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The French word crochet means “hook”. The origins of crochet are not well known. It was said to have originated in several different places including Arabia, South America and China. It has been said that crocheting started with nuns as a part of their work in the convent. In fact, the first crocheted item might have been created with fingers alone. Some would like to believe that crocheting started as far back as 1500 BC. The first products made using this method were lace items which were made with a very thin hook, thread and a mesh-like fabric. Below is a picture of the tool used. It is called a tambour hook.
The method of using the tambour hook was called tambouring. Historians believe that tambouring may have come from an old Chinese needlework technique. Tambouring was different from crochet in that a net or a very thin fabric was used to secure the thread that was being pulled through it. Crocheting, later on, was known as crochet in air. This meant that the stitches were not supported by any other fabric. Crocheting was very popular in France and Ireland due to war, damage to their land and loss of jobs. Selling their crocheted items were the only way they could earn money to support their families. The patterns they used in the past were very detailed and complicated. Below is a sample of Irish lace.
The history of amigurumi dolls is somewhat vague as well. The word “Amigurumi” literally means “knitted stuffed toy”. It originated in Japan around the 1950’s. Not until 2003 did people start buying amigurumi dolls online. It was reported that in the year 2006, amigurumi dolls were in high demand and were the most popular handmade crafts sold on Etsy. Amigurumi dolls are made with the most basic stitches and are not very complicated in nature. These dolls are also usually crocheted in a circular manner and made to look very cute.