How crocheting became cool in 2021

Written by Madiy Warner

Creative outlets have long since taken a back seat in our day-to-day lives due to social media however, the pandemic has meant that so many of us now have additional time to pick up the hobbies and crocheting has had a resurgence during the pandemic.

I interviewed Ellie who owns cacti_clothing_, Salina who owns essbysalina, and Tatum (txtumx_) who crochets as a hobby in her spare time and this is what they had to say.

You all picked up crochet during the pandemic. Was it something you have done before or are you new to it? 

Ellie: Both my grandma and aunty taught me to crochet around 6 years ago, and I have been crocheting on and off ever since! Since the pandemic has meant being stuck indoors most of the time, I have been crocheting more than ever.

Salina: It was very new to me, I’d never picked up a crochet hook in my life! 

Tatum: I picked up crocheting around May-time of the lockdown in 2019. I was really struggling mentally, and even though usually I find it hard to keep things going, I picked up crocheting quite quickly after borrowing some of my nan’s crochet hooks. 

What made you choose crochet?

Cacti clothing
Ess by Salina

Ellie: After receiving a crochet scarf from my aunty as a gift, I decided that I wanted to learn the craft and create my own pieces for myself and to give to others. I used crochet books and YouTube videos to improve my skill further. 

Salina: I’d originally bought some yarn and crochet hooks for my nan so it would give her something to do in lockdown as she’s great at it. Unfortunately, she went into hospital and it was sitting there unused so I just started playing around and seeing what I could do.

Tatum: I was inspired daily while scrolling down my Instagram feed, but I have a really short attention span, and I didn’t like the idea of projects spanning over weeks, so I turned to amigurumi crochet, which is the art of crocheting small creatures. This is my favourite although, my first amigurumi was a toadstool and that was completely AWFUL, I was proud at the time though. 

Tatum

Mental health is so important, particularly now as we are all missing social interactions. Has crocheting helped you mentally?

Ellie: Crocheting is very calming, I love putting something on Netflix, grabbing a coffee and crocheting to my heart’s content!

Salina: It’s totally helped as your mind is completely occupied with the task at hand and I’ve found crochet to be quite meditative almost. 

Tatum: Crocheting definitely helps me mentally. Whenever I am feeling stressed, upset or anything, I turn to crochet, even if it is just crocheting something silly for the sake of it.

Why did you choose to turn it into a business?

Cacti Clothing

Ellie: I started selling one-off bikini tops and bralettes I had crocheted on Depop a few years ago and really enjoyed the whole process. After seeing the reception that these pieces received, alongside the emerging funky festival fashion scene, I decided to build on this and establish my own brand of crocheted festival pieces.

Salina: That sort of happened by accident as I was toying around with a bag and a friend messaged and asked if I’d make her one. She’s a stylist and posted it on her feed and others started putting in orders. 

Sustainability is becoming much more important to many consumers, do you think this will help you with the success of your business?

Ellie: I think the recent focus on shopping both locally and from small independent businesses to help the environment has supported my business greatly. I have found that there is a large community of small business owners and lovers, that support each other immensely and it is great to feel a part of this community.  

Salina; I think people are definitely shopping more responsibly and hopefully that bodes well for smaller businesses. 

What trends do you see emerging throughout the rest of this year? 

Ellie: I think crochet is firmly back in style this year, with the likes of Gabriella Hearst and Valentino unveiling funky crochet-esque pieces in their Spring 2021 collections. Other likely emerging trends I have seen include pieces entirely made of netting, which will translate well into intricate crochet designs.

Cacti Clothing

Salina: I’ve actually seen a lot of crochet items (clothing, bags) around in high street shops and a younger demographic wearing them so I think we’ll see more of it for sure! 

Tatum: Animal print, definitely! 

What is your favourite creation so far? 

Ellie: My favourite creation so far has to be the ‘Look Hue’s Talking Rainbow Crochet Jumper’.

Salina: It’s probably the bamboo crochet bag! 

Tatum: My favourite creation has got to be my amigurumi yeti. It is my biggest toy I have crocheted yet, and he is so chunky and soft and cuddly, I’m really proud of that one.