Marcus Schulz (centre, right), of Germany, shows John McGlashan College German teacher Anna Noble (bottom), and pupils (inside circle) Raphael Magnuson (left) and Philip Plant (both 16) how to crochet a hat. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Step aside, Rainbow Loom and other schoolyard crazes - a new
one may be about to tie up children's imagination and
A German marketing and business development lecturer is in
Dunedin to introduce the art to school pupils, in the hope it
will get teens hooked on crochet, like those in Europe.
Prof Marcus Schulz, of Wurzburg-Schweinfurt University of
Applied Sciences, said the popularity of crochet was
rekindled in Germany about four years ago, after two German
ski instructors returned from working on the ski fields in
While working in Japan, Thomas Jaenisch and Felix Rohland
became bored in the evenings, and were introduced to crochet
by a fellow Spanish ski instructor.
They became proficient and made their own hats, which
attracted the attention of other skiers, who wanted to buy
It sparked the idea of creating a company, MyBoshi, which
involved setting up a website that allowed people to design
their own hats and place orders for them to be made by the
company. The finished item was then posted.
Eventually, young people discovered it was cheaper to make
their own, rather than pay $NZ80 to have them made, Prof
''Without really wanting to, the guys initiated a whole
revolution in the sector of handcraft work - crocheting and
knitting - first in Germany, then in Europe, and now the guys
are going overseas.
''It is quite interesting that this movement motivates a lot
of young male persons to crochet and handcraft their own
gadgets, away from the TV, creating things with their own
Prof Schulz said the craze had spread to the extent that
young people in Europe were not only crocheting their own
hats, they were also making scarves, gloves, bags, cellphone
covers - whatever they could imagine.
The website is now just a small part of the business, he
MyBoshi has become one of the largest wool suppliers in
Europe and has published four successful handcraft books in
Germany and Europe.
''The whole industry has experienced a boost. People of every
age sit down and crochet their own hat, scarf or other
Prof Schulz has studied the company and often invites the
founders to his lectures as guest speakers.
As a friend of the MyBoshi founders, he too, has been hooked
by crochet, and creates several garments a week.
John McGlashan College German teacher Anna Noble became aware
of the craze through family in Germany, and told her pupils
The idea excited them so much, she invited Prof Schulz, a
former University of Otago student, to introduce the creative
art to pupils at the school.
She said Prof Schulz would be in Dunedin for about a month
and would hold a workshop at John McGlashan College's
Learning Centre from 1pm to 4pm on September 19 to
demonstrate the art.