27 May 2023  |   05:47am IST

Crochet: Finding calmness through creative stitches

The art of crocheting requires great dedication, creativity and maintains flexibility of the hands. Women in Goa create wonders with the crochet needle and thread that are used to adorn almost every piece of furniture in the house. This art has been experimented with and introduced to the next generation at a very young age
Crochet: Finding calmness through creative stitches

Tanisha Cardozo




or many decades, crochets have been a pass time hobby for many, especially for housewives. Same goes for Presentation D’Souza from Siolim who is 90 years of age. She began her crochet journey at the age of 21 in Gujarat when she saw children in school learning crochet.

She was inspired and decided that she too wanted to make crochet pieces. She explains, “I had a book which showed how to make various patterns. I learnt it by myself through observation and with the help of the book. I also did not have the crochet needles back then; I used sticks from the brooms. I have made table cloths and I have even made the portrait of Jesus and Mother Mary. Every size of crochet needle is numbered. Whenever you are working on a crochet piece, it requires a certain number.” She adds that her favorite crochet work is making motifs and joining them. She also makes crochets whenever there is a celebration in the family, birthdays or anniversaries, she gifts custom-made crochet pieces.

Margaret D’Souza was around 14 years old when she decided to make crochets by observing her mother at work. “I was about 14 years old in Class 8 when I began crocheting. I use to see my mother making crochets, so looking at her I too wanted to make. I learnt the basics and then later, I made crochets on my own”, she says. She has made various crochets, like table cloths, Christmas decorations, like stars, angels and even hair ties and much more. She has also mentions about her favorite crochet. “My favorite crochet is the Filet crochet. It is basically space and block to make a pattern”. Till now she continues making different types of crochets.

Although 69-year-old Libania De Sousa has stopped making crochet, she has prepared wonderful crochets. Her crochet journey began around the age of 40. “I was already into stitching. I use to stitch dresses and other clothes, and so from that only I got in crocheting. I learnt crocheting from different books and learnt a variety of patterns,” says this resident of Chicalim. “I also learnt to do embroidery work so that would help me for my crochets,” adds Libania, who like Margaret likes the Filet crochet.

Blanche Mendonca, a resident of Porvorim and is 65 years old. She is an entrepreneur, who has retired from the Embassy of Brazil after 35 years of service. She learnt her crochet from her elders, at a very young age. She was 13 years old when she was in Beira, a small city by the sea, situated in Mozambique, a colony of Portugal. “In those days, it was a custom for a teenage girl to spend her free time preparing beautiful crochet items and embroidery linen for her bridal trousseau and that was kept inside a beautiful carved cedar chest,” she says.

As time passed, she returned to Goa from Mozambique. She shifted her attention to studies and getting a job. Soon after completing her college and because her proficiency in Portugal language, she was offered a job in the Embassy of Brazil in New Delhi. There, she worked in different departments and gathered a lot of experience dealing with high profile dignitaries from different countries. “I have always been attracted to beauty and colour. Deep down, I have always been a creative person, so I decided to start my own entrepreneurship, based on who I am, my values, traditions and experiences.”

“I prefer the modern designs of crochet. I have moved away from the traditional lacy doilies.” She also has an Instagram handle @ blanche. crochet where she uploads beautiful and creative crochet designs. She adds, “I try to involve other women crafters in my ventures too. We are a team that makes crochet home décor products, like cushion covers, tablemats, table runners and coasters. We try to offer our customers, products that are handmade with love and beautify their homes.”

Myra Menezes, 42, hails from Curchorem. She studied in St Pius X Convent High School in Orlim. She learnt the basics of crochet during the work experience class; she was 13 years old at that time. She was later told to crochet a tablecloth. “The pattern was given by our teacher and I was so eager to finish mine the earliest,” she says. She clearly remembers her teacher’s words during the submitting of her work. Her teacher said “It’s neatly done, the stitches are uniform and the shade too is really beautiful.” Her teacher encouraged her to make more crochets. She then made a few more pieces of doilies and two more tablecloths. She received a lot of admiration and support from her family, cousins and even neighbours and this appreciation inspired her and motivated her to continue her crochet journey.

Crochet not only has been her hobby but it also became her passion and she simply just loving it. Out of all the designs and patterns, she mostly loves making doilies, tablecloths, coasters and few filet crochets. She says, “Every time I started with a new project there was no resting until it was completed. I enjoy crocheting and I love what I do. I want to develop my skill further and want to try crocheting even more pieces.”

Ornella Menezes from Colvale is a 23-year-old student from St Xavier’s College, Mapusa, who is currently pursuing her masters in physical chemistry. “I started crochet when I was 12 years old, and it was taught to me by my mother,” says Ornella. She has been inspired by her mother, who use to make crochets every day.

“My inspiration was also fashion designer, late Wendel Rocdricks, who noticed my talent. We also did a show together called, ‘The Zentangle Collection’, in 2019, for which I made crochet earrings and a necklace for the show and later on, I made accessories which were on sale in his boutique in Panjim. After the event, I saw pictures of my work and I felt really amazed because I loved seeing my work on the big screen and the way Wendell put it across was just amazing”.

Since then, she worked with fashion designers, Ninoshka Alvares-Delaney from Saligao and JJ Valaya from Delhi. “Designers are challenging to work with but you realise your true potential”, she says. She does crochet because she loves it and she loves the intricate and challenging designs. The challenges she faced are mainly financially dealing with customers, but there are also customers who return back for more. “My favourite pattern is creating the portrait of Mother Mary, which was my first big piece and I love it till date”, she says.

She mostly makes home decors that include table centre pieces, table covers and table runners. She also makes jewellery. She not only makes crochets but also makes hand embroidered handkerchiefs with crochet edging. She also teaches crochet online. She markets her work on social media platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook. “I can say that my work is getting recognition and I get international orders too”, she concludes.


Iddhar Udhar