The enterprise to to start a new “museum” – whatever that means in the twenty-first century – is daunting. Important, valuable objects and the stories they tell deserve the “museum” treatment. The Knit and Crochet Heritage Project is about making sure that the objects that we have created with our hands and the simple tools of sticks, hooks and string are so honored.
I know the title of this blog page is KnittingHeritageMuseum – and doesn’t mention its equally compelling and important sister art/craft: crochet. Movers and shakers in the crochet world have frequently called me out and asked, “How could you make such an omission?” I thought i would share my mea culpa with you readers, and ask your indulgence for a fresh start. I appreciate crocheters’ concern, and i agree that in a perfect world (I work hard – but am not perfect) I would have used crochet equally from the very beginning.
Initially I used just the word “knitting” in the titles and for setting up Facebook, mostly because “knitting and crocheting heritage museum” was such a mouthful. Actually, my grandmother taught me to crochet before i learned to knit, and my crochet-only sister keeps me in line. My wedding dress and veil were trimmed with 8 yards of crocheted – not knitted – lace edging that I made.
Early on crocheters pointed out the error of my ways. They made clear that I had erroneously chosen perceived brevity over inclusivity and that was a mistake.
Before I could change the name to “Knit and Crochet Heritage Museum” to be more inclusive, I ran afoul of the Facebook rule that does not allow one to change the name of the Page once it has collected more than 100 “likes”. Likewise – I got too far along with registration page and blog page to put “Knit and Crochet” in those titles. Since then, I have edited the text in public spaces that would allow (or where i could figure out how to go back in and do it.)
The domain name i have secured for a proper web page is the KACHM.org for Knit and Crochet Heritage Museum, – so, moving forward, inclusiveness will be more visible. The current version of the logo now says Knit and Crochet Heritage Museum- although it, like the Facebook name and of this blog page are placeholders.
The good news is that the Symposium, November 8-10 in Madison, Wisconsin, provides the opportunity for a fresh start – snappy new inclusive name for the project/initiative/museum that is the result of deliberation and consensus. The more crocheters engage, the more balance there will be. Perhaps we will even come up with the a single word for knit and crochet like we have “sibling” for brothers and sisters. In Japanese, there is only one word that translates roughly as “yarn play.” Perhaps a new inclusive word like “yarning” or something better, will catch on. That would be a positive outcome.
One of the possibilities is to develop a “SWAT” team of skilled crocheters and knitters to work with willing curators to help update, clarify and enhance documentation. Getting labels straight in museum collections, so that crocheted objects aren’t misclassified as knitting, and vice versa, is a goal of this project; that will benefit both knitters and crocheters.
This initiative has a higher likelihood of success if crocheters, as well as knitters are on board. Now is the time to direct our collective energies time and talents to advance both crochet and knitting. Symposium registration closes Oct. 26. I hope you can join us.