March is a pretty awesome month….
Not only is March National Optimism Month, National Craft Month, National Crochet Month, and National Women’s History Month, it’s also the month we celebrate lots of official and unofficial holidays including Mardi Gras, St. Paddy’s Day, World Book Day, International Women’s Day, National Pi Day, National Panda Day, International Day of Happiness, The Spring Equinox, World Poetry Day, Tolkien Reading Day, WAFFLE Day, and of course my Birthday!!! I am pretty darn happy to be a March baby!
The Birth of Crochet to National Crochet Month: A Quick History
Today we call it crochet (and so do the French, Belgians, Italians and Spanish-speaking people) but the skill is also known as haken in Holland, haekling in Denmark, hekling in Norway and virkning in Sweden! Although most historians have agreed that crochet originated in Arabia, traveled east to Tibet and China, and then west to Spain and surrounding countries–it is still a bit of a mystery as to how and when crocheting traveled to America.
The earliest remains of knitted clothing date back to the 11th century A.D., but it is thought that the skill of making clothes out of cotton and yarn dates back to the earliest of times. The first details of crocheting emerged in the Dutch magazine “Penelope” in 1823, with an exhibit of then-stylish purses crocheted with silk thread.Nationaltoday.com
According to American crochet expert and world traveler Annie Potter, “The modem art of true crochet as we know it today was developed during the 16th century. It became known as ‘crochet lace’ in France and ‘chain lace’ in England.” And, she tells us, in 1916 Walter Edmund Roth visited descendants of the Guiana Indians and found examples of true crochet.The Crochet Guild of America
During the potato famine of 1845-1850, crocheting helped create a much needed source of income for the people of Ireland–Irish women crocheted items and sold them to the wealthy English aristocrats.
It was the 1960s and 1970s that crochet really took off as a freeform means of expression. The kind of creativity that can be seen in today’s craft from three-dimensional sculptures and wearable items, to rugs, tapestries and so much more!
In 1994 The Craft & Hobby Association–rebranded to the Association for Creative Industries (AFCI) and then merged with the International Art Materials Association (NAMTA) in 2021–designated Match as National Craft Month to celebrate the craft industries.
In 1995 Gwen B. Kinsler made her dream of having a crochet institute into a reality, founding The Crochet Guild of America (C.G.O.A.) and since 2005, March has been recognized as National Crochet Month!
The crochet and larger fiber community has become such an important and meaningful part of my life–and the lives of so many others! I can’t think of a better thing to celebrate than a strong, supportive community of creative people. How can you celebrate National Crochet Month??? Well… I feel like I celebrate crochet EVERY day but here are a few specific ideas!
National Crochet Month Checklist!
- Crochet in public: I believe most of us do this regularly but if you don’t, here is a great reason to start!
- Learn a new technique: YouTube is your friend! This is a great reason to try out a new stitch or start a new project!
- Teach someone to crochet or share a skill/tip on social media: If you have someone in your life that is interested in learning to crochet, this is a great excuse to take some time to teach them! You could also share some of your favorite crochet tips and tricks on your social media accounts!
- Buy a new crochet book or pattern: This is a fantastic time to head over to Etsy or Ravelry, discover some new designers and add some new projects to your list! You can also check out some of my past pattern round ups for a catered list of new project ideas from some amazing designers!
- Go buy yourself some yarn or crochet swag: We can all use a good excuse to buy more yarn AMIRIGHT??? lol! You can also treat yourself to some fun crochet themed apparel, mugs, stickers, etc!!!
- Organize your yarn and crochet supplies: Same as #5…. I’m ALWAYS looking for a good reason to invest in new organization stuff for my yarn and tools!!! Sometimes taking the time to get organized can really spark new creative inspiration too, so if you have been feeling low on your “crojo” lately, this could be just the thing you need to spark some joy and get you excited about a new project!
- Share your crochet origin story: If you have a social media account where you share your crochet projects, share a post that tells people how you learned to crochet and what it means to you! If you only have a personal social media accounts, consider starting one for your crochet projects or sharing your current projects on your personal accounts!
- Host or participate in a crochet-along (CAL): My Live Dobby Cardigan CAL started just in time for Natcromo so check out the playlist or find another CAL to join in on!
- Grow your crochet community: find some new crocheters to follow on Instagram, Youtube, TikTok or join some new crochet groups on Facebook!
- Crochet a gift for someone you love: Spread the crochet love by making some small, quick projects to gift to friends or family!
How will You be celebrating National Crochet Month??? Let me know in the comments!!!