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History of Crochet by Ruthie Marks

You and I call it crochet, as do the French, Belgians, Italians and Spanish-speaking
people. It is known as haken in Holland, haekling in Denmark, hekling in
Norway, virkning in Sweden.

Other forms of handwork knitting, embroidery and weaving can be dated far back
in time, thanks to archeological finds, written sources and pictorial representations
of various kinds. But no one is quite sure when and where crochet got its start. The
word comes from croc, or croche, the Middle French word for hook, and the Old
Norse word for hook is krokr.

According to American crochet expert and world traveler Annie Potter, "The
modern art of true crochet as we know it today was developed during the 16th
century. It became known as 'crochet lace' in France and 'chain lace' in England."
And, she tells us, in 1916 Walter Edmund Roth visited descendants of the Guiana
Indians and found examples of true crochet.

Another writer/researcher, Lis Paludan of Denmark, who limited her search for the
origins of crochet to Europe, puts forth three interesting theories. One: Crochet
originated in Arabia, spread eastward to Tibe t and westward to Spain, from where
it followed the Arab trade routes to other Mediterranean countries. Two: Earliest
evidence of crochet came from South America, where a primitive tribe was said to
have used crochet adornments in rites of puberty. Three: In China, early examples
were known of three-dimensional dolls worked in crochet.

But, says Paludan, the bottom line is that there is "no convincing evidence as to
how old the art of crochet might be or where it came from. It was impossible to
find evidence of crochet in Europe before 1800. A great many sources state that
crochet has been known as far back as the 1500s in Italy under the name of 'nun's
work' or 'nun's lace,' where it was worked by nuns for church textiles," she says.
Her research turned up examples of lace-making and a kind of lace tape, many of
which have been preserved, but "all indications are that crochet was not known in
Italy as far back as the 16th century" under any name.

Tambour gives birth to crochet


Research suggests that crochet probably developed most directly from Chinese
needlework, a very ancient form of embroidery known in Turkey, India, Persia and
North Africa, which reached Europe in the 1700s and was referred to as
"tambouring," from the French "tambour" or drum.

In this technique, a background fabric is stretched taut on a fra me. The working
thread is held underneath the fabric. A needle with a hook is inserted downward
and a loop of the working thread drawn up through the fabric. With the loop still
on the hook, the hook is then inserted a little farther along and another loop of the
working thread is drawn up and worked through the first loop to form a chain
stitch. The tambour hooks were as thin as sewing needles, so the work must have
been accomplished with very fine thread.

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, who was 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. She published many pattern books so that millions
of women could begin to copy her designs. Mlle. Riego also claimed to have
invented "lace-like" crochet, today called Irish crochet.

Crochet

In contrast to knitting, crochet (French, "hook") is a method of working


interlocking loops of thread into a chain by means of a slender rod hooked at
one end. The work is begun by crocheting a single chain of loops, each new
loop being formed by catching the yarn and drawing it through the previous
loop. The chain is made to the planned width of the finished piece, the yarn is
turned at the end of the chain, and a second chain is crocheted, each new
stitch being looped through a stitch in the previous row. Various stitches are
possible, and a variety of textures and patterns can be created. Descriptive
stitch names include chain, single, double, treble, filet mesh, ribbed afghan,
pineapple, popcorn, and slipper.

Little is known of the early history of crocheting. Some ancient cords are
thought to have been made by finger crocheting. During the Renaissance, both
peasant women and ladies of the court executed crochet work and also knotted
work using several strands of thread (macrame), often producing lacelike
fabrics. Much early crochet was made with fine, thin thread, producing
imitations of European lace; one example is Irish lace, a variety of "crochet
lace" introduced into Ireland about 1820 but also made throughout Europe,
particularly in the Balkan states. Much modern crochet is executed with soft
yarns and used to make garments and bedcoverings. Although crochet can be
made by machine, it has traditionally been, and continues to be, a home
handcraft. In addition, contemporary fiber artists employ crochet along with
other techniques to create large wall hangings and fiber sculptures.

Easy Crocheting Lessons


How To Crochet - Crocheting Instructions

Free & Easy, how-to crochet instructions including illustrations and


abbreviations in English, Spanish and French. Let's get started.

Foundation Chain

1. Make a slip knot on hook, hold in the right hand. Thread yarn over left ring
finger, under middle, and over index fingers, holding short end between the
thumb and middle finger.

Foundation Chain

2. Pass hook under and over yarn and draw it through loop on hook. Repeat
for as many stitches as the directions specify.

Single Crochet........sc = single crochet

3. Insert hook into second stitch from hook, under the two upper strands.

4. Pass hook under and over yarn and draw it through the stitch.
5. Pass hook under and over yarn again and draw it through the two loops on
hook.

Half Double Crochet......hdc=half double crochet

6. With yarn over needle, insert hook into third chain, under the two upper
strands. Draw up a loop.

7. Yarn over hook. Draw through the 3 loops, completing the half double
crochet.

Double Crochet......dc=double crochet

8. Pass hook under and over yarn, insert hook into the fourth stitch from hook,
under the two upper strands.

9. Pass hook under and over yarn and draw it through the stitch, then pass
hook under and over yarn again. Draw yarn through the first two loops on
hook. Pass hook under and over yarn again and draw it through remaining two
loops on hook.

Treble Crochet

10. Pass hook under and over yarn twice, insert hook into the fifth stitch from
hook, under the two upper strands.

11.Pass hook under and over yarn and draw it through the stitch. * Pass hook
under and over yarn and draw through two loops, repeat from * twice more.

Afghan Crochet

12. Using an afghan hook, make a chain the desired length. Insert hook in
second stitch from hook, draw up a loop.

13. Keeping all loops on hook, draw up a loop in each chain stitch.
14. To work off loops, pass yarn under and over hook and draw through first
loop.

15. * Pass yarn under and over hook, draw through two loops, repeat from *

16. One loop remains, to count as first stitch of next row.

17. * Insert hook under next vertical bar and draw up a loop, repeat from *
across. Work off loops same as before.

Practice these basic crochet until you have a comfortable tension in your
work. Then try a simple crochet pattern. If you are happy with the results of
your trial pattern you will then be ready to try a more advanced project. Happy
Crocheting

Crochet Abbreviations

Term English Espanola Francais sc single crochet crochet sencillo simple


crochet dc double crochet crochet doble double crochet inc increase aumentar
augmenter dec decrease menguar diminuer tog together junto ensemble hdc
half double crochet medio crochet doble demi double crochet tr treble or triple
crochet crochet treble treble crochet yo yarn over pasar estambre por arriba
agujar passez la maille par desssus l'aiguille dp double point aguja de dos
puntas aiguille a deux bouts beg beginning lp(s) loop(s) sk skip rep repeat rnd
round sl st slip stitch
( * = repeat following instructions a given number of times.)

http://www.craftown.com/crolesson.htm

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