Crochet patterns are becoming increasingly popular and not just because it is fun and easy. One only needs the right size hook, yarn, and scissors to start a project. Many places supply crochet patterns and stitches to make small items like doilies to large rugs or wall hangings.
This simple activity was once only performed by the rich instead of the poor or middle class. This hobby made its way to France, England, and Italy in the fifteen hundreds and spread to the Chinese and Europeans by the next century. American girls began learning this method in school during the same era. This time period also coincided with the publication of patterns for consumers to purchase.
Bones from fish, wood, ivory, and brass were used to make different sized hooks hundreds of years ago. Current accessories contain wood including bamboo, plastic, steel, and aluminum. Skeins of yarn in single or variegated colors are offered in nylon, polyester, and acrylic which are plant substances. Popular cotton or linen use vegetable fibers, and animal materials result in soft silk, mohair, angora, alpaca, or wool.
This hobby is not just for common folk. Singers like Aretha Franklin and actresses including Ellen Corby from The Walton, Anne Bancroft from Helen Keller, Bette Davis from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and Patricia Arquette who played in Stigmata take pleasure in this past time. Even Rosie Grier, a football player from the sixties, and President James Buchanan in the eighteen hundreds did this in their spare time.
Performing this activity while watching a favorite television show or listening to a radio station provides relaxation and decreases frustration and stress. Supplies pack easily to take out of town for pleasure or business. Hand making clothing and other items for members of the family costs less than store bought merchandise. Hand made gifts are more personal, unique, and sentimental. A part-time hobby can also be turned into a profitable business with store bought or unique designs.
Clothing and other items can be made for males and females from infants to seniors. Cold weather accessories like neck scarves, mittens, gloves, and caps are always appreciated. Vests, sweaters, shirts, and socks are popular presents. Belts and slippers can be made using simple or extravagant designs. No home is complete without a handmade afghan or shawl to curl up with. Even kitchen necessities like potholders, oven mitts, tablecloths, dinner mats, and aprons are great ideas. Handcrafted totes, purses, and diaper bags filled with baby clothes, blankets, booties, and bibs are excellent gifts to give.
Homes feel cozy with the addition of crocheted curtains, rugs, doilies, and coasters. A handmade wall hanging or other decoration is often the focus of a room. Other projects include stuffed toys, jewelry, bookmarks, pet clothing and accessories.
Crochet patterns are available in catalogs, magazines, books, and online. Hundreds of designs range from old fashioned to contemporary to fit the needs and wants of almost anyone. This hobby is gaining popularity as consumers desire to save money yet give family members and friends durable items that will be appreciated.