Knit ting with a hook
Crochet as it is known today dates from the early 19th century. Similarities have been traced back to ancient Chinese embroidery, however, as well as to fabric adornment in Arabia and South America. The word itself is an old French term for a hook. In the 17th century a hook was used to join pieces in lace-making. It was not until 1823 that instructions for purely crocheted work were published in a Dutch magazine, Penelope. An author in the 1840s described “a species of knitting originally practised by the peasants in Scotland with a small hooked needle”. This was reiterated in The Memoirs Of A Highland Lady, written by Elizabeth Grant. This entry was dated 1812, but not published until 1898. She referred to “shepherd’s knitting” where garments were produced by looping yarn with a hook. In mid 19th century Ireland, crocheted lacework was practised as an alternative means of income during the potato famine. It became popular in Europe and America. Crochet was fashionable throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras, becoming increasingly elaborate. Patterns were available for everything from birdcage covers to lampshades. It was also enthusiastically taken up by the Americans in the post-war period. Colourful crocheted granny squares were popularised in the 1960s and 1970s. Motifs worked in the round were joined together to make blankets, ponchos and scarves. It then went out of fashion, but has been revived again with the resurgent interest in home crafts.
Crochet blankets were traditionally made up of squares. Amanda, however, has expanded this to include circles and triangles. She often uses more than one shape in a blanket, creating a kaleidoscope of patterns as well as colours.