Once considered a lost art, knitting has taken a recent surge in popularity, according to Treena Lucero of Hillsboro. Also making a surge in popularity is an item handmade by Lucero, called a beardo.
“Last year I made and sold 50 hats,” Lucero said. “Characters from a popular cell phone game were a big thing and I knitted a hat that had a tail on top and a bird design. Those hats paid for my Christmas.”
This year Lucero again has orders for bird game hats, but even more popular are the new beardos, a knit hat-ski mask combination.
“I first saw the beardos on Pinterest,” Lucero said. “Then a friend who also saw it asked if I could make them, and I said I’d give it a try. Now I have several orders for them.”
Lucero’s husband, Mayo, has been her model for working out a beardo pattern. She created the ensemble by combining a typical knit hat with a wide, button-on chinstrap.
“They really could be a warm thing to have when the wind is blowing this winter,” she said.
Cowls and scarves are also popular Christmas gift items on Lucero’s to-do list.
“The knitted look is really back in,” she said. “You can either pay expensive retail prices or learn to make what you want on your own. It really has become one of my favorite pass-times.”
Lucero said the difference between cowls and scarves was the type of yarn used, the length of the item, and how people wore it.
“Cowls are thicker and shorter and worn closer up around your neck,” she said. “The scarves can be loosely looped around and are usually finer yarns and longer in length.”
Lucero works part-time at Odds and Ends craft-store in Hillsboro and owns On Location Photography. Her knitting interests, which really took off two years ago after she read a book about a yarn shop, enhance both jobs.
“I have some of my work for sale at Odds and Ends, plus I can visit with customers there about what they want,” she said. “I also knit hats that we use in photo sessions, like for the babies, so it all kind of goes together.”
Lucero learned to knit two years ago, after helping organize an instructional class through the Hillsboro Recreation Commission.
“It was a very basic class,” she said. “But we learned to pearl, and then made a pot holder and a hat.”
Since then Lucero expanded her skills to crocheting.
“My mom actually tried to teach me to crochet when I was a kid, but I just couldn’t get it,” she said. “Last year I went to YouTube and found some great instructional videos. You can learn anything on YouTube. They show the hands and the movements you make, plus you can stop, rewind, and go over and over a step until you understand it.”
Her repertoire of items made now includes baby booties and animals, as well as the beardos, hats, scowls, and scarves.
“I don’t like to make big things like sweaters or afghans,” she said. “Those take too long. I like to start something and get it done. Smaller projects are really where my interest is at.”
At a women’s craft night recently, Lucero put out a sign-up sheet to gauge others interest in knitting lessons.
“I was really surprised that six people signed up right there,” she said. “Then I posted on Facebook that I might consider giving lessons and instantly got 16 more. I am thinking of teaching a class in January, but it looks like all the spots will already be filled.”
Lucero has already taught her 8-year-old daughter to knit.
“She made her teacher a scarf and is working on another ruffle scarf,” she said. “I would consider knitting a found art. It seems to me that more and more young people want to learn to knit and it is becoming very popular again.”
Lucero will have knitted items for sale in a booth at Kessler Kreations, Saturday at the Down Home Christmas event in Hillsboro.