(Montreal) Knitting, crochet, embroidery: hobbies you may associate with your grandmothers are gaining popularity among millennials and members of Generation Z. Social media is full of videos featuring these types of creations, while the “handmade” and soothing aspect of these hobbies attracts young people.
Catherine Gamache-Boucher, 24, hasn’t gone a day without crocheting for a year. On her Instagram page, which has more than 3,000 followers, she shares her creations of crocheted stuffed animals.
“There is a community on Instagram that is so caring,” she says. We encourage each other a lot in that. »
Catherine recently shared her first patterns on her social networks, which she offers for free. The young woman started crocheting last year, after receiving a gift set to learn this hobby. A few months later, she launched her crochet account on Instagram.
“I thought it would motivate me to make doggies. I was really proud of my first doggies,” she says.
A year later, Catherine still has the same passion for crochet. “It really calms me down, and there’s not a day I go without crocheting in a year. I do it every day, it’s part of my daily life, and I couldn’t, say, listen to TV without having my little ball of wool next to me and my crochet hook,” she explains.
Léa Choquette, for her part, started crocheting this summer. “I saw my grandmother knitting for a long time, she makes long knitted scarves and I find it so beautiful. So, that inspired me to start crocheting. Knitting seemed a bit complicated to me, crochet was more accessible,” says the 23-year-old woman.
She learned this hobby thanks to tutorials available on the web, but also thanks to the expertise of her grandmother.
“She was happy that we could do this, she always wants to see the end result, to see what I did. She finds it beautiful all the time,” she says.
Léa believes that the hook contains a “bit of a meditative” aspect. “What I really like is that I don’t think about anything when I’m doing this, crocheting, and then I listen to my little tutorial. You really have to concentrate to do it, especially when it’s a new pattern and you have to learn the pattern and remember it and not miss a stitch,” she explains.
Léa and Catherine are not the only ones to love this hobby. On TikTok, dozens of pages of influencers who share their knitting, crochet or embroidery creations have thousands of subscribers.
Fanny Lalonde, owner of the store La Bobineuse, which sells knitting equipment in particular, sees the trends conveyed on social networks in her store located on Plateau-Mont-Royal, in Montreal.
“Dress fashions and social media fashions, without a doubt, will influence,” she says. This summer we had a lot of young girls who wanted to make crocheted tops. »
Last year, oversized wool sweaters were popular, says Ms. Lalonde.
Contrary to popular belief, people aged 20 to 45 make up the majority of its clientele.
“I have owned the store for 7 years, and we have always had a large portion of our clientele who were not elderly people, I would even say that the people with whom we traditionally associate knitting, this is not the case. is not our main customer base,” she explains.
“We have a lot of children who knit too. In the neighborhood, we have teachers, daycare workers who knit with the children at school, we have a lot of children of primary and secondary age who also knit, it’s very varied,” said she added.
Ms. Lalonde emphasizes that her clients particularly appreciate knitting for the personalized “do-it-yourself” aspect, as well as the feeling of relaxation that this hobby brings.
Yolande Cohen, professor in the history department of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), believes that it is interesting to see the return of these “useful leisure activities” among younger people.
The professor emphasizes that these pastimes are not new, being particularly part of the heritage of the Farmers’ Circles, which were popular both in rural areas and in small towns.
“Since the beginning of the 20th century, Farmers’ Circles have had great success with women who arrived in these villages, most of the time following their husbands, knew no one, and [for whom they] became circles of very important sociability where we weaved, knitted together, and canned things. So, there was a system of exchange not only of information and knowledge, but also of local products,” she explains.
In addition to breaking isolation, these leisure activities helped improve the quality of life of families at the time.
“Home economics wasn’t called that for nothing, it really complemented family well-being in an important way. The salary of the man of the house was never enough to meet all the needs, the women and even the children went to work in the vegetable garden to grow vegetables, etc., canned almost everything to be able to spend in the winter,” Cohen says.