Date: 17. February 2020
Time to read: 5 min
Crocheting – an almost forgotten skill – has recently regained popularity. In the past, our grandmothers crocheted within the four walls of their homes, while today, crocheters socialise and create their textiles outside their homes, they exchange their knowledge and skills, plan projects and have their crochet products displayed for the world to see. They even go on a crocheting marathon and attempt to set a record.
Anita Kac and Jadranka Smiljić had been preparing for three months for the challenge that was ahead of them. They started their marathon of continuous crocheting on 6 February 2020 at 8:00 in Slovenj Gradec and set a new Guinness Record.
The current world record stood at 24 hours, while the two ladies were able to surpass this achievement, crocheting for as long as 28 hours.
Anita Kac crocheted hats, scarves, hair ribbons and a grandmother blanket, while Jadranka Smiljić undertook to crochet the coat of arms of the Slovenj Gradec Municipality, but, due to the complexity of this task, she put the work aside. They needed 4.5 kg of wool, which equals a length of approximately 13,500 metres. While crocheting they took breaks totalling 125 minutes and the two longest breaks amounted to 15 minutes each.
Rules for getting into the Guinness Book of Records
The crocheting was monitored by two independent witnesses. Their task was also to evaluate the competitors' products taking into consideration the Guinness World Record rules, which stipulate that the record attempt must take place in a public place and that a special diary must be kept describing the progress of the attempt, including breaks and the replacement of witnesses. Twenty-two people were directly involved in this event and a further eight were involved indirectly. The total number of people involved was even higher. The two competitors were also required to submit a list of all the products they created, video evidence of the event and photographic evidence.
The official results of the new world record in crocheting will be announced in about a month's time after the Guinness Committee has examined all the evidence.
More than just manual skills
Crocheting is a great way to take time for ourselves, it is a special way of relaxing and meditation for our brains. It may seem that in crocheting it is the end product that is most important. However, crocheting is much more.
It is the crocheting process that counts, the contact with wool, the warmth of the wool, all of which improves our mental well-being.
The final product only proves that we have the ability.
The members of the "Mestne kvačkarice" (Urban Crocheters' Club) from Novo mesto are well aware of the positive aspects of crocheting. "Crocheting means creating, it is therapy, it is the interweaving of thread and the weaving of wonderful mutual relations," says "urban crocheter" Zvonka Mehak Jakopin.
"We socialise in the town, in the Situla Hostel, where we were kindly offered a sofa to meet and crochet once every two weeks." Currently, the Urban Crocheters' Club has around 20 members. "Our members are middle-aged ladies active at work and at home, and older ladies, active in various clubs, while all are distinguished women. We are enthusiasts of creative crocheting and greatly respect tradition and our rich cultural heritage of handicrafts," Zvonka Mehak Jakopin adds with a smile.
Active Urban Crocheters
Urban Crocheters cooperate well with the Museum of Dolenjska and the Miran Jarc Library in Novo mesto. In April 2019, they held an exhibition of Easter table settings at the museum, and for the second year in a row they organised the Novo mesto Handicrafts Festival, which is a true holiday for craftsmen and creators.
On this occasion, they crocheted a wedding bedspread, which they donated to the Museum of Dolenjska for its ethnological collection.
"We hope and wish that the wedding bedspread will become part of the modern ethnological heritage for future generations," says Zvonka Mehak Jakopin.
The Urban Crocheters are also proud of their cooperation with the Europa Donna Foundation in Slovenia. At the beginning of October they wrapped tree trunks in Novo mesto with pink yarn. With this act they symbolically drew attention to the importance of the fight against breast cancer.
In December the Urban Crocheters organised a Christmas Charity Bazaar at the Novo mesto Library and crocheted around 80 hats and scarves. In cooperation with the Novo mesto Lions Club they donated the proceeds from the bazaar to charity. They also donated a diversity blanket, which they crocheted together with crocheter groups from Vrhnika ("Kvakvačkaš") and Jesenice ("Razkrite roke") at the Handicrafts Festival, during the Culture Week and completed it at the Christmas Bazaar.
The Urban Crocheters have already made new plans for events and projects for 2020, including social events and meetings to exchange ideas with other Slovenian crocheters.