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L’Histoire de Mode~Crochet


Crochet (pronounced /kroʊˈʃeɪ/) is a process of creating fabric from yarn using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word “crochet”, meaning hook. Crocheting, similar to knitting, consists of pulling loops of yarn through other loops. Crochet differs from knitting in that only one loop is active at one time (the sole exception being Tunisian crochet), and that a single crochet hook is used instead of two knitting needles.

Lis Paludan theorizes that crochet evolved from traditional practices

in Arabia, South America, or China, but there is no decisive evidence of the

craft being performed before its popularity in Europe during the 19th century

The earliest written reference to crochet refers to shepherd’s knitting from

The Memoirs of a Highland Lady by Elizabeth Grant in the 19th century.

The first published crochet patterns appeared in the Dutch magazine Pénélopé in

1824. Other indicators that crochet was new in the 19th century include the

1847 publication A Winter’s Gift, which provides detailed instructions for

performing crochet stitches, although it presumes that readers

understand the basics of other needlecrafts. Early references to

the craft in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1846 and 1847

refer to crotchet before the

spelling standardized

in 1848.

Knit and knotted textiles survive from very early periods,

but there are no surviving samples of crocheted fabric in

any ethnological collection, or archeological source prior to

1800. These writers point to the tambour hooks used in

tambour embroidery in France in the 18th century, and

contend that the hooking of loops through fine fabric in tambour

work evolved into “crochet in the air.” Most samples of early work

claimed to be crochet turn out to actually be samples of nålebinding.

Donna Kooler identifies a problem with the tambour hypothesis:

period tambour hooks that survive in modern collections cannot

produce crochet because the integral wing nut necessary for tambour

work interferes with attempts at crochet. Kooler proposes that early

industrialization is key to the development of crochet. Machine spun

cotton thread became widely available and inexpensive in Europe and

North America after the invention of the cotton gin and the spinning jenny,

displacing hand spun linen for many uses. Crochet technique consumes

more thread than comparable textile production methods

and cotton is well suited to crochet.

Early crochet hooks ranged from primitive bent needles in a

cork handle, used by poor Irish lace workers, to expensively crafted

silver, brass, steel, ivory and bone hooks set into a variety of handles, some of which

were better designed to show off a lady’s hands than they were to work with thread.

By the early 1840s, instructions for crochet were being published

in England, particularly by Eleanor Riego de la Blanchardiere and Frances Lambert.

These early patterns called for cotton and linen thread for lace,

and wool yarn for clothing,

often in vivid color combinations.

In the 19th century, as Ireland was facing the Great Irish Famine (1845-1849),

crochet lace work was introduced as a form of famine relief (the production of crocheted

lace being an alternative way of making money for impoverished Irish workers).

Mademoiselle Riego de la Blanchardiere is generally credited with the

invention of Irish Crochet, publishing the first book of patterns in 1846.

Irish lace became popular in Europe and America, and was

made in quantity until the first World War.

Fashions in crochet changed with the end of the Victorian era in the 1890s.

Crocheted laces in the new Edwardian era, peaking between 1910 and 1920, became

even more elaborate in texture and complicated stitching.The strong Victorian

colours disappeared, though, and new publications called for white or pale threads,

except for fancy purses, which were often crocheted of brightly colored silk

and elaborately beaded. After World War I, far fewer crochet patterns were published,

and most of them were simplified versions of the early 20th century patterns.

After World War II, from the late 40s until the early 60s, there was a resurgence in

interest in home crafts, particularly in the United States, with many new

and imaginative crochet designs published for colorful doilies, potholders,

and other home items, along with updates of earlier publications. These patterns

called for thicker threads and yarns than in earlier patterns and included

wonderful variegated colors. The craft remained primarily a homemaker’s art

until the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the new generation picked up on crochet

and popularized granny squares, a motif worked in the round and incorporating

bright colors. Although crochet underwent a subsequent decline in popularity,

the early 21st century has seen a revival of interest in handcrafts and DIY, as well

as great strides in improvement of the quality and varieties of yarn. There are many

more new pattern books with modern patterns being printed, and most yarn

stores now offer crochet lessons in addition to the traditional knitting lessons.

