Crochet is one of the most popular hobbies of our time. In recent years it surpassed knitting as the trendier craft. But why do people learn how to crochet? There are many motivations but a few common threads, which I noticed when I asked on Instagram what inspired people there to first try crocheting.
Seeing Someone Else Enjoy It
A large percentage of the people who responded said that they were first inspired to learn to crochet because they saw someone do it, usually a loved one, often (but certainly not always) a mom, aunt or grandmother.
Sometimes people were just inspired by watching the process and other times it was the finished items that were inspiring. @jessicamcdee shared:
"My mother in law inspired me to crochet after showing me crochet blankets that had been made by different family members through the years."
And @crocheted_by_emilyrose shared this lovely story:
"My mom had an afghan that my grandmother had started back in the late 70's, but never finished before she passed away. This past summer we found all the pieces and decided it was time to finally finish it 30 years later. We signed up for a crochet 101 class @joann_stores and are now both crochet addicts :) It's brought my mother and I closer together and, though I never got the chance to meet my grandmother I feel closer to her now too."
And sometimes people want to crochet with other people and so they choose to learn. @yarn_obsession learned because her co-workers were starting a craft club and she wanted to join.
@misty.granade asked her friends to teach her.
Seeing Someone Else NOT Enjoy It
Interestingly enough, some people were motivated to learn crochet because there was someone in their lives who didn't like it or who didn't know how to do it. @lisablue76 said that she learned because of her aunties and "the fact that my mom hated it".
And @marie_hibbert said she wanted to learn because she thought it was prettier than knitting and "my nan and mum couldn't do it".
Wanting to Craft for Specific People
One of the most common reasons that people choose to learn crochet is because there is someone in their lives that they want to make handcrafted items for. By and large, this is when people have children or grandchildren that they are inspired to craft for. @loopyeverafter shared:
"We had to learn it in school. For 5 years with other crafts. But what made me pick it up again was when my nieces and my daughter was born. My two SILs and I had 3 girls within 9 months and it made me want to make something for all of them."
Of course, kids aren't the only inspiration for learning to crochet. @cms0522 learned because, "I wanted to make my mom a blanket."
Desire for Productivity/ Achievement
One of the great benefits of crochet is that it helps to boost self-esteem and allows people to have a creative, productive outlet where they can express themselves and make their own mark. Sometimes this is the perfect reason to learn to crochet. @jrkinyak shared:
"In 2009, I was at the state fair and thinking I would like to enter something in it the following year, and the crocheted toys category didn't seem to have much competition, so I set my sights on that. I fell for crochet immediately and hard. But I didn't end up entering anything in the state fair until this past year. I got a second-place ribbon in freeform crochet. I already know what I'm entering this year."
Other times it's just the simple desire to have something to do. @mostlyharmlessdesigns was motivated to learn crochet from "primarily boredom" and @amahlebykimlee learned from "curiosity". And a couple of people, including @raynettelisten and @wanderingneedle) mentioned that they like that it's something that they can do on the go, enjoying the portability of the craft.
Crochet as a Health Cure / Therapy
People are increasingly beginning to recognize that crochet has numerous physical and mental health benefits, which is what I researched in my book Crochet Saved My Life, and there are some people (including myself) who learned to crochet specifically for this reason. @mamziigomez said she tried it as a form of therapy. And @daisychainscrochet shared:
"I was suffering very badly with depression and decided I needed to try something to help keep my mind occupied. I tried knitting at first as my mum always said crochet was really hard but kept dropping stitches so got fed up. I then decided I would give crochet a go and fell in love right away."