The name crochet is derived from the French, meaning 'small hook'.
Crochet is one of the most popular forms of embroideries used worldwide. There are multiple types of materials used to crochet such as metal, wood, bamboo, plastic and fabrics. Crochet needles, sometimes called Shepherds' hooks, are made of steel, ivory, or box-wood. They have a hook at one end similar in shape to a fish-hook, by which the wool or silk is caught and drawn through the work.
Few of the basic crochet techniques are - Filet crochet, Tunisian crochet, tapestry crochet, broomstick lace, hairpin lace, cro-hooking, and Irish crochet.
It is known to have several health benefits like reducing stress and anxiety. Studies showed that the constant repetition of hand movement helps keep the mind calm and distracts the brain from the stresses of life. While crocheting, the human brain releases serotonin that helps to calm the mind and improve mood. Interestingly, the soothing colors and textures of the yarn are a source of pleasant feeling and the finished product can give a person a sense of accomplishment.
History of Crochet
The first known crochet appeared in Dutch magazine Penélopé in 1823. It had five styles of purses out of which three were crocheted with silk thread.
2 years later the same magazine showcased crocheting by the peasants in Scotland, with a small hooked needle called a shepherd’s hook. Meanwhile this art has attained its highest degree of perfection in England, whence it has been transplanted to France and Germany.
Fashions in crochet changed with the end of the Victorian era in the 1890s. Crocheted laces in the new Edwardian era, peaked between 1910 and 1920, became even more elaborate in texture and complicated stitching.
However after World War I, very few patterns of crochet were published and most of them were simplified versions of the early 20th-century patterns. Post World War II, there was a resurgence in interest in home crafts, particularly in the United States, with many new and imaginative crochet designs published for colorful doilies, potholders, and other home items, along with updates of earlier publications.
Pandemic stress buster !
Surprisingly the 21st century has seen a revival of interest in handcrafts and DIY. During the covid pandemic and lockdown, it has been discovered that crafts can help to cope the stress for all generations. It also rescued the people in WorkFromHome culture from staring at computer screens for too long. Crochet has been a meditative act which helped people to rejuvenate their mind and souls !