Filet crochet, Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace, hairpin lace, cro-hooking, and

Irish crochet are all variants of the basic crochet method.

Crochet patterns have an underlying mathematical

structure and have been used to illustrate shapes

in hyperbolic geometry that are difficult to reproduce

using other media or are difficult to understand

when viewed two-dimensionally.



The Crochet hook comes in many sizes and materials,

such as bone, bamboo, aluminum, plastic and steel.

Steel crochet hooks range from 0.4 to

3.5 millimeters in the size of the hook,

or from 00 to 16 in American sizing.

These hooks are used for fine crochet work.

Aluminum, bamboo, and plastic crochet

hooks are available from 2.5 to 19 millimeters

in hook size, or from B to S in American sizing.

There are also many artisan-made hooks,

most of hand-turned wood, sometimes

decorated with semi-precious stones or beads.

Crochet hooks used for Tunisian crochet are elongated and have a stopper at

the end of the handle, while double-ended crochet hooks have a hook on both ends

of the handle. There is also a double hooked apparatus called a Cro-hook that has become

popular. Also, a Hair-Pin Crochet Hook is often used to create lacey and long stitches.

For crocheting you will also need some type of material that will be crocheted,

which is most commonly yarn or thread.

Other equipment includes cardboard cut-outs, which can be

used to make tassels, fringe, and many other items; a pom-pom circle,

used to make pom-poms; a tape measure, a gauge measure, both

used for measuring crocheted work and counting stitches; a row counter;

and occasionally plastic rings, which are used for special projects.


Yarn for crochet is usually sold as balls or skeins (hanks), although it may also be

wound on spools or cones. Skeins and balls are generally sold with a yarn-band, a label that describes

the yarn’s weight, length, dye lot, fiber content, washing instructions, suggested

needle size, likely gauge, etc. It is common practice to save the yarn band for future reference,

especially if additional skeins must be purchased. Crocheters generally ensure that the yarn

for a project comes from a single dye lot. The dye lot specifies a group of skeins that were

dyed together and thus have precisely the same color; skeins from different dye-lots,

even if very similar in color, are usually slightly different and may produce a

visible stripe when crocheted together. If insufficient yarn of a single dye lot

is bought to complete a project, additional skeins of the same dye lot can

sometimes be obtained from other yarn stores or online.

The thickness or weight of the yarn is a significant factor in

determining the gauge, i.e., how many stitches and rows are

required to cover a given area for a given stitch pattern. Thicker

yarns generally require thicker crocheting hooks, whereas thinner

yarns may be knit with thick or thin needles. Hence, thicker yarns

generally require fewer stitches, and therefore less time, to knit

up a given garment. Patterns and motifs are coarser with thicker

yarns; thicker yarns produce bold visual effects, whereas thinner

yarns are best for refined patterns. Yarns are grouped by thickness

into six categories: superfine, fine, light, medium, bulky and

superbulky; quantitatively, thickness is measured by the

number of wraps per inch (WPI). The related weight

per unit length is usually measured in tex or dernier.

Before use, one would typically transform a hank into a ball where the yarn

emerges from the center of the ball; this making the work easier by preventing the

yarn from becoming easily tangled. This transformation may be done

by hand, or with a device known as a ballwinder.

A yarn’s usefulness is judged by several factors, such as its loft (its ability to trap air),

its resilience (elasticity under tension), its washability and colorfastness,

its hand (its feel, particularly softness vs. scratchiness), its durability against abrasion,

its resistance to pilling, its hairiness (fuzziness), its tendency to twist or untwist, its overall

weight and drape, its blocking and felting qualities, its comfort (breathability,

moisture absorption, wicking properties) and of course its look, which includes its

color, sheen, smoothness and ornamental features. Other factors include allergenicity;

speed of drying; resistance to chemicals, moths, and mildew; melting point and

flammability; retention of static electricity; and the propensity to become stained and to

accept dyes. Different factors may be more significant than others for different projects, so

there is no one “best” yarn. The resilience and propensity to (un)twist are general

properties that affect the ease to work with.

