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Crafty Scots Page 8


Alice's Lord of the Isles Afghan
Alice's Lord of the Isles Afghan

AFGHANS BY ALICE

Crocheted Tartan Afghans that is! As a child of 7, I remembering watching my great-aunt crochet. Finally, at the age of 12 she taught me this age-old craft, which dates back to 16th century France.

The word crochet actually comes from the French word meaning ‘hook’. French nuns carried the art to Ireland where the Irish women skillfully achieved the level of requirement of well-bred young ladies. In 1820 the art of crochet was brought to England and recognized on a popularity level with knitting and embroidery known as ‘womanly arts’.

Originally crochet was worked in cotton thread for utilitarian purposes. Today, crocheting has developed many types of patterns for garments, afghans and other various decorative household items. Some patterns don’t even resemble crochet but look more like hand knit than the rough uneven texture of this age-old technique.

Several years ago I was desperate to somehow crochet a tartan afghan. The idea was in my head but I just could not put it together – there had to be some mathematical formula in order to have the pattern/sett repeat itself. A friend of mine told me she had a pattern for a tartan afghan and sent it to me. I could neither make head nor tale of it. I then went on to the internet and followed every avenue available until I found a woman in Australia who had actually figured out the mathematical formula. I was thrilled and could hardly wait to get started.

My first tartan afghan was that of Clan Henderson followed by Clan Donald, Clan MacLeod, Clan Cameron, Clan MacAlister, Clan Napier, three American Bicentennial, MacDoanld, Lord of the Isles, Clan Kincaid, an Irish Fisherman knit-look, and finally the State of Minnesota’s new tartan!

I have donated a few tartan afghans to charitable organizations for fund-raising raffles, and given several as gifts. Others have been purchased as heirlooms and/or gift-giving.

If you share this wonderful pass time of crocheting and/or have something of interest of "crafty Scots", please send you brief story and picture to: aliglen@aol.com or Bethscribble@aol.com


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