Last month I did a post profiling the craft work of 1970s pro football player Rosey Grier. In it I discussed the many references to the fact that he was someone who did crochet along with knitting and needlepoint. However, after another month of research, I have to ask if he really did crochet …
Grier and Needlepoint
It is definitely true that he did needlepoint, which is obvious from the needlepoint for men book that he published in the 1970s. At the time, a bunch of news articles came out that mentioned his work and said that he did other fiber arts like crochet and knitting. Recent articles, including my own, have referenced those articles.
I’ve finally gotten my hands on a copy of Grier’s needlepoint book. It’s a great book with some terrific ideas and great vintage photos. Grier discusses how fiber arts can be a beneficial thing for everyone, focusing on how they can be good for boys and men. He talks about other successful men he knows who do needlepoint. That makes this book a terrific piece of fiber arts history and an important book in its own right.
But nowhere in this book does it mention crochet. It doesn’t mention it in passing, as something that Grier enjoys or that he knows of anyone else doing. It just isn’t mentioned.
Where crochet gets referenced is in articles about Grier’s book from this time. But it’s hard to say whether or not they’re accurate in terms of Grier actually crocheting. It’s possible that he did crochet as the articles say. But there are no images that I can find of him crocheting or of his crochet work. So another possibility is that these articles lumped needlepoint, crochet and knitting together and said that he did all of them when he really only did needlepoint.
This isn’t a terrible thing. At the time it was a big deal for a manly football player to be doing a fiber art. (Heck, it’s still seen as a big deal). If people writing about fiber arts wanted to use his love of needlepoint to promote other arts including knitting and crochet then I don’t think there’s a problem with that. But I can’t find any confirmation that he did indeed crochet for sure.
So Did Grier Crochet?
I would say that there is a decent chance that Grier tried crochet. He was actively involved in the 1970s craft community and crochet was very popular at this time. It seems like he would have at least attempted it. And maybe it was a craft he enjoyed. But I don’t think we can say that for sure as there doesn’t seem to be specific proof of that. What do you think?