Crochet as we know it, started around the early 1900s. It started as a cheap alternative to lace. It was also around this time crochet hooks began to adjust in size to accommodate the new thicknesses of yarn available.
It wasn’t until the 1920s and 1930s that it was seen as more than just a decorative embellishment.
1920s Irish Crochet Collar
In the 1940s is was a huge part of the war efforts in both the United States and Europe. Women at home crocheted items for the troops.
1940s crochet apron
The first “boom” in crochet happened in the 1960s, when crochet homeware became all the rage. The granny square because increasingly popular, as it is a simple design that can be made into so many clothing options and accessories.
1960s crochet dress
From there crochet began to die out again, before regaining popularity in the last decade or so. Today it is so much easier to find and obtain crochet supplies and to learn crochet. I do have to wonder though, what the crocheters of the 1500s would think of our skills. What may seem advanced, and highly skilled to us, may seem like very elementary level skills to them as early examples of crochet are a mix of lace work, crochet and knitting all at once.
While gone are the days where we had to know how to crochet to make ourselves socks because we just couldn’t go out and buy another pair, or a new blanket because the old one was tattered beyond use, Crochet is still, in my opinion, a useful skill to have.