Smock Rocks!

comments: 75


Yesterday I did two things I rarely do: 1) I actually ventured off of the property after dark and not wearing sweatpants and 2) I went to a group meeting to learn something new from actual people instead of from a book. And it was awesome!

The group was the Portland chapter of SAGA, or the Smocking Arts Guild of America. I have been wanting to learn to smock forever, and somehow I got a bee in my bonnet last week and started looking around to take a smocking class, and found this group which was meeting in just a few days. They warmly welcomed me and the teacher, Nancy Malitz, helped me pleat up a piece of fabric and start this little sampler. Predictably, I am immediately and thoroughly obsessed. I got home at 9:30 p.m., went to bed around midnight, and had weird dreams all night where, once again, I couldn't stop the smock. It was like I was having a Pee-Wee Herman knitting moment. But with smocking.

Much, much more on this to come from me, including details on correspondence courses in smocking, etc., and a photo of a correspondence-course beginner's dress that Nancy is going to send me. Very exciting. In other news, I finished my weensy gray grannie square blanket over the weekend and will have that pattern up and running this week, I think and hope. I ordered a great big blocking board that should get here any day so I don't want to take another photo of the blanket until it's officially blocked because I am quite excited about having a real board with a grid and everything. Maybe I'll do a before blocking and after blocking photo just to really see the diff.


I LOVE smocking and just got into it about 2 years ago when my daughter was born. I hope you'll do many more posts about it as this is such a fun, beautiful aren't that we rarely see modern takes of! Thanks!

I learned smocking waaayy back when making smocked pillows was the rage. Haven't done it since, but remember loving it! Oh dear, I feel another obsession coming on!!
Love your blog (always cheers my day) and the pics of Ms. Clover. She's such a sweetie!

I would LOVE to learn how to smock. I keep telling my mother she should give it a go. What a blast!

You crack me up...

Smocking seems so neat but so complicated! I'd love to hear more about your experience.

Smocking looks fun! I had not heard of it before. Please do take a photo of before and after blocking your blanket. I would love to see the difference, as I have always wondered about that. :)

I know your comment wasn't directed to me, but I just wanted to tell you that smocking is SO easy! You should try it! It is time consuming, but isn't hard at all. It is just making a stitch and the direction/combination of stitches is what makes the pictures. Try it!

Oh, Yay! I love it when you find a new obsession!
This looks like fun!

Oh my goodness you are smocking! Just another feather in your wonderful, crafty cap. Can't wait to see more.

At first I read your post title as 'Smart Rocks' (true, too) which I was hoping was not a variation of Pop Rocks...anyway...I was very delighted to see such a pleasing picture. Love the red and linen.

I've always loved smocking. My grandmother used to make me gorgeous smocked dresses with fine embroidered roses and flowers. I have blogged about it earlier this month if you wanted to take a peek.

"couldn't stop the smock"...loved that;)

Oh, of course you love it! I'm just like you: mild fascinations go to full-blown obsessions in the space of a few short hours. I haven't tried smocking yet, but something tells me I'll find the need to master it at some point in my life.


Oh, I've always wanted to learn how to smock. It's on my mile long list of other crafts I want to learn. ;)

Always enjoy reading your updates - my Alabama grandmother used to smock everything -especially pillows
- in velvet!

Oh, I am excited about the gray grannies!
Dumb question, what do you mean by blocking it? Can you explain in the post tha tyou do with the before and after?

PRETTY! My very artistic and crafty Aunt Joyce is a smocking pro and I've always wanted to learn from her...if she'd only sit still long enough. She's made a gorgeous, smocked christening gown that all the babies in the family now wear when they're baptized. Millions of little loving stitches. Ahhh...

Oh gosh, like I'm not obsessed enough with (newly learned) crocheting and those gray grannies... now I HAVE to dig out that smocking from the WIP basket. And you're making me obsessed with gray. Somebody stop this woman!

You know what I liked the best about this post? The fact that A "Smocking Arts Guild of America" even EXISTS. How cool is that? Seriously cool.

I bought a pleater on e-bay, so I could spend smocking time actually smocking, instead of boring pleating!

Beware... smocking is addictive. I discovered it years ago and have been smitten ever since.

Man, I can never get the hang of smocking, it's totally vexing to me. I'm so impressed that you got it.

117 circles made for Yvestown granny squares afghan I'm doing. 303 to go for our king size coverlet. I'd love to see the whole blocking process! I'm going to need it. :)

I love your gray one, btw.

You will love "Beautiful Bishops". I haven't done one yet, but plan to.

I can't wait to hear about the blocking board. I usually pin my crochet on to a towel on a bed, or (eek) on the sofa, only to come back and find a cat or two magnetised on to it. Kind of defeats the purpose of blocking when you have to pick the kitty fluff off, lol.
BTW: your smocking rocks!
Best Wishes

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at