Kitsch & Crafts



Crocheting ain’t just for grandma anymore. Needlepoint is fly and knitting is hip once again among the coolest of cool -- a new, younger wave of Indie DIY-ers and uber-fems with a flare for fashion are bringing back homemade crafting with a counter-cultural twist. Subversive re-fitting of iconic female images from the 1930s, 40s and 50s -- on everything from napkins and table settings to journals and t-shirts -- seem to be popping up more frequently these days as pastiche gains popularity and a reappropriation of the retro is all the rage. Any of you who, at first glance, read that as crotch-eting, well, you’re clearly behind in your Indie trends.

Books like Stitch ‘n’ Bitch and Happy Hooker Crochet, and Web sites like (where you can buy reproductions of fabulous vintage fabrics at cheap, cheap prices) and are taking early/mid 20th century

sewing and crafting habits of happy housewives and turning them on their heads. Popular pastimes relegated to antiquated ideals of womanly virtue are now emerging as a synthesis of femininity and feminism in some pretty hot ways. (also see BUST magazine)

Locally, the New Orleans Craft Mafia is one group getting their craft on. Comprised of several independent artists that work in a variety of mediums, this group of skilful ladies is holding two shopping events for the upcoming holidays. On Sunday Dec. 9 it will host the Crescent City Craft Market from 2 to 6 pm at the Big Top Gallery, 1638 Clio St., where they will sell handmade arts and crafts from clothing and jewelry to toys and other artwork perfect for gifts.

The group has also planned another event, "The Last Stop Shop at the Big Top" on Thursday, Dec 20 from 6 to 10 pm. In addition to a DJ, door prizes and discounts, they’ll also hold a drawing for handmade ornaments, of which half the proceeds will be donated to Recycle for the Arts.

If you're interested in becoming a crafter yourself, there are a variety of opportunities to take classes on knitting, crocheting and the like throughout the city. Check out the Garden District Needlework Shop on Magazine St. for more information.

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