can be a bit foreign to your average non-crocheting person, am i right? But honestly, i found that, over time, this wasn’t enough of a challenge for me anymore…..it’s funny where creative evolution takes you.
i now approach my work with a more random, free-form style. i find the results more unique to my vision, different every time from one project to the next, because i’m not worried about counting exact stitches. i think i say it became boring because it was monotonous to go round and round in such a predictable manner. i’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, it is actually very soothing and therapeutic to just fall into the easy rhythm of creating a beautifully and intricately made doily.
however, i think i have come to the next stage of my creative crocheting journey. let’s just say that i’m into unpredictability now, while remaining highly recognizable with my signature style. it excites me to no end, to be able to work on a piece from the beginning and not know what it is going to be by the time i deem it complete. i just look for a pleasing shape before i tie off my strings.
you can see here in this video some of my latest pieces. as an artist, it’s never enough for me to just do one thing at a time. i have combined my love of line drawing with embroidery, and then added the delicate outer border of free form crochet. it has become what i do….and i also do this with paper creations, but maybe i’ll talk about that in a future video.
so, the next time you look at something handmade, whether it is my own work or from any other talent….try to remember the deeper story that lies behind the work. with every stitch artists everywhere are weaving passions and memories and traditions…and adding their own unique touches of creative flair. i’m carmelina lounsbury and my passions for textile arts began right from childhood.