Although crochet may be done with ribbons, metal wire or more exotic

filaments, most yarns are made by spinning fibers. In spinning,

the fibers are twisted so that the yarn resists breaking under tension;

the twisting may be done in either direction, resulting in an Z-twist

or S-twist yarn. If the fibers are first aligned by combing them, the

yarn is smoother and called a worsted; by contrast, if the fibers are

carded but not combed, the yarn is fuzzier and called woolen-spun. The

fibers making up a yarn may be continuous filament fibers such as silk and

many synthetics, or they may be staples (fibers of an average length, typically

a few inches); naturally filament fibers are sometimes cut up into staples before

spinning. The strength of the spun yarn against breaking is determined

by the amount of twist, the length of the fibers and the thickness of the

yarn. In general, yarns become stronger with more twist (also called worst),

longer fibers and thicker yarns (more fibers); for example, thinner

yarns require more twist than do thicker yarns to resist breaking

under tension. The thickness of the yarn may vary along its l

ength; a slub is a much thicker section in which a mass

of fibers is incorporated into the yarn.

The spun fibers are generally divided into animal fibers, plant and synthetic fibers.

These fiber types are chemically different, corresponding to proteins, carbohydrates and

synthetic polymers, respectively. Animal fibers include silk, but generally are l

ong hairs of animals such as sheep (wool), goat (angora, or cashmere goat), rabbit

(angora), llama, alpaca, dog, cat, camel, yak, and muskox (qiviut). Plants used for

fibers include cotton, flax (for linen), bamboo, ramie, hemp, jute, nettle, raffia, yucca,

coconut husk, banana trees, soy and corn. Rayon and acetate fibers are also produced from

cellulose mainly derived from trees. Common synthetic fibers include acrylics,[10] polyesters such

as dacron and ingeo, nylon and other polyamides, and olefins such as polypropylene. Of these types,

wool is generally favored for crochet, chiefly owing to its superior elasticity, warmth and

(sometimes) felting; however, wool is generally less convenient to clean and some people are

allergic to it. It is also common to blend different fibers in the yarn, e.g., 85% alpaca and 15%

silk. Even within a type of fiber, there can be great variety in the length and thickness of the

fibers; for example, Merino wool and Egyptian cotton are favored because they produce

exceptionally long, thin (fine) fibers for their type.

A single spun yarn may be crochet as is, or braided or plied with another.

In plying, two or more yarns are spun together, almost always in the

opposite sense from which they were spun individually; for example,

two Z-twist yarns are usually plied with an S-twist. The opposing

twist relieves some of the yarns’ tendency to curl up and produces

a thicker, balanced yarn. Plied yarns may themselves be plied together,

producing cabled yarns or multi-stranded yarns. Sometimes, the

yarns being plied are fed at different rates, so that one yarn loops

around the other, as in bouclé. The single yarns may be dyed

separately before plying, or afterwords to give the

yarn a uniform look.

The dyeing of yarns is a complex art. Yarns need not be dyed; or they may be

dyed one color, or a great variety of colors. Dyeing may be done industrially, by hand

or even hand-painted onto the yarn. A great variety of synthetic dyes have been developed

since the synthesis of indigo dye in the mid-19th century; however, natural dyes are also possible,

although they are generally less brilliant. The color-scheme of a yarn is sometimes called its colorway.

Variegated yarns can produce interesting visual effects,

such as diagonal stripes; conversely.

How it’s Done

Crocheted fabric is begun by placing a slip-knot loop on the hook,

pulling another loop through the first loop, and repeating this process

to create a chain of a suitable length. The chain is either turned and worked

in rows, or joined to the beginning of the row with a slip stitch and worked in

rounds. Rounds can also be created by working many stitches into a single loop.

Stitches are made by pulling one or more loops through each loop of the chain.

At any one time at the end of a stitch, there is only one loop left on the hook.

Tunisian crochet, however, draws all of the loops for an entire row onto a long

hook before working them off one at a time.


Free Crochet Lace Pattern, click the photo below. Something to start us off with….


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