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A Not So Simple String of Purls

I promised that I would tell a few stories about my designs and how they came to be. I haven’t told one since October of 2019. Sometimes the story changes course from the initial idea to the finished project. That was certainly the case with String of Purls.


String of Purls was originally created for the 2020 Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop. The theme was “Stitches in Time: Inspired by Decades.” When the shop owners met to assign each shop a decade, we randomly drew the 1960s. In previous hops, 2017 and 2018 in particular, my designs had grown out of issues of the day. But in January 2020, not only was I uninspired by the fashion of the second half of the 1960s (read: crocheted granny square vests and fringed leather jackets) I was also deeply discouraged by the state of our affairs. So I chose the early 1960s instead-- days of Camelot and the space mission and the world of Mad Men. I had originally named it “A Simple Strand of Purls”. A simpler design, a simpler time. Then the events of 2020 begged the question: simpler for whom? Answer: people like me.


String of Purls is a top down capelet, with a distinctive 1960’s style collar and “string” of bobble-ettes at the neck. It is reminiscent of the necklines of Jackie Kennedy and the pearls worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It is a design inspired by the past but (I’m listening) not blinded by it.


I'll check in again soon.

Cynthia Cushing





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