Your Age Is Not Relevant – Crochet Ruminations

There are plenty of hobbyists who have crocheted for a very long time when they think of start dates to present.  However, it’s a little tiring when someone like me gets a lecture about crochet from someone, just because they are older.  When I know for a fact they’ve never lived and breathed the art as I, they’ve never explored their skills the same, nor taken the risks I have. And I’m pretty sure if we added hour for hour, effort for effort, my “crochet age” would likely dwarf theirs in a second.

I’m just excited when others are crocheting.  I don’t care if they’re as fanatical about it as I or not.  But I don’t appreciate being talked down to, simply on the basis of age and with nothing to do with skill.

I don’t know why crocheters do this to each other at all.  Painters don’t do this.  They recognize artists wherever they are on the time line.  Potters don’t do this.  At least not in my art circles.  But crocheters (and knitters) will.

Age alone does not equal knowledge and skill.



Filed under NaBloPoMo

8 responses to “Your Age Is Not Relevant – Crochet Ruminations

  1. gilder

    Amen, sister! Younger crafters, experimenting with new techniques, tools, and materials, have my admiration and respect.

    I started crocheting in my teens (late 1970’s) but am at a “low intermediate” skill level, preferrring to make relatively easy, seamless items. Traditional small granny squares and multi-piece garment projects have languished among my UFO’s for decades. Spinning my own yarn or making plarn? Fugeddabowtit. 😉

  2. I don’t get it either. It’s about as tedious as dealing with outright anti-crochet bias from non-crocheters. Each person’s crochet journey is their own. Sure there are folks out there that are light years ahead of me with their skills; and there are folks out there who are just starting out. I just don’t “get” why some folks have to diminish the joy of others.

    I agree, age alone does not equal skill. Also worth noting, years of crochet does not necessarily equal expert crocheters either. There are some folks out there who need a pattern and never deviate from it. And another subset of folks who not only follow a pattern, never deviate from it, AND they HAVE to work that project in the exact yarn, in the exact COLOR in which the sample was worked. Again, their journey. Not my choice or part of my process.

    Disclaimer: I’m also a left handed person. So no matter how you slice it, there will even be folks who will claim I’m “doin’ it wrong” because of how hold my yarn etc etc.

    Ultimately, life is too short to allow these shrews that much headspace. Sure, the shrews exist. But I find that the best revenge is doing what you do, and enjoying what you do.

    • Yep, I posted with regard to essentially age discrimination, but you’re totally right. Skill or expertise isn’t necessarily based completely on crochet hours either.

      My post was based on a hybrid of experiences between someone who repairs knit and an experience with a store owner during my vacation. On my vacation I was pouring over antique crochet doilies in an antique rummage shop. And the owner tried to pretend she knew something about what she had, claimed something was crochet that wasn’t and then it went downhill from there. The knit person also crochets and made the mistake of telling me that knitting made a better quality fabric than crochet. In each case, I had trouble engaging in civil discourse largely because my expertise came into question based entirely upon my younger age. wth

  3. Amy

    Totally agree with you, Julia. Age is not relevant. It also works the other way around. I hate being dismissed as irrelevant based on the fact that I have gray hair.

  4. ladyeeyore7

    As a senior I have also met persons such as the shop owner you mention. This is not just a crochet issue but rather a lack of knowledge of product they are selling. I think we just have to try to tolerate and accept these situations.
    Crocheting now has a forum it never had before. With the advent of the internet it has progressed immeasurably. During my day, as well as my mother, grandmother, etc. crochet was looked upon as either a necessity or a frivolous function neither of which allowed a lot of time to explore. I am not necessarily condoning the attitudes of these seniors but rather trying to give a view of a possible explanation. Being on the other side of this fence I have received attitude from the younger set. No, I am not an expert on all the various new stitch techniques, the myriad of freestyle work or any other new ideas. We didn’t have YouTube to teach us but rather the laps of our mothers and grandmothers. We tried our best to keep the technique and skill alive during the transition of necessity to frivolousness to art form. Now we find ourselves being disassociated from this craft because we have a difficult time transitioning to the overflow of techniques, new stitches and ‘creative ability’. Please understand that I applaud the work, skill and talent that has raised crochet to a wonderfully recognized art form. I love and relish all the new creativity that has sprung forth. I am amazed and often awestruck at the complexity of work I often see. I also ask that when engaging with a senior who has crocheted for many years, albeit basic simple work, to give us the same respect you would any other artist who’s time was spent creating the best we knew. Just like ice skaters who, a century ago, performed those first Olympic years with the most basic steps to earn their medals they were necessary for the current skaters today to be recognized and perform the impossible steps they now do. (Try watching an old Sonja Henie movie to see what an Olympic skater looked like 80 years ago). The crafter also needed the seniors who worked their simple work to keep the skills alive to pass on to future generations. I, for one, love picking the brain and learning, watching from a crocheter older than me. You never know what you might learn. If nothing else you are giving them acknowledgement for their dedication to the craft and keeping it alive for you to perform the incredible items you now create.

    • Thanks for adding to the discussion LadyEeyore,

      As mentioned in my own comments addendum to the original post, I was simply writing about age discrimination, of any kind. My parents are seniors. My grandmothers were my teachers and my co-conspirators in crochet, not the internet. Grandma Dot survived the depression and had a wealth of understanding and views on design, which I still look for in late 1800’s and early 1900’s design. My grandmother-in-law was also amazing with her lace skills, which I just wish I could have absorbed more from her for. She would have been 108 next month. And though we all had different things we liked, not once did they treat me without respect or I them. We just simply celebrated our crochet together. It didn’t matter how many years were between us, we simply chattered excitedly about crochet.

      No one likes to be talked down to and what gets me is that anyone ever feels they have a right to do that with another human being other than as a parent or a true authority figure where appropriate. Anyone who knows me knows my work and advocacy for preserving knowledge and for our senior generations – those who laid the ground work for everything we have today. Please don’t mistake my post for disrespect. More a wishing not to be treated as ignorant simply because I look half my age and crochet lace work is “not supposed to be a younger generation’s art.” The point was, age isn’t a factor when sharing expertise. Expertise is the factor. I’m grateful that none of the seniors I knew even as a child (I was active as the only under-age member of county home extension) ever isolated me on the basis of age.

      • Amy

        County home extension. That takes me back. When I was growing up, it was called Home Bureau, and I remember attending meetings with my mother before I was old enough to start school.

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