The Motivation to Crochet

The exact origins of crochet remain a mystery. We have only theories and suppositions about the first projects created. Were the first examples of crochet blankets, hats, mittens, or lace, and who were the people who first discovered the beauty of crochet?

While we may not have much information on crochet's inception, its crucial role in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is well documented through personal histories, carefully preserved garments and accessories, and photographs. And it is the early crocheters that fascinate me.

Billy Monday was a football player in the late 1800s. But when he was seriously injured in a college game, he suddenly found himself permanently confined to a wheelchair. Left unable to physically perform most jobs of the era, Billy turned to crochet to support his wife and family. He made and sold lace bedspreads, shopping bags, and the popular seed handbags. He also gave crochet lessons to those interested in "crochet-work."

First Lady Grace Coolidge was an avid crafter. She claimed to have learned to sew on a button before she learned to walk, though she admitted that she was a late walker and the button placement was not entirely accurate. She learned to crochet, knit, and sew from her mother. When her husband, Calvin, served in the stated offices in Boston, she would occasionally visit during the week, crocheting "all the way down on the train." And after her sixteen-year-old son's death in 1924, Grace turned to crochet to ease her pain. In June of 1927, she finished a filet crochet coverlet that she had designed for the Lincoln bedroom in the White House.

In studying the history of crochet, I have discovered that those early crocheters were motivated by the same things we are today. Some crocheted as a means of income, some to heal from the pain of life, and some to create those luxuries we all crave. But more than that, they all crocheted because they loved it. Order Crochet Traditions today to learn more about these and other early crocheters and explore the technique and patterns of their day.

Best wishes,

P.S. Let us know what motivates your crochet.


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