As a child of the 90s, I had a purple feathered dreamcatcher hanging above my bed. Most kids of my era had them and they were sold at stores like Inner Harmony and Solstice (popular New Age stores in Australia during the 90s). They were traditionally made and used in some Native American cultures and were usually made from willow twigs, twine, beads, shells and feathers. From the 60s onwards in America, they were sold as ‘native crafts’ and slowly began to become popular around the world. I would have loved to have known how to make a dreamcatcher back then but alas the internet didn’t exist so I’d have to wait a good decade before I could search for tips on how to do this.
I’ve always been fascinated by dreamcatchers. When I was a kid I was taught that they caught bad dreams before they reached you, which was obviously super appealing because nightmares are pretty bloody awful. They’re designed to be like sticky spiderwebs, by catching nasty things in their net and not letting them go. Good dreams would pass through the middle and down the hanging ribbons and feathers to the sleeping child below. When the morning light hit the bad dreams caught in the web, they’d be burned and disappear and the cycle would start again the next night. Some people interpret this the other way around, with good dreams getting caught in the web and trickling down the hanging ribbons while the bad dreams float through the middle and out the window. Whichever way you believe they work the overlying message is the same – they’re hung above the beds of sleeping children to ward off bad dreams.
Traditional dream catchers are made with eights points that attach to the hoop and these are meant to represent the eight legs of a spider. In some Native American cultures, spiders symbolise energy, wisdom and learning. Spiders are also a symbol of protection and comfort, hence why dreamcatchers are themed around them.
I’m in the process of designing an adult crocheted dreamcatcher but with a twist (more on that later!), in the meantime here’s a round up of my favourite dreamcatchers from the around the web. I tend to favour the more traditional looking ones, made with natural materials but I popped a few brightly coloured ones in there for the colour lovers. I’m currently working on a massive join-as-you-go granny square blanket so I’m not starting any new projects until that one is done but a dreamcatcher is defintely next on my hooking list.
Dreamcatcher pattern from Free Crochet Patterns
Dreamcatcher pattern from Sew and So
Dreamcatcher pattern from Haaknerd
Dreamcatcher from Dreaming of Granny
Dreamcatcher pattern from Meg Made With Love
Dreamcatcher pattern from Toni Lipsey
Dreamcatcher pattern by Caught On A Whim
Dreamcatcher pattern by Mollie Makes
Dreamcatcher pattern from Let’s Do Something Crafty
If you’re new to crochet but you’re keen to make one of these check out this post on things you need to know before you learn to crochet. You should also check out this review of ergonomic hooks, this guide for buying yarn online, this pattern reading guide and this list of bits and pieces you need to get started.
Have you ever made a dreamcatcher? Have you ever owned one?
P.S Don’t forget Crochet Coach has a free trial offer period at the moment so make sure you sign up!