Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Minor Celebrity, Right Down Stairs

Every week or so, I get together with a few neighbors, to knit or crochet, and hear the latest news around the building. On a particular afternoon in the summer, there were about 5 or 6 of us at a large round table, crafting.  Another resident, who I just knew as, "Marge, with the Yorkie, Mitzie,"  came by and  took a look at what we were doing. I think, at the time, I was making my Scallop Scarf.  One of the  crafters said, "Marge, why don't you join us?" And then she said to the group, "You should see the beautiful work she does."   Marge graciously declined and said she likes to crochet while watching TV in the evening. 

Then, the person who invited Marge to join us, reminded Marge that I'd never seen her needlework.  Marge said she was going to check on Mitzie and she would bring some baby sets she just finished, so we could see them. She disappeared for a few minutes and returned with 5 or 6 beautiful Christening gowns, bonnets and booties. She's making them for all the young relatives she has, whether they are expecting babies now or not. She wants them to have them, so if they have children after Marge is no longer able to crochet, or after she passes away, they will all have Christening sets.  The work was intricate and beautifully executed.  I asked her, a bit puzzled, why she didn't want to hang out with us, even if she didn't stitch.  She said, "Oh, it was my work for a number of years. I was a designer."  She was a designer?!? I knew she had been a nurse, but a crochet designer? She told us how she worked with a couple publishing companies. Her job was creating a finished model and creating a pattern when given a description of some crochet object for a book or pattern collection.  She's significantly older than I, but I think I have seen  old, out of print books that contain some of her designs. Two of the publishers with whom she worked were House of White Birches and Leisure Arts, in the 80's.   Back in the day, I had some of their books. I donated them and/or sold them when we moved, 5 years ago, because I had to pare way, way, way down. 

Now, she is into miniatures for doll houses. She has an Etsy shop in which she sells her teeny tiny 1 inch scale crocheted pieces. They're made with DMC tatting cotton and a size 14 steel hook. Wow! She has a 5 star rating and all the reviews of her work are positively glowing. I've known Marge for several years and until that afternoon, I had no idea of her long crafting history, nor her amazing craftsmanship.  

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