While crochet can be a social hobby and developed into such it did not originally start out that way. It was taught to French and Irish women in the 1800's in order to help communities recover financially from economic loss due to wars and famine! It turns out that crocheted lace was seen as an symbol of status. Middle class could afford to purchase hand crocheted lace whereas only upper class could afford to purchase machine made lace. I suppose the opposite is true these days.
One could easily purchase a machine crocheted or knitted garment in a fine fiber for far less than it would cost to have one hand made specifically for them. Even when you are using lower grade yarn like Lion Brand or TLC you're going to end up spending $50 just to make a blanket that you could purchase on sale for $29.99 at your local Bed Bath and Beyond.
However, I believe it is in the knowing that every time you drape your handmade blanket across your lap or put on that handmade sweater that it took a lot of time and effort. This is what creates its true value. You will cherish it and hold onto even if it gets holes or starts to unravel.
Recently, I've switched from knitting to crochet. I have known how to crochet longer but once I discovered all the fun I could have with two needles verses one hook I dropped all my blanket projects and started planning sweaters. But since completing school and putting the books away for the summer I think I've wanted to retire the process of having to follow strict pattern guidelines. I just want to be able to sit and watch tv and let my fingers do the work while my mind takes a vacation. So, I turned back to a blanket that I started over a year ago. The classic Granny Square blanket.