The word itself is derived from the French crocher, meaning to hook.
The origin of the crochet hook may have been one of the tools used in the intricate process of lacemaking. The French nuns were very accustomed to using the hook in that craft and it is believed that they devised the new art of crochet. It was not long before crochet became a fashionable item. Many of these nuns were inspired by sailors returning home from long voyages with hand made items for sale. Some of these were macrame’ lace parasols and bags. However, it wasn’t until the great Irish famine of 1846 that the art of crochet took on another function. Again the French nuns saw a means of income in the teaching of crochet to young pupils. Now well-born ladies of that era had another graceful accomplishment besides playing the harpsichord.
In my days I have seen crochet enter and leave the fashion stage, several times. But as any crocheter would agree, this will not stop us from enjoying the restful process of creating fabric from fibers with only our hands and a small hook. It truly is a very healthy addiction. And one that was passed down to me from my Great Grand Mother and Grand Mother and several Aunts that have all passed many a quiet hour making beautiful garments, afghans and household items.
I shall always cherish a couple of pineapple stitch dollies in ecru thread that my maternal Great Grand Mother created on those hot summer days as she visited my family in south Georgia. She only stayed one month, but in my memory she never gave her bent and tarnished crochet hook a minutes rest. My Mother made many a trip to purchase more of that strangely colored tread and many balls of bright colors for the floral edgings. I was captivated to watch her fingers fly over the treads and she never once had to refer to a printed pattern for directions. When she departed, our home had new coverings for every table top surface. Imagine my surprise when she also presented me with one of her crochet hooks and a tattered Dollie leafelet priced .10 cents!
Each of these creations were made, starched and dried to perfection. As children we were not allowed to touch them, so for many years they remained stiff and mysterious. Several years ago my Mother gave me two of these dollies, they had had to be washed, so they now lay rather casual on a night stand and dresser. It took many years with that crochet hook and much help from my paternal Grand Mother before I mastered the craft myself.
In Atlanta in1988 my knitting mentor, Ms Maggie Righetti, was prepared to publish her second instructional book. This one is named “Crochet In Plain English”, and is still in print from St. Martin’s Press. Can you imagine the honor of being hired to not only proof the patterns for the manuscript, but to actually crochet over 100 samples to be photographed? How about being ask to pose in one of her creations??? If you get the chance to own this wonderful book you can check me out on page 222.
I hope that you will enjoy your time on my website. Become a part of the tradition of creativity; keep alive the spirit of experimentation; understand the basics, build upon them, and make them your own!
|Rectangle Crochet Top with flower||Rectangle Vest|