Crocheting all things Slovene to pursue Guinness record

Slovenj Gradec – A group of crochet enthusiasts has launched an attempt to get their craft immortalised in the Guinness World Records bible of achievements and curiosities. They are trying to set a record of making 1,000 crochet items, including crocheted coat of arms, to honour the 30th anniversary of Slovenia’s independence.

A total of 211 women and one man have joined forces under the group, called Slovenia Crocheting, to win the country another Guinness world record.

They started off by crocheting depictions of coat of arms of 212 Slovenian municipalities, which they intend to present to local communities on Culture Day, celebrated annually on 8 February.

“We have started to work on a collection of a thousand products. Each of us makes four products related to Slovenia on top of the coat of arms. There are some very interesting items coming, including a crocheted carnation, potica cake and portraits of poets,” the group’s member Jadranka Smiljić told the STA.

Smiljić, who was the one to give the initiative for the project, broke a Guinness world record in crocheting two years ago alongside Anita Kac, as the pair had crocheted for 28 hours straight. They used 4.5 kilos of yarn at the time, which equals a length of some 13.5 kilometres.

The group uses the corner to corner crochet technique in the latest challenge, and the products must be finished by 28 January, when a footage of the entire collection will be made to send an application in to the Guinness World Records.

When it comes to the coat of arms, the items are more than one metre in length and width. “Each product is unique and each crocheter has put their own stamp on it,” Smiljić said. To make one such coat of arms one needs to put in hundred hours of work on average.

The Heraldica Slovenica association has helped out the crafters, advising them on designing the coat of arms.

“We’ve learned a lot about the coats of arms themselves, what they mean and from what times they originate. We had the most problems with the Divača municipality, so it is the only municipality to get only the logo and not the coat of arms,” Smiljić added. The coat of arms in question depicts a typical local homestead.

The project, carried out under the auspices of President Borut Pahor, aims to contribute to efforts to bring people together, promote the traditions and history of Slovenia and its municipalities, and get the public excited about crochet.

“Crochet has saved me personally a number of times. You don’t need much, just a crocheting hook, a little yarn and you can start creating,” Smiljić said. The group wants to raise crochet to the level of art. “It is also important in a meditative sense, it relaxes and fulfils you,” she added.