FRANKLIN — The stitches in beautifully crafted needlework displayed in a new exhibit at the Miners Hall Museum also knit one generation to another.
Pieces on display in the Stitch in Time exhibit, which will open Jan. 5 and run through the end of March, include a work brought to the area from overseas more than 100 years ago, several generations of drawn work and tatting and brightly-colored modern knitted and crocheted works.
“At this time of year, people are stuck in and feel like they want to do something,” said Linda Roberts, chairwoman for the Miners Hall Museum Board of Trustees. “We’re going to try to do some sort of home craft the first quarter of every year.”
She said needlework was the chosen theme for the first quarter of 2015, and special events along the way will show how wide variations of the art.
“We’re highlighting knitting in the displays and the programming in January and we’ll highlight the crocheting in February and highlight the counted cross-stitch in March,” Roberts said.
The exhibit’s hostess, Claire Krueger, has been a life-long knitter.
“I can’t actually remember when I started knitting,” Krueger said, adding that her earliest memories of the art are at age seven or eight.
Krueger teaches knitting and crocheting at Joann’s in Joplin, and said the exhibit is an opportunity to highlight an art form that is in danger of becoming lost.
“The only thing I really want to convey is that it has been around,” she said. “It has started to become a lost art and then came back in the ‘70s,” she said, adding that it has had another resurgence in recent years.
“I think it’s a lifelong joy and it is something you can do a lot with,” she continued.
Knitting and crocheting also was a very traditional way of creating works of art and gifts that were treasured from generation to generation.
“Needlework was a way people in the past gave gifts,” said Kimbra Brunk, a member of the Miners Hall Museum board who also contributed family pieces to the display. “It was something they could make and it was not expensive and they put their love into it.”
That needlework could include everything from knitting and crocheting to counted cross-stitch, and a full variety is on display in the exhibit.
Works include delicate pieces made by Susan Ward, her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, a piece from Linda Frihart’s family brought from Sweden in 1912, works by Leona Bell and many pieces made by Claire Krueger throughout the years.
A series of special presentations also will teach the general public some basics of the art. Presentations are for both men and women and RSVPs are requested.
Krueger will teach arm knitting from 2-4 p.m. on Jan. 25, and those attending are asked to bring a bulky skein of yarn.
Audience members will learn how to finger crochet from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 22, and Bev Pommier will teach counted cross stitch from 2-4 p.m. March 8.
Roberts said organizers will be reaching out to schools and groups in hopes of bringing in younger audience members as well to begin to pass the art on to the next generation.