“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book or some yarn.”

One of the more pleasant aspects of rainy days is being warm and dry indoors with piping hot tea nearby and some yarn for knitting or crochet. For me, it’s all about crochet which is not only relaxing and calming but at the same time stimulating. Not unlike tea; invigorating yet soothing.

I need nothing more besides a crochet project and some hot tea

I have always loved textiles and yarn and have tried my hand at spinning and weaving, decoupage, quilting, tatting, rug making, knitting, leatherwork, macrame, and many other crafts.

Tea is the perfect complement to any yarn craft. It is one of those ideal pairings like; scones and afternoon tea, a picnic with wine and cheese, Sunday morning bacon and eggs or watching a movie with popcorn. Tea and yarn are a match made in heaven. Whether you knit, crochet, sew, or do needlework or quilting, these creative pursuits are always better with tea.

Drinking tea does make us feel good, but it also might improve our brain function and creativity. The caffeine and L-theanine in tea reduce our mental fatigue and boost concentration, so ultimately can help with creativity.

“Her fingers worked steadily,flicking the yarn-a light lavender in some places,nearly plumin others-around a small golden crochet hook and drawing it secure through a loop made a moment before

Jaclyn Shambaugh

Playing with the crochet hook and cotton, silk, alpaca, and wool yarns has been my passion over the last few years, and I have made many blankets and throws in a variety of styles and patterns or designed the patterns myself. Crochet is perfect for mindfully watching your favourite show; it is easy to do with unlimited patterns, colours and textures to play with rather than passively watching. Your hands have been busy, and you have throws and blankets to enjoy from your relaxation time.

“The joy of crochet is its simplicity: there is only ever one stitch in work and just a few variations of the basic stitches to master, but the possibilities of using and combining those stitches together are endless

Erika Knight

Crochet Fascinating Facts

  • The word, Crochet, comes from the French word ‘croche’, meaning hook.
  • Australians, English, Italians, Spanish, Americans, New Zealanders and the French call it crochet, but in Italy crochet is called uncinetto. in Holland, haken, in Denmark, haekling, in Norway, and in Sweden, virkning.
  • The terminology in crochet patterns is different in the UK and Australia than in the USA but is easily translated.
  • The earliest patterns for Crochet were for purses of gold and silver silk thread in colourwork crochet. There is no definitive understanding of the origins of Crochet, but according to American crochet expert 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. In 1916 Walter Edmund Roth visited descendants of the Guiana Indians and found examples of true crochet.”

Annie Potter


There is little known about the history of crochet but a researcher, Lis Paludan of Denmark, has three theories

  • Crochet began across Europe. Firstly in Arabia, spreading to Tibet and then to Spain, where it followed the Arab trade routes to other countries in the Mediterranean.
  • Crochet came from primitive tribes that used crochet adornments in rites of puberty.
  • In China, there are early examples of three-dimensional dolls working in crochet.

