Why You Should Get Hooked On Crochet

Chances are you or someone you know has a crocheted afghan.  Maybe it’s a traditional 'Granny Square' afghan, or a retro chevron pattern.  Maybe your grandmother made it, or an aunt.  That’s how people often see crocheting: a traditional craft that someone of an older generation made.

But boy, are they wrong.  Look around you—crochet is everywhere!  Be it a cuddly sweater or the ever-popular chunky infinity scarf, crochet is in.

There are plenty of modern crochet designers and patterns on Facebook, as well as endless pins on Pinterest featuring trendy items to make.  Winter accessories are a common sight, from hats to boot cuffs.  Even Reddit is in on the crochet game, with many patterns that incorporate pop culture, like a stuffed Death Star and a Homer Simpson hat.

It’s on the runway too.  Designers like Gaultier, Pucci, and Dolce & Gabbana incorporate crocheted designs into their shows.

Beth Major-Sproul, who has had her patterns published, teaches a beginner crochet class at Yarns on York. 

She said it’s a cool craft to learn because, “It’s very much in vogue.”

Originally from Ontario, Beth has noticed that Fredericton is a lot more crochet-friendly than her home.  She recalls how a yarn store keeper in Ontario once refused to sell her yarn because she didn’t think Beth should be crocheting with it.  Hooks and other crochet-specific materials were also hard to come by. 

On the flipside, Fredericton embraces it.  For example, several vendors at the Boyce Farmers’ Market sell crocheted items.

Crochet is versatile, and can change to fit contemporary lifestyles while still holding onto a domestic feel.  Beth notes that some techniques fall in and out of fashion, like the Granny Square, but there are always new things to make and new stitches to learn. 

“I’m not a knitter so I’m being a bit biased, but there are definitely some things you can do with crochet that you can’t do with knitting,” she said.

As a more practical crocheter, she has to laugh at some of the quirkier projects.  “Just because you can crochet something doesn’t mean you should,” she said. 

She can still appreciate the thought that goes into these projects, especially bigger, more fantastical projects like the three giant crocheted lions that were made for the 2012 London Olympics.

For now, she’ll stick with teaching Frederictonians the basics.  Jayne Libby, one of the women at the beginner’s class said she wanted to learn crochet after seeing so many kids’ hats at the farmers’ market. 

“I’ve seen them so I want to do it,” she said. 

Anne Masters-Boyne, an avid knitter, is learning crochet as a “brain activity.”

“I’ve been knitting all my life and this is a way out of my comfort zone.”

What are you waiting for?  Grab some yarn, a hook, and a cup of tea.  Find a pattern you like—maybe a practical and trendy one by Vickie Howell or a quirky and fun one by Twinkie Chan—and get started!