From Crochet to Knitting

19 Jul

I come from a crocheting background.  Many women have fond memories of their mothers or grandmothers teaching them how to knit, but my mother  taught me how to crochet.  I didn’t get attached to crochet like I did with knitting, it was something that I knew how to do, like knowing how to crack an egg, it wasn’t something I was.  I might crocheted scarves, a potholders, a case for a phone, but that was the extent of it, it never became an obsession.  Which made me think that I rarely hear anyone proclaim they are a crocheter, where as there is a large (and loud) community of knitters.  Learning how to knit was like joining a church.

If you ever go to Wal-Mart for a quick skein of yarn, an emergency pair of needles, or just a knitting magazine, chances are if the cashier is a knitter she (or he) is going to say something.  They might ask you what project you are working on, then tell you about a project they are working on, and for whom, and suddenly you will know if the person has children, or grandchildern, how old, and what knitted thing(s) they will soon be gifted with.  This has happened to me almost every time.  However, you will never see a cashier strike up a conversation over toothpaste.

I don’t think any crocheter that becomes a knitter fully puts down her hook, in fact it is her secret weapon.  Want to add interesting detail to a knitted piece?  Add a crocheted flower, or border for a cleaner edge with a creative flair.  Most knitters use a hook for picking up slipped stitches or other knitting maintenance, but if you are a crocheter, you have a whole world of possibilities.

Beautiful crocheted butterfly mypicot.com

I am not going to say that knitting is either easier or more difficult because if I were to tally it up, they would be about the same.  I will, however, let you know why I prefer knitting over crocheting.

  1. Loosing count: If you are a crocheter, you know that you have to keep track of the number of stitches in your row, luckily for knitters they are all of your needles making them more visable for counting.  My number one problem with crocheting is I always loose count and sometimes seeing the stitch is damn near impossible, at least for me.
  2.  Knitting adds texture: I really enjoy how just be alternating knit and purl you can get a rib, or make a cable, a blind man could pick up a piece of knitting and know immediately.  You can create a lacey pattern by crocheting, but it will not give you the kind of texture that a knitted item is possible of.
  3.  Knit and Purl: That’s all you essentially need to know to knit, just two stitches.  Crocheting has different kinds of stitches, again, some times requiring counting.  There is single crochet, double crochet, half-double crochet, triple crochet…etc.  I think this makes crocheting more complex and for any crocheters out there, hats off to you, I could never remember them, and if you half double when you should have doubled things just don’t look right.

A couple good things that crocheting can offer?

  1. It is quicker: At least for me, once you get into the rhythm, you can read a book, watch TV, and the next thing you know you are done with the project.   I prefer crocheting for larger blanket and afghan projects for this reason.  But this could be because I just haven’t gotten quick at knitting yet.
  2. It is stronger.  The only way I know how to explain it is when you crochet, you are basically stacking knit stitches.  If you ever look at a crocheted chain stitch you will notice it looks like a knit stitch.  By stacking the stitches it makes the piece more durable and great for items like pot holders, or place mats.
I encourage anyone that is on the fence about whether to learn crocheting or knitting (or which to learn first) to purchase a J size hook and a pair of size 8 strait knitting needles and an cheap skein of yarn and just give them both a try.  I personally think having a basic understanding of the similarities and differences of both will compliment whatever craft you decide to do.

a crocheted turkey my sister made

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