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Needle Crafters – The history of crochet

Diana Oleson

“The exact origins of crochet are unclear as the skill was originally word of mouth. At the end of the 18th century, tambour evolved into what the French called “crochet in the air” when the background fabric was discarded and the stitch worked on its own. Crochet began turning up in Europe in the early 1800s and was given a tremendous boost by Mlle. Riego de la Branchardiere, inventor of Irish lace. The earliest known recorded crochet patterns were printed in 1824, and there is a great deal of evidence pointing to the fact that women have been recording and sharing crochet patterns since well before then. What evolved from this practice was the simple idea that specific stitches could be learned and shared via a small sample that could be made and kept as a main reference in each house. Samples of stiches were eventually made and then stitched onto scraps of paper to make a type of soft book that could be passed around through women’s circles. These books date back to 1800s, still in use by nuns in Spain. Crochet, as we say in the English language, is derived from the French word croche, which literally means hook. There is no limit to the materials that can be used to crochet. Throughout history people from all over the world have used thread, wool, yarn, rope, silk, grass, wire, dental floss and hair to crochet.” History Cooperative

We would love to show you how to crochet on Thursdays 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Creative Center, same room as the quilters.

In case you are wondering why someone would crochet with hair, it was done with the deceased’s hair and crocheted into a flower then it would be framed as a remembrance. As family members died their hair would be added to the framed hair, and this would be handed down in the family. Personally, I think it is a little creepy, but that’s just me.