Today is December 12, 2012 or 12/12/12. This day only happens once every one hundred years. As I pick up my crochet, flip through a brand new pattern PDF on my computer, and visit my LYS with it's shelves of yarns from all across the country, I wonder what crochet was like a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago, and what it will be like a hundred years from now.
|Digory Mittens by Brenda K. B. Anderson
December 12, 1812
Not much is known about the history of crochet in 1812. Some
of the first printed crochet patterns were found in publications dating from
around this time period. But historians have very little evidence of the
patterns and tools used in the early 19th century.
If you were an early crocheter in December of 1812, you
might have been using slip stitch to create a warm pair of woolen mittens or
gloves. You might have used front or back loop only crochet stitches to create
subtle patterns. Your crochet hook might have been handmade from the handle of
an old spoon or carved from a fishbone.
Two hundred years later, slip stitch crochet, sometimes
called Bosnian crochet, is no longer a common stitch used to create warm winter
accessories. But designers like Brenda K. B. Anderson still draw on this early
technique to create beautiful pieces liker her Digory Mittens.
December 12, 1912
Much more is known about crochet in the 20th
century. As a crocheter in December of 1912, we know you would have had access to
written crochet patterns, ranging from thread edgings and home decor to warm
hats and coats. But complicated crochet lace was definitely the most popular
crochet technique. Exquisite examples of Irish crochet were in great demand
until the beginning of World War I, about a year and a half later.
You might have been crocheting with a gorgeously carved
crochet hook of bone or ivory or delicate metal hooks, perfect for thread
Budding crochet historians, like Maire Treanor, are working to
ensure this lace crochet heritage isn't lost. They are gathering motifs and
history and sharing them with other crochet enthusiasts.
|Red Twig Knee Socks by Patsy Harbor
December 12, 2112
What will crochet look like on December 12, 2112? Will
intricate lace designs, thick warm garments, or perhaps crochet socks be the
popular fashion? Will they finally create a crochet machine? I hope not. I love
the feel of the yarn slipping through my fingers and the relaxation of working
each stitch. Perhaps crochet will once again become a skill taught to each
What do you think crochet will look like on December 12,
P.S. Check out Irish Crochet and Clones Lace with Marie Treanor.