I have these cute Shamrocks growing against my apartment in the back and every time the guys from Astro Extermination Service spray against the buildings outside, it kills these delicate pretty greens. Next time, I'm going to save some in a pot for myself before they kill them all - again!
In March we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but March is also National Crochet month according to the Crochet Guild of America.
Allow me to share an interesting article from the "Talking Crochet" newsletter concerning the history of a very old crochet technique:
There is a little bit of Irish in each and every one of us crocheters! "How so?" ... you may say if your origins are quite different. Irish crochet or cottage lace is famous for its intricate designs that were developed from simple patterns. Our Irish foremothers, whose skills were honed over lifetimes, learned from their ancestors without patterns. Great patience was required in order for them to crochet the finest of threads, up to and including size 100!
In tribute, crocheters are proud of those Irish skills as they strive to achieve that degree of expertise, inspired by their ancestors' sacrifice and by the instructions they left behind for us. From 1845 to 1851, the potato famine devastated Ireland. The Ursuline nuns were familiar with Venetian lace from France, and they knew the Irish women, who had produced rough cloth for their families for generations, had crochet skills. The nuns realized that these skills presented an opportunity to create cottage industries and save the population from famine.
Fine crochet, called Irish crochet, replaced potatoes as the source of income that prevented starvation. Unique designs were developed by families, and the motifs were kept top secret. Some ancestral motif instructions were lost when family members died or fled to other countries.
The crochet schools of the 1850s and 1860s began to disappear as fashions changed. With demand for lace declining, the cottage industries died out as well. In the 1880s, a brief revival of cottage lace produced samples that today are family heirlooms and museum pieces.
Examples of Irish Crochet, Cottage Lace or Irish Lace: