Updated: Mar 3, 2021
I didn't know that there was such a thing, to be honest. I was researching fiber-based holidays when I discovered that March was National Crochet Month. Founded by the Crochet Guild of America in 1998, National Crochet Month initially began as a week-long focus on the craft of crochet, usually beginning on the third Monday of March. Then, in 2005, the week was extended to the whole of March. The stated purpose of National Crochet Month is to promote and encourage the craft of crochet by engaging newbies and masters, alike. The Crochet Guild of America also uses it as a way to raise their profile and encourage new memberships through various events, including Crochet-alongs (CALs) and volunteerism. The history of crochet isn't as well documented as other forms of fiber art. Annie Potter, a master crocheter, suggests that there are three theories about the origins of crochet, with one suggesting that it originated in Arabia, another in South America, and a third in China, but there is scant archaeological evidence for such claims. Researchers suggest that the earliest evidence of crochet in Europe dates to about 1800, when it was used as a way to imitate lace. Beginning in France, it eventually made its way to England and then to Ireland, where, during the Irish Potato Famine, the English organized the Irish into crochet cooperatives that produced fine crochet lace pieces that the English sold for exorbitant amounts of money to the wealthy but only passed a pittance on to the crafters. Irish emigrants fleeing the Famine, then, brought their fiber skills to America, and the craft of crochet has continued to flourish ever since as crocheters began to use crochet for more than just lacework, producing garments, toys, afghans, and other household items. This development brings us to National Crochet Month. Last year, Edie Eckman posted ten ideas for celebrating National Crochet Month on her website. Some of those suggestions included crocheting in public, teaching someone else how to crochet, adding a bit of crochet to something unexpected, and joining a CAL. This, of course, was pre-pandemic and just before the quarantining and shut downs that began in mid-March of 2020, which means that those choosing to celebrate need to think a little outside the box in 2021. So, in addition to perhaps trying a new crochet technique or using YouTube or one of the many wonderful How To Crochet books out there, perhaps this year you'll make an amigurumi to send to someone you've been sorely missing as we stay socially distant. Or, maybe you'll finally make that crochet pattern you've been eyeing for some time. Or, maybe you'll post some of your crochet projects to Instagram and Facebook. I have a couple of crochet goals in mind this March. First, I want to tackle the Despite shawl by Natalie of Detroit Knots. It's a Tunisian Crochet pattern that is just stunning. Plus, Natalie's designs are fabulous, and I really admire her. Second, I have been itching to make the dragon scarf that graces the cover of the _Crochet Ever After_ pattern book. I even have the Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat in Phosphorous and DizzyWigFibers Sock in Pumpkin Facial set aside for it. (Okay, I've had them set aside for that scarf for about a year, but I'm totally gonna start it this time.) How will you celebrate National Crochet Month?