Crochet in the Modern World
Crochet is something that has been around for a long time - and I mean a long time. The first evidence of crochet fabric emerged from Europe in the 19th century. Since then, it has been an age old hobby for people of all ages.
A lot of early crochet began with very fine lace-like materials using fine threads and elaborate stitching. From the 1950's/60's the yarn used has became thicker and typically brighter in colour - creating doilies and other home items. This craft continued until the 70's/80's when the humble granny square was created. Fashion based around granny squares peaked in the 70's and is making a come back in recent years, and this is something that should be celebrated!
An example of something I have made using granny squares.
A lot of mothers in the 70's created clothing for themselves and their children using granny squares - much to many children's dismay as it was cheap to get yarn and also gave them something to do. People often see this kind of clothing as 'tacky' - but I disagree. Crochet is back with a vengeance!
Aside from the fact that crocheting is a rewarding hobby which enables you to create quirky gifts and garments, it is something which can help a lot with mental health, it is a great distraction technique. Since teaching myself how to crochet during lockdown in 2020, I have used it almost daily as an escape mechanism. Crochet enables me to escape from the mundane worries of life. When I crochet, all I have to worry about are the stitches I have left to make.
It would be a shame to see crochet gone. As a hobby, it NEEDS to stay and keep being taught to younger generations. It is no longer an "old granny" hobby. You can create some amazing things using just a ball of yarn and a hook. Over the past few years I have definitely seen a surge in crochet clothing making a come back. Both small businesses and big fashion houses are debuting it on the catwalk in all the big cities. The main problem is that crochet stitches can't be made with machines, like knitting can. Each crochet stitch must be made by hand, therefore, making garments is a lengthy process. Small business owners are trying to sell their handmade clothing at prices to pay themselves fairly, but big companies are coming in and selling similar mass produced clothing for a fraction of the price. This means that the workers who are actually handmaking each piece are most likely being extremely underpaid for the work they are doing. It also makes the majority of buyers think that small business' price ranges are too steep in comparison. This piece below is sold by a major retailer for £25, which makes me question - who is making this? and how much are they being paid? It is so unethical.
Above is an example as being sold by Boohoo
My business is called Little Sunflxwer. I started out making simple hair accessories and crochet flower clips. As my skills have broadened I have expanded into making clothing mainly using granny squares or 'granny stitches. The majority of these garment can take from 5-35 hours in total to create - but I do believe the outcome is worth it.
Here are some examples of my most recent works.
Below is a crochet froggy motif dress which took me around 30 hours to make. To me, it was one million percent worth the time. If I was to make bespoke versions of this dress to sell, it would only be feasible to charge at least £160 for my time alone.
Another recent creation is my animal friends cardigan. I have made a few variants of this. This particular one was a bespoke order for a customer through Instagram. She is very happy with it and it warms my heart to see her wear it and cherish it. I believe this is something that you can't get when shopping from fast fashion stores.
If you are someone reading this who would be interested in learning how to crochet - there is so much out there now to help you hone your skills. I primarily learnt by watching YouTube videos and through a lot of trial and error. The internet is filled with lots of information and tutorials on how to make almost anything out of crochet. There are also local groups in Doncaster who run regular knitting and crochet socialization groups where likeminded crafters meet up to work on their projects and also collaborate on group projects for charities and events. Most recently - a Doncaster based group called 'Mother Hookers'
worked together to make crochet sunflower brooches to sell for charities helping to raise money for Ukrainian support.
photo credit to Mother Hookers on Facebook.
If you are local to Doncaster, there is an incredible local shop which stocks everything you will ever need to crochet as well as knitting/sewing and a whole hosts of other hobbies. It is called Knit and Stitch and is situated at 26 Market Place in the centre. Ran by very friendly and helpful staff, it's a great place to visit to get all of the supplies and knowledge about your new hobbies. They also run workshops on sewing, quilting and knitting. It is a must visit for all crafters.
photo credit to Knit and Stitch on Facebook.
Below, are some links to YouTube tutorials for beginner crocheting skills - if just one person reading this takes the time to learn how to crochet, then my job here is done. Crocheting is a wonderful hobby and more people need to discover its beauty and the therapeutic aspects that it brings.
Bella Coco - Beginner Crochet Episode One -
Beginner Crochet Episode 2 -
I hope that you can take away some knowledge from this little blog post - and maybe it has inspired you to pick up a hook and try your hand at crocheting yourself. New hobbies can bring a lot of new life and fun - so enjoy it!
Keep your eyes peeled for a crochet exhibition on the horizon at D31 Art Gallery. I want to show you what gorgeous things you can create with a ball of wool.
My name is Yasmin and I've recently been hired as a Curational Assistant at the gallery. Art has been a huge thing throughout my whole life. Being given the opportunity to work in this magical gallery brings me much joy. In my spare time I run a small business called Little Sunflxwer, enjoy creating my own art and feeding swans. I also enjoy expressing myself through the outfits I wear and create.