Crochet Historically Speaking

There is so much controversy over exactly when crochet showed up so I decided that I would do a little research of my own. Remember I am writing this using information found either on the web or in books and of course at the end I will give my own conclusions that will hopefully satisty or arouse your curiosity about crochet. I am a crochet lover but no matter how much I love it I am unable to find hard concrete factual evidence that crochet existed before 1743 (Complete Book of Crochet by Elizabeth Mathieson), Based on prizes awarded by the Royal Dublin Society for Irish Crochet work (Crochet Discovery & Design by Del Pitt Feldman). It was mentioned in “Letters Patent” 1653 as “au Crochet” (Crochet a Living Mystery by Annie Potter) and again in the 1700’s as tambouring or the New Chinese Needlework. The tool used was called “croche”, a French word meaning hook. This possibly let to “crochet in the air” toward the end of the eighteenth century (Lis Pauldin History & Technique of Crochet). It is also rumored that pieces of what seem to be crocheted lace have been found in Egyptian tombs but to my knowledge no one has verified that it was definitely crocheted. Despite all this written referenced information, the only concrete factually pieces of actual crochet are dated in the early 1800’s. Does this mean there was no crochet before then ? I honestly don’t know. To add to this confusion I looked up the word CROCHET in my trusty Webster Dictionary. Crochet: [small hook;see crotchet] a kind of needlework in which loops of thread or yarn are interwoven by means of a single hooked needle (crochet hook) to do crochet or make by crochet. Crotchet: [croc,hook: see crosier] 1. a small hook , a hook like part or device 2.[sense “hooked,twisted”] a peculiar whim or stubborn notion 3. music. A quarter note Crosier [crocier bearer of a staff] probably. influenced. by association with OFr. Croc hook, hooked staff. 1. a staff with a crook at the top carried by or before a bishop or Abbot as a symbol of his Pastoral function. 2. Bot, the coiled tip of a young fern. With these definitions in mind I am led to believe that MAYBE the earlier written refernces may not have been talking about lace crochet. Crochet will remain a mystery to me and no matter where it came from it will certainly remain my favorite pastime. If you have anything to add or just want to discuss my findings, please post in the forum, I am open minded and always ready to hear other explanations or ideas.

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