Crochet is a technique in which yarn can be created with the help of a crochet hook. The word crochet is derived from a French word that means 'hook'. These metal hooks can be made from plastic, metal or wood. The whole technique of crochet is similar to that of knitting in which the yarn or thread is moved from loop to loop intertwining the threads to create a cloth like piece. Most of the times in crochet only a single stitch is active at one time.
It is estimated that crochet evolved in Arabia, South America or China. However these are just hypothesis that people have and the only conclusive evidence of crochet is from Europe in the 19th century. The Memoirs of a Highland Lady by Elizabeth Grant was probably the first time that a reference to crochet was made in writing. It was referred to as "shepherd's knitting" at that time. And the first pattern that was published was the one in the Dutch magazine Penelope.
Interestingly crochet lace work was introduced as famine relief during the Great Irish Famine. Impoverished Irish workers took this up another way of making money. Mademoiselle Riego de la Blanchardiere is said to have invented the Irish crochet. Crochet laces peaked in Europe during 1910 and 1920. Fancy purses, laced dresses and more were created with the crochet and many of them were made from fine silks and beaded as well. The craft of crochet has remained something that homemakers do as a hobby. It never really developed into a complete industry for quite some time.
Today there are many patterns that one can choose from and there are various kinds of crochets that one can practice as well. Other than traditional crochet, there is Filet crochet, Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace, and hairpin lace, cro-cooking and Irish crochet.
The main tools that are used in crochet are a hook and yarn. If you have these and know how to crochet, you are set to start. However, for those who want to create something more complicated a crochet pattern book and some designs may also help.
There are various kinds of things that you can make by using this art of crocheting. It is extremely common for people to crochet a baby dress to gift someone. Other products that also lend themselves to crochet include hats, blankets, ponchos, laces and embellishments for dresses, purses and socks. Making mats and other household products with this technique can also be extremely gratifying. The personal touch that this hobby can add to anything that you gift someone makes the gift extra special.
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