Do you love crochet? Want some crochet facts? Enjoy!
I reviewed and updated this post on July 5, 2022.
During the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1850) people in Ireland learnt to crochet intricate pieces and lace work.
This was often their only source of income and helped them to get through this devastating time.
This type of lace crochet was referred to as Irish crochet.
The first printed crochet patterns were from 1824 in the Dutch Magazine Penélopé and were typically luxury patterns for purses of silk thread.
Crochet Hooks particularly their handles looked different to our modern hooks. Often made from materials such as bone, wire and brass.
The name crochet is derived from the Old French term croche, and the germanic version croc, both meaning ‘small hook’.
Crochet turned up in Europe in the early 1800s and was given a tremendous boost by Mlle. Riego de la Branchardiere.
Best known for her ability to take old-style needle and bobbin lace designs and turning them into crochet patterns.
Crochet provides many health benefits such as helping with stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Crochet can reduce the risk of Alzeheimer’s by 30%-50%
The way you hold a crochet hook has a name.
- Pencil Grip or Pencil Hold
- Knife Grip or Knife Hold
- Pinky Fly Hold
- Chopstick Hold
The Granny Square is one of the longest crochet patterns in print.
The Weldon Company in London published the first known granny-square pattern in 1897.
After experiencing breast cancer and a mastectomy Barbara Demorest found many prostheses were hot and uncomfortable.
She’d heard about knitted knockers and asked her friend to make a pair. Realizing a need she founded a charity “Knitted Knockers.”
Thousands of volunteers across the world create handmade breast prostheses. They offer a free pattern for crocheted boobs.
Crochet was super popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Hippies wore all sorts of crocheted garments.
As of April 2020, charity organization Knots of Love have distributed over 486,900 beanies and blankets.
The beanies are for patients who go bald due to chemotherapy and the blankets are for premature babies.
Crochet As Art has gained in popularity. Artists create incredible and “out there” exhibitions all featuring crochet.
Artist Nathan Vincent exhibited a Crocheted Locker Room!
Yarn Bombing is a form of street art where yarn in any form covers an object in the public environment.
- Latch hook
- Cross stitch
- Amigurumi or simple wrapping)
It’s sweet, temporary yarn graffiti!
Here’s an example of a lovely one I encountered.
Crochet hooks aren’t just used for crochet.
Braids are created using a crochet hook and there are hooks and caps for people wanting to have dyed streaks of hair.
The largest ever crochet blanket measures about 120,000 square feet.
The Guinness World Record for largest crochet blanket is held by Subashri Natarajan, of India.
1,000 people helped combine hundreds of 40×40″ sections. Much of the piece was donated to charities.
A wooden carved modern crochet hook can cost over $100 USD.
Famous people also crochet.
Some famous crocheters you might know
- Bette Davis
- Aretha Franklin
- U.S. President James Buchanan
- George Washington Carver
Crochet doilies were one of the most common items people made throughout the first century of the craft.
In the crochet world, basic stitches have different names depending on whether you’re reading a UK or US crochet pattern. 
The world’s longest crochet chain was 80.78 miles (130 km).
It was created by Anne Vanier-Drüssel (France) in Jun-Nov 2008.
Crochet projects use more yarn than knitting for some projects.
The largest crochet hook is 2.77 m (9ft 1″) with a diameter of 11cm (4.3″). By Clare and Broa Sams (UK) in Colchester, UK.
As measured on 11 December 2017.
The 2017 Marina Bay Festival exhibited 3 enormous crocheted sea urchin art installations. They were all handmade and spectacular.
The fastest crocheter is Lisa Gentry of the USA, who crocheted 5,113 stitches in 30 minutes.
Unlike mass-produced modern knitwear, produced on machines, crochet remains a hand-craft and cannot be replicated by machines.
Crochet is a regular on the catwalk from famous fashion designers.
Crochet stitches have abbreviations, a language in themselves.
It’s believed the earliest crochet used one’s finger instead of a hook.
Crochet became part of the wartime effort in Britain and the US. Women on the home front contributed by making items for the troops. 
The history and the present of crochet are fascinating.
