Ever wonder where the history of the art of crocheting began? Well, I did so I did a little reading about this subject and found out that even the experts can't come to a definitive answer, but it was still interesting to find out how some researchers learned about this evolution of crocheting.
According to American crochet expert Annie Potter, "The modern art of true crochet as we know it today was developed during the 16th century." But according to researcher Lis Paludan, there is "no convincing evidence as to how old the art of crochet might be or where it came from. It was impossible to find evidence of crochet in Europe before 1800." I just don't find that statement very convincing, no matter what it was called back then, wouldn't you think there would have been some kind of evidence of crochet in the Vatican during the Rennaisance Era? So I found another statement to back up my idea, "a great many sources state that crochet has been known as far back as the 1500's in Italy, under the name of "nun's work" or "nun's lace," where it was worked by the nuns for the church textiles."
Another most likely theory was that the art of crocheting evolved from the Chinese needlework, an ancient form of embroidery, which made its way to Europe by the 1700's and was referred to by the French as "tambouring" from the French word "tambour" (to drum.) At the end of the 18th century, tambouring evolved into what the French called "crochet in the air" so the background material was no longer needed for this particular artform.
Mlle. Eleanor Riego de Branchardiere (sometime around 1850) was best known for turning needle and bobbin lace designs and turn them into crochet patterns that could easily be duplicated. She published many pattern books for women to learn different patterns easily with her instructions and could copy her designs. She was also regarded as the "mother of modern tatting" which is known as Irish crochet (she was half -Irish and half -French.)
The project I picked up yesterday to try to work on some more is this little baby afghan. I'd like to say that I'm almost finished with it since I'm finally on the last skein of yarn for it. These things take time and I'm not a quick crocheter but a fine procrastinator for things like that so it will get finished in its own time. Not sure when that will be, but I do enjoy working on it a little each time and I will find joy when some sweet little baby finally gets to feel its love and warmth, made by me, sometime in this century.