Crochet redux: crAft (with a capital A)

Two notes to my readers:

One: This post was first published on February 17, 2011 under the title “crAft (with a capital A).”

Two: I sold a design based on this project (but not exactly like it) to Red Heart yarns, and if you feel like you need one of your own, you can find the pattern (available at no charge) here.

Today I finished the behemoth of a granny square that I began to work on the day before Super Bowl XLV. It was a project meant to be worked on and completed during the game, but as with many of the projects I take on, it required more time to finish than I had anticipated.

Inspired by Frank Stella’s piece pictured here,

Sunset Beach Sketch, Frank Stella

I set out with the intention of creating a work in crochet that explores the difference between “Art” and, as I like to think of it, “crAft.”

I have long noticed that many of Frank Stella’s pieces could, with some effort and imagination, be rendered in crochet. The lines and the shapes, and in some cases, even the colors, fall well within many crochet traditions.

Why, I wondered, was Frank Stella’s work “Art” while a granny square creation such this one was not.

Detail of rescued afghan

And it is this question that has propelled me the last 11 days as I have worked on the crochet project inspired by Frank Stella’s sketch.

When I got up this morning, I was 5 rounds and one line of contrast color shy of finishing:

My If-Frank-Stella-Crocheted granny square as of this morning

Shortly before sunset, after a day of fevered crocheting and very little else, I had finally finished the five remaining rounds and completed the last line of contrast:

If-Frank-Stella-Crocheted granny square

While Frank Stella worked his piece in fluorescent and plain alkyd painting, I drew from my vast stores of Red Heart Super Saver yarn to create my piece.

I was also able to achieve a gauge that resulted in a granny square which measures 69″ x 69″, very close to the 69.5″ x 69.5″ of the piece which inspired the work.

While I enjoy Frank Stella’s work and have every intention of getting a photo of Boo-Boo on Stella’s Prince of Homburg sculpture at the National Gallery of Art East Building the next time I get to Washington, D.C., this project taught me that referential “crAft” can be just as tedious as referential “Art.”

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3 thoughts on “Crochet redux: crAft (with a capital A)

  1. Yes, it’s interesting how influenced / prejudiced we are by the medium in which art is expressed. it’s illogical that very often we assume that paint = art and yarn = craft. I wonder whether that’s to do with the usefulness or otherwise of the created object. Your crocheted concentric squares (which are stunning by the way) could be used as a blanket, while Frank Stella’s painting can’t be used at all, only viewed. I think these boundaries are rather artificial and it’s good to break out against them so call your piece “art” with pride! It is art! Have downloaded your pattern – it looks great. Is that you and your little ones in the pic with the pattern on the Red Heart website? It’s the most delightful photo. Elizabeth x

  2. OMGosh!! I just saw this pattern yesterday & feel in LOVE!! It’s so beautiful!! 2 questions, 1 – do u think u might make a you tube video tutorial on how to create the line contrast (I read the pattern yesterday & was a smidge confused, might of been because I wasn’t working the pattern @ the time) & 2, I’ve been working on a BIG granny square & a couple Soft & Wonderful patterns & no matter what I do, no matter how careful I am @ keeping the center ok, it ends up crooked. Yours is not, how did u keep it from getting crooked?? Thank u. Your blanket is STUNNING!!

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