"kind of knitting done with a needle with a hook at one end," 1846, from French crochet "small hook; canine tooth" (12c.), diminutive of croc "hook," from Old Norse krokr "hook," which is of obscure origin but perhaps related to the widespread group of Germanic kr- words meaning "bent, hooked." So called for the hooked needle used. Crochet-needle is from 1848; crochet-work from 1856; crochet-hook from 1849.
1848, intransitive, "to make a fabric by hooking a thread into meshes with a crochet-needle," from crochet (n.). Transitive sense of "to make in crochet-work" is by 1855. Related: Crocheted; crocheting.