I’m always interested in how crafts develop. When you see great old lace and tapestry collections in museums, it makes you realize the wealth of history behind some of the activities we consider our hobbies. Crochet has an interesting history that probably predates its popularization in Europe in the 1800s. Wikipedia has a longer article on what we know of crochet’s history, if you’re a curious crocheter like me.
Various versions of crochet probably existed before the 1800s, countries such as Arabia and China have similar handicrafts that predate the nineteenth century. An 1847 publication detailed different crochet stitches. Part of the difficulty in establishing the history of crochet relates to the fact that a hooked finger was likely used in place of the crochet hooks we use today.
Part of the popularization of crochet may be related to the invention of the cotton gin. When machine spun cotton replaced the more time-consuming hand spinning, more thread was available for crafts. This probably contributed to the reputation of crocheted works as being a poor substitute for lace.
When famine struck Ireland in the mid-1800s, many of the local Irish people began to produce crochet to export for money. Women and children were taught to crochet by Ursuline nuns, and Ireland, to this day has a reputation for its beautiful crochet.
Whether you’re interested in the history behind how handicrafts have developed, or would just like to learn some stitches for an afghan or a baby blanket, crochet appeals to a lot of people. The different yarns available now, and the variety of patterns for crochet have opened up a world of possibility for the crochet hobbyist.
Crochet is a wonderful hobby to have because you can spend all your free time to create beautiful and useful things that can be gifted away or retained for personal use. Most people just do not have the time or skill to make things out of crochet and are usually really happy to be gifted something that you have made. However, even the most experienced crocheter is bound to run out of ideas after a point, which is where books on vintage crochet patterns come into use.
People have been crocheting articles for many centuries but there was an explosion of interest in this activity starting from in the early twentieth century. Book publishers responded to the demand for additional crocheting and knitting ideas by bringing out books that had detailed crochet instructions as well as plenty of ideas to make all sorts of useful or decorative items. These books come with lovely illustrations as well as detailed working instructions that are extremely easy to follow even for a relatively inexperienced person. In the event that you need inspiration, you could pick up lots of these beautiful books that have loads of vintage crochet patterns.
If you have a really good crochet pattern book you can make a lot more things than you are currently capable of. This will come into good stead when you have to make a lot of things for a church bazaar or a charity sale. Having access to interesting and unusual patterns will ensure that the things you create will always have plenty of takers whether you plan to sell them or just gift them away. This is the best way to ensure that your crochet creations do not have a stereotypical look.
It is possible to get books of vintage crochet patterns that specialize in certain items. For example, you can make things for home such as bedspreads, cushions, centerpieces and doilies with the aid of one such book. A pattern book that focuses on apparel will help you make beautiful scarves, sweaters, socks and the like. Not only will you be able to make all sorts of interesting and useful things thanks to these designs, but you will also become familiar with unique techniques. These books ensure that your crocheted items will always be hot selling and the things you gift will be in great demand amongst your circle of friends and family.