By Pragya Jhunjhunwala
May 29th 2021
The 1940s is a dark period in history. The decade was ridden with the horrors of war and its aftermath. The civilians suffered the most, unable to feed their families in a struggling economy. Buying new clothes that were thick enough for the winter was out of the question. People began to upscale anything they could get their hands on. Although people could not afford to buy cloth, the purchase of knitting and crocheting materials was at an all-time high. A classic book, called Creative Crochet with Carpet Warp and Candlewick Cotton, written by Anne Orr was published during this time. It’s safe to say, people were being very creative when it came to finding materials. There were also magazines that taught crochet, for example, the “Crocheted Afghans in Bear & Bucilla Yarns #315” and “Crochet for Your Home (Book No. 49)” from Royal Society
In fact, crochet was encouraged by doctors, as seen on page 58 of the University of Michigan Official Publication, Volume 41. It reads “Busy hands distract sick minds. This is not a church “sewing circle”, but a session of an occupational therapy class in a state hospital. Patients sew, knit, crochet, and do fancy work. They make many articles for their own use and for the use of others in the hospital. Occupation that diverts and stimulates the minds of patients is curative in its effects. … Such work not only has a beneficial effect and helps while away the long hours of necessary hospitalisation, but also furthers the productive ability of patients looking toward the time when they are sufficiently recovered to return to their homes and society.”
Like any other decade, the 1950s had a few crochet trends. There’s the flower collar pattern, as seen in a magazine called Today’s Treasure
Other than clothing crochet patterns, there were crochet patterns for rugs and toys.
Times were tough, but people still tried their best to make things to better their living situation and even made crochet bags and headscarves.
Crochet became a symbol. With the 1950s, came great change. People were empowered and moving ahead with a desire to grow and thrive. Crochet’s journey was far from over. Tune in as we delve into the 50s in our next post! Until then,
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