Do you love all things crochet including crochet facts?
Although not an ancient craft like spinning or weaving there are plenty of fun and interesting facts about this beloved craft.
Though it’s not as old as some fiber arts, the short 200 years or so it’s existed, there’s been a rich and varied history.
- 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 vastly 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 turn them into crochet patterns that could easily be duplicated. 
- Crochet provides many health benefits such as helping with stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. 
- Taking up the craft of crochet can reduce the risk of Alzeheimer’s by 30%-50% 
- The way you hold a crochet hook has a name – commonly called Pencil Grip or Pencil Hold, Knife Grip or Knife Hold, The Pinky Fly Hold and the The 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. Realising 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, both male and female 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 to premature babies. 
- Crochet As Art has gained in popularity in recent years. Artists create some incredible and “out there” exhibitions all featuring crochet. Artist Nathan Vincent exhibited a Crocheted Locker Room, how’s that for out there! 
- Yarn Bombing is a form of street art where yarn in any form (knit, crochet, latch hook, cross stitch, amigurumi or simple wrapping) covers an object in the public environment. Think of it as sweet and kind temporary yarn graffiti, the yarn isn’t permanent. 
- Crochet hooks aren’t just used for crochet. Certain braids are created using a crochet hook and there are still hooks and caps sold 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 her to combine hundreds of 40×40 inch sections to create the massive piece. After the record was confirmed, much of the piece was donated to charities. 
- A single wooden carved modern crochet hook can cost over $100 USD 
- Famous people also crochet. Some of the 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 are reading a UK or US crochet pattern. 
- The world’s longest crochet chain was 80.78 miles (130 km) and was created by Anne Vanier-Drüssel (France) during June to November 2008. 
- Crochet projects use more yarn than knitting for some projects.
- The largest crochet hook is 2.77 m (9 ft 1 in) with a diameter of 11 cm (4.3 in) and was achieved by Clare and Broa Sams (both UK) in Colchester, UK, as measured on 11 December 2017. 
- The 2017 ‘i Light Marina Bay Festival exhibited 3 enormous crocheted sea urchin art installations. They were all handmade and truly spectacular. 
- The fastest crocheter is Lisa Gentry of the USA, who crocheted a total of 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 feature on the catwalk for famous fashion designers. 
- Crochet stitches have abbreviations, a language in themselves.
- It’s believed the earliest forms of crochet were created using one’s bent finger instead of a hook. 
- Crochet became part of the wartime effort in both Britain and the US – women on the home front contributed to the war effort by hooking items for the troops. 
Hopefully you learned something interesting! I certainly did while creating this post. The history and the present of crochet are so fascinating, and I’m confident the future will be just as so.
What did you find intriguing? Do you know any facts worth mentioning? I’d love to hear your thoughts, please let me know in the comments below.
Something I forgot? Or have a question? Leave a comment at the end.
- 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/art> 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