Day: August 3rd, 2006

Crochet class: loose ends

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006 | All Things, Classes

Attended my final crochet class at Cooper Union tonight. The extreme heat – three straight days of at least 100 degree temperatures at both LaGuardia and Newark airports – seemed to keep people several at home. Even Con Ed dismissed their non-essential employees early. Tonight our ranks numbered just five, plus instructor Lisa.

Cooper Union

We reviewed our patterns from last week and launched into hairpin lace crochet. This technique, unlike the others we learned during the course, is worked on a small handheld loom, sometimes called a staple – actually a two-pronged fork of adjustable width – on which one makes interconnecting loops using a crochet hook. Early practitioners of this craft worked their stitches onto an actual hairpin, giving the technique its name. The result is an open, airy weave, suitable for lace and edgings, or interconnected to form a lightweight fabric. The ends can also be cut for fringe, left free-hanging as loops, or finished off.

My first attempt was pretty dismal, as usual: the tension wasn’t quite right, and my stitches, once removed from the loom, had a way of curling up into a hopeless-looking wad. Argh. But through perseverance – and some extra attention from the ever-patient instructor – I eventually ended up with two pieces that could be coaxed to lay flat. I still think it’s a somewhat old-fashioned-looking technique – even more so than standard crochet – but with more practice, and prettier yarns, this could be used to create a sweet-looking shawl. Or worked up with thin wires and interspersed beading for some funky cuffs or necklaces?



I’m only just getting into the possibilities. Cooper Union is offering a more advanced, craft-focused version of this class in the Fall: Purses, Pillows and Chapeaus: Exploring Shape, Structure and Design. I’m very interested in their New York City History course, but with my Russian class re-starting at NYU in September, there just don’t seem to be enough days in the week.

I bid farewell to my classmates and left Cooper Union just before 10pm. It had rained sometime during my class: the ground was still wet in spots, and the temperature had dropped some 15 degrees. Sweet relief! It was actually pleasant enough weather to walk… not the entire way home, but to the West Village, where I caught the 1 uptown.

Jefferson Market at night:

Jefferson Market
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