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When you hear the term Irish crochet, you might first think of lacy doilies, but it's so much more. It's traditionally worked with small steel hooks and either cotton or linen thread to create textured motifs that are joined by mesh or filet crochet. This technique is thought to have been started by nuns of the Ursuline Order and later encouraged by the Irish government during the potato famines as a way for poor families to earn extra income. Masters of the craft often were able to earn enough money to emigrate to other countries and take their knowledge and skills with them. Modern versions of Irish crochet show up these days in handbags, wedding gowns, and fashion embellishments, and, now, bright colors often infuse Irish crochet items.