Crochet takes center stage in art gallery

DeKALB –áThe July exhibit at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center galleries is a display of items crocheted by Debi Frankovich of Sycamore.

Frankovich and her family moved to the DeKalb area 10 years ago. She is deeply involved in her community and church, volunteers with the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois and is president of the Kishwaukee Community Hospital Auxiliary Board.

Frankovich began crocheting at age 9, when her grandmother, who was partially blind, taught her the pineapple stitch using thread.

“She crocheted mainly by feel,” Frankovich said. “At the time, I could not grasp how she did that, but now, 40-plus years later, I totally understand.”

Crocheting has been Frankovich’s hobby for more than 40 years, she said, and she has made sweaters, blankets, hats and other items for herself and others. She takes projects with her everywhere and sometimes crochets four to six hours in a day. A prayer shawl group from the Evangelical Free Church of Sycamore/DeKalb meets at Frankovich’s home to make shawls and scarves that are given to people from all walks of life.

When Frankovich lost her job in health care last year, a friend suggested she apply for a job as a crochet instructor at Michaels craft store. The store required its instructors to be certified by the Craft Yarn Council, so Frankovich spent the next six months completing a portfolio of work to be critiqued in New York. In January, she was certified as a master crochet instructor, and now teaches classes in crochet at the Michaels store in North Aurora and at the Cortland Library. She also gives private lessons and sells her items in craft shows and on commission.

In the future, Frankovich says she would like to teach at the DeKalb Michaels and to host crochet support groups for cancer patients.

“Who knew that a gift that God gave me, a gift I took as a hobby, could take so many twists and turns and become my career besides my passion?” she said. “I am blessed to share it with others.”

Crochet Exhibit

7-9 p.m. Fridays through July 26

DeKalb Area Women's Center, 1021 State St., DeKalb

Special reception 5-6 p.m. Thursday, July 11

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