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Eleanor Gilchrist

Eleanor Gilchrist

Project Title

Eleanor’s project explores the history of the craft of crochet.  The title of her MPhil Project is ‘The development of crochet in Britain’s industrial century: gender, craft and business.’

Academic Supervisor

Eleanor Gilchrist

Project description

It is assumed that crochet as we know it today evolved out of the older crafts of slipstitch crochet (shepherd’s knitting or cleekit), tambour embroidery and Irish crochet lace. The first crochet pattern books were published in English in the 1840s but it is unclear how and why the evolution to the modern craft took place. Many museum collections contain objects which are crocheted and can be dated to around the turn of the 19th century but it is unclear who made them, how they learned the craft and how it became more sophisticated. I propose to piece together the history of this method of textile production, which was developed through oral tradition, informal education and creativity.


1999 BSc Pure Mathematics The University of St Andrews

2004 MSc Science (Communication Strand) The Open University