Do you know any facts worth mentioning? I’d love to hear your thoughts, let me know in the comments below.
Looking for some stats on this hobby? See here.
- Marks, Ruthie. “Crochet History.” Crochet Guild of America. 2009. Accessed: 27 April 2020.
- “A History of Crochet Patterns” James Hardy, 2014-08-29, <https://historycooperative.org/a-history-of-crochet-patterns/> Accessed: 1 May 2020
- “Mid-Nineteenth-Century British Crochet Hooks” Nancy Nehring, 2017-10-18, <https://pieceworkmagazine.com/mid-nineteenth-century-british-crochet-hooks/>, Accessed: 29 April 2020
- “Research: Creativity and Calm are Leading Benefits of Crochet”, Kathryn Vercillo, Last updated 2018-10-01, <https://blogs.psychcentral.com/crafting/2018/10/benefits-of-crochet/>, Accessed: 30 April 2020
- “7 Surprising Health Benefits of Crocheting”. AllFreeCrochet.com., 2017-01-20, <https://www.allfreecrochet.com/Tips-for-Crochet/Crochet-Health-Benefits>, Accessed: 29 April 2020
- “Know Your Craft: Know Your Hands” Julia M. Chambers 2017-04-08. <https://www.interweave.com/article/crochet/crochet-holds-variation/>, Accessed: 28 April 2020
- Florence Weinstein, Victorian Crochet By Weldon and Company, Dover Publications, 1974.
- “How We Got Involved” <https://www.knittedknockers.org/how-to-get-involved/> Accessed: 1 May 2020
- Knots of Love <https://www.knotsoflove.org/>Accessed 1 May 2020
- “Stitch and bitch: Olek, the queen of sarky crochet – in pictures”. Jan 2015 The Guardian, <https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/jan/14/stitch-bitch-olek-queen-of-comedy-crochet-in-pictures>, Acessed: 1 May 2020
- London Kaye <https://www.londonkaye.com/portfolio> Accessed: 1 May 2020
- “5 Crochet Braids Tips for Beginners” <https://www.naturalhairrules.com/crochet-braids-beginners/> Accessed: 29 April 2020
- ‘Indian women make largest crochet blanket ever then donate it to charity” Rachel Swatman, 02 February 2016, <https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2016/2/indian-women-make-largest-crochet-blanket-ever-then-donate-it-to-charity-415230>, Accessed 30 April 2020
- Furls Crochet Thuya Burl Crochet Hook <https://furlscrochet.com/collections/crochet/products/limited-edition-thuya-burl-crochet-hook> Accessed: 1 May 2020
- Famous Crocheters: Past & Present, <https://crochetwithdee.webs.com/famouscrocheters.htm>, Accessed: 30 April 2020
- Everything you want to know about Crochet Doilies, <https://www.crochetconcupiscence.com/2018/03/everything-you-want-to-know-about-crochet-doilies/>, Accessed: 1 May 2020
- Largest Crochet Hook <https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-crochet-hook>, Accessed 3 May 2020
- World’s Longest Crochet Chain <https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-crochet-chain>, Accessed 3 May 2020
- ‘Artists Crochet Giant Sea Urchin Installations That Interact with Their Surroundings’, Kelly Richman-Abdou, June 6, 2017, <https://mymodernmet.com/sea-urchin-choi-shine-architects/>, Accessed 3 May 2020
- Faster Crocheter <https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/fastest-crocheter/>, Accessed 3 May 2020
- “A Brief History Of Crochet’ Wool and The Gang, <https://www.woolandthegang.com/blog/2015/05/a-brief-history-of-crochet> Accessed 3 May 2020
- ‘Get the Lowdown on American vs. British Crochet Terms’, Ashley Little, March 25, 2019, <https://www.craftsy.com/post/british-vs-american-crochet-terms/>, Accessed 3 May 2020
- ‘Fashion Week Report: Crochet for Spring/Summer 2020’, Samantha Brunson, 14 Oct 2019, <https://www.masondixonknitting.com/fashion-week-report-crochet-for-spring-summer-2020/>, Accessed 3 May 2020