Crochet Facts

  • Crochet made with a very fine hook looks like lace, and evidence suggests that crochet was known as far back as the 1500s in Italy and called ‘nun’s work’ or ‘nun’s lace,’
  • Early crochet hooks were made of anything available, starting with fingers first, then old spoons, animal bones, horns, and teeth from old combs or made of wire stuck into a cork, piece of wood or bark filed down in the shape of a hook. Later crochet hooks were made from brass, mother of pearl, tortoiseshell, ivory, copper, steel, and silver. Because there were no sizes, it was up to the artisan’s skill to keep the tension the same throughout. 
  • During the Irish famine between 1845 and 1850, Irish families relied on making crochet items to sell, and crochet was a lifesaver that enabled them to move out of poverty. Despite the squalor of poor living conditions, they made delicate collars, cuffs and household items like doilies and antimacassars. These were small decorative cloths one would put over the back or arms of chairs to prevent soiling. Queen Victoria was one customer of Irish crochet and later learnt to crochet herself.
  • Irish men, women, and children would all crochet and were placed in crochet cooperatives, where they developed new patterns. Families would save up to migrate to the United States and took their skills to the American women who were already heavily involved in spinning, weaving, knitting and quilting.
  • In the 1920s, crochet began to be used to make garments rather than accessories or embellishments. The crochet cloche hat was famous and evening dresses etc.
  • In the 1960s and 70s, a crochet boom began in fashion and homewares that are having a revival today in high designer fashion, adding crochet to the latest trends.
  • Today, exquisite crochet hooks are available in various sizes and are made of materials with appeal and aesthetics. From magnificent timbers to ergonomic soft feel plastic, glass, aluminium, bamboo and steel.
  • Crochet made with a very fine hook looks like lace and evidence suggests that crochet was known as far back as the 1500s in Italy and called ‘nun’s work’ or ‘nun’s lace,’
  • Early crochet hooks were made of anything available, starting with fingers first, then old spoons, animal bones, horns, and teeth from old combs or made of wire stuck into a cork, piece of wood or bark filed down in the shape of a hook. Because there were no sizes, it was up to the artisan’s skill to keep the tension the same throughout. Later crochet hooks were made from brass, mother of pearl, tortoiseshell, ivory, copper, steel, and silver.
  • During the Irish famine between 1845 and 1850, Irish families relied on making crochet items to sell and crochet was a lifesaver that enabled them to move out of poverty. Despite the squalor of poor living conditions, they made delicate collars, cuffs and household items like doilies and antimacassars. These were small decorative cloths one would put over the back or arms of chairs to prevent soiling. Queen Victoria was one customer of Irish crochet and later learnt to crochet herself.
  • Irish men, women and children would all crochet and joined crochet cooperatives where they developed new patterns. Families would save up to migrate to the United States and took their skills to the American women who were already heavily involved in spinning, weaving, knitting and quilting.
  • In the 1920s crochet began to be used to make garments rather than accessories or embellishments. The crochet cloche hat was popular and evening dresses etc
  • In the 1960s and 70s, a crochet boom began in fashion and homewares that is having a revival today in high designer fashion adding crochet to the latest trends.
  • Exquisite crochet hooks are available today in various sizes and are made of materials that have appeal and aesthetics. From magnificent timbers to ergonomic soft feel plastic, glass, aluminium, bamboo and steel.

Early Crochet Influencers

A businesswoman called Eléonore Riego de la Branchardière in the 19th century popularised crochet through her many books.  She was an author of over a hundred crochet books, a publisher, and a crochet designer and taught across the board, from royalty to commoners.

Eléonore devoted her life to her artistic expression but is remembered for her ability to design crochet patterns from needle and bobbin lace designs. She published many pattern books and is said to have invented “lace-like” crochet,” what we call today -Irish crochet.

The earliest crochet printed pattern is said to be from around 1824. Before patterns were written down, one simply copied another person’s work. Samples were made and sewn onto pages and bound like scrapbooks or sewn onto large pieces of fabric. By 1916 in Europe, one could buy a stitch sampler along with their yarn.

“Learning to overcome frustration can be a major step in this task, but once a person learns the basics, crochet becomes a relaxing activity, with so many variations that there is always something new to learn to keep the project novel

Nicole L Cipriani

Current trends in fashion are seeing crochet turn up against free-flowing linens and cotton and many crochet bags and accessories. This pic is from Marie Claire and shows the scope of crochet in fashion. With bags retailing for $495 a quiet crochet and a cup of tea may be very lucrative after all.

Before taking up crochet or knitting, be aware that all yarn activity is addictive. The play of colour and design is endless and quite obsessive. But a yarn stash is beautiful and means you can begin a new project as soon as one is finished. I advise you never should run out of tea and always have a large, colourful yarn stash. There will never be a dull moment.

The material for collating this article came from these sources: woolandthegang.com

Crochet Guild Of America and Wikimedia

Content Di Baker 2022

Images Di Baker unless otherwise cited

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