Have you ever wondered who created crochet? I have! I know strange, right? But when I am sitting and crocheting I sometimes wonder who ever thought of using a string like substance and create all kinds of wonderful things. If you knew me you would know that I'm always wondering who created different things and ways of doing stuff.
So to satisfy my curiosity I decided to investigate and here is what I found out.
The word crochet is from the French word 'crochet' meaning <i>small hook</i>. It first appeared in the 19th century and the first printed pattern was in a Dutch magazine in 1823. It was originally called <i>Shepherd's Knitting,</i> and was a cheaper substitute for lace. Queen Victoria even crocheted scarves for soldiers in the South African War.
During the Potato Famine in Ireland Irish workers would use every possible free time to make Irish Lace to help support themselves. There were even crochet cooperatives to teach men, women and children to crochet. Many families survived the famine on the money they made from their crochet.
Before written patterns were popular individuals just copied other's work. (Obviously way before everyone was worried about copyrights, lol)
In the 1920's the Cloche hat became popular as well as clothing and it has continued in popularity since. In the 60's and 70's it became increasing popular (remember the granny square clothes and afghans, even sculpture).
That's a brief summary. You can find more information here:
CGOA: A history of crochet
Wikipedia - Crochet
WATG: A Brief History of Crochet