Although crochet cannot be traced to a definite period in time. It is believed people were crocheting as early as the 16th century. Some believe it began in the Arab countries, others believe it began within the tribes in Africa and others believe it began in Spain. Any of these could be correct , but, there is no definite proof.
Since no crochets hooks from the past have ever been dated back that far into time, it is presumed that the crochet was done with one's fingers until the hooks were developed. Hooks can be made from anything from plastic to precious metals and come in many sizes.
Crochet really showed itself popular during the 19th century in the European regions. It's popularity gaining fast because of a lady named Madamoiselle Riego de la Branchardiere. She was very adept at taking bobbin and lace patterns and converting them to crochet patterns. These patterns were published and distributed throughout Europe.
By the beginning of the 20th century, crochet patterns could be found for home decor, accessories, clothing, baby items, nightwear, afghans and blankets, coats, sweaters and many more. We have an almost infinite number of patterns for anything the imagination can take on in today's crochet. Designers are still coming with more new and fascinating wonders.
In the next article we will learn about types and sizes of yarn and crochet hooks. See you then!