Crochet can be a bit like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. If you’re not a fan, though, it’s likely that you still think of it as old fashioned and fussy. Modern crochet is bright, eye catching, practical – and it’s the hot new trend of the summer.
The history of crochet
What is crochet and where does it come from, anyway? ‘Crochet’ refers to the art of making thread into intricate, lace-like patterns using a hook (‘crochet’ is French for ‘hook’). We don’t know how it got started, but it gained in popularity during the Second World War. It was cheaper than lace, which was no longer readily available, and it was quick and easy to make once you’d mastered the basic skills required. For this reason, it was seen as a sort of ‘poor cousin’ to lace and got the reputation of being a bit cheap and not very classy.
In the 1960s and 70s, though, it really came into its own. Crochet squares were quick and easy and could be made into all sorts of things from blankets to waistcoats, which suited the homespun, rustic ethos of the period. Gradually it started to acquire its old-fashioned image and become very uncool as we moved into the 1980s, an era dedicated to manmade fabrics.
Modern day crochet
Now, crochet is back and it’s appearing everywhere from table mats to wall hangings. The emphasis is on bright, modern colours and bold design, and the craft itself is making a comeback, with many people taking it up during lockdown. We’ve put together some ideas for adding crochet to your home decor, or for making your own designs.
Crochet trivet, Know and Love
Hand crocheted from T Shirt yarn, these fun trivets are sustainable and fully washable. They come in a range of colourways and are perfect for adding a little boho chic to your kitchen or dining room. £8 each, available from Know and Love.
Fran art crochet hoop, Pineapple Fabric Art
Choose your own colours for this 70cm diameter artwork, which is sure to make an impact on any wall. Each piece is made by hand to order in the colours of your choice so will be unique to your decor. £190, available from Pineapple Fabric Art.
Recycled monster plant holder, No Way Crochet
Add a quirky touch with this handmade crochet monster basket made from waste cotton textiles discarded by the fashion industry. Perfectly good textiles that would otherwise go to landfill are reused for this individual home accessory. It comes with a recycled plastic drip tray to stand your favourite plant on to avoid drips. £17, available from And So to Shop.
Hanging garden lantern, A Good Right Hook
This unusual hand crocheted hanging lantern is ideal for use in the garden or on the terrace. With a holder for the addition of an LED candle or tea light this lamp will create a lovely atmosphere on summer evenings. Crocheted to hang from a 15cm metal ring, it is a little over 22cms in length and is finished by tiny beads on the scalloped edge to catch the sunlight. Three hanging cords are securely joined to a small brass ring making it easy to hang, from trees, the underside of the patio umbrella or anywhere in your garden which needs a little individuality. Being cotton it will withstand the odd shower but should not be left outside in bad weather. £16, available from The British Craft House.
Main image by Hebi B from Pixabay (c) 2021