Monday, June 4, 2012

Irene Young, an artisan of fine hand-mades

I see Irene Young, a Shirret and crochet Artisan (a French word for the highest, purest design, as in Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Coco Chanel) of Pocasset on Cape Cod at the coolest places. First it was MA Sheep and Woolcraft fair in Western Massachusetts when she bought my Shirret Everything Starter Kit from my 13 year old daughter Juliet, and a bunny, then at VT Sheep & Wool, and recently NY State Dutchess county Sheep & Wool.

When her friends are learning to Shirret from her, if they make a 'mistake' (is there such a thing in crochet?), she says "Don't tear it out!  Make it into something - make it a flower if it suggests that. Just DO it.

At her booth at the Farmers Market in Sandwich or Falmouth, she says "Everything here was made by an American woman - I made it all.  Forget fair trade - this work is made here."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You can make cheerful Shirret Rag Rugs, if you Crochet

     If you can make a chain stitch and a double crochet, then you can Shirret.  You can cut up old wool skirts, curtains, madras bedspreads, even knitted clothing. We cut free yarn from stash fabric. Cheap and cheerful rugmaking, but the rugs are luxury and look expensive, from a designer collection for the home.
     I am the only one who manufactures the special steel rugmaking needle you need. It was made before the Civil War and again in the 1930s, and now I am the only one who manufactures it.  60,000 people learned to make Shirret rugs because my granny and my mom Louise McCrady taught them, all over the midwest and throughout New England, either personally or with their book.
     Louise's book, first published in 1968 and revised and updated in 1997, THE ART OF SHIRRET is filled with how-to drawings, photographs, written how-to instructions, and patterns for round rugs, oval rugs, rectangular rugs, and quilt rugs. We are THE SOURCE for SHIRRET, a pretty word Louise McCrady created to describe her very pretty rugmaking technique, in 1968.
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