This past year, as I’ve upped my knitting skills, I’ve also developed an interest in crochet. Many yarn companies offer both knitting and crochet patterns, and at times, I’ve looked at a crochet pattern and said, “I wish I could make that.”
At the Vogue Knitting Live event recently, I took a three hour beginners’ crochet class, taught by the sassy author of Stitch ‘N Bitch fame, Debbie Stoller. I loved it! With a solid background in fiber arts and a terrific teacher, by the end of the class, I had made a mini-version of a crocheted scarf. I amazed myself with the lovely scallops I’d made and how quickly I picked it up.
Having “crossed the divide” between knitting and crochet, here’s my thoughts on knitting versus crochet:
- Crochet is more forgiving if you make a mistake and easier to rip out and try again.
- If you already know how to knit, you know a lot of the basics of crochet, even if you don’t think you do. You know the basics of manipulating yarn to do what you want.
- Crochet is more architectural than knitting; you can go in more directions with your stitches. Crochet stitches are like building blocks, and you can make several rows at one time.
- Crochet seems faster than knitting; you use more yarn per stitch.
- Knitting makes a more finished-looking fabric; crochet looks a bit more chunky.
- Needless to say, the one small needle of crochet is a little easier to keep up with, store, and use on-the-go than the two needles of knitting.
I’ve enjoyed crochet and plan to use it for quick gifts and household items. I’ll likely use small crochet projects for the “purse project” I always keep with me for waiting rooms and car pick-up lines. Looking ahead, I think crochet and cotton yarn will make a good summer beach project.
The common wisdom is that crochet is very “different” from knitting – a completely separate craft and technique. But from my experience, it’s just a different way of using yarn to relax, calm yourself down, and do something constructive. Is one better than the other? My own view is that whatever makes you happy is what’s best for you at the moment! I love knitting, and I’m loving crochet, too.
Blessings on your chosen craft, whatever it is!
Here’s what I’m using to learn crochet, all books I’ve personally used and highly recommend:
Debbie Stoller, Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker.
Deborah Burger, Crochet 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily through Step-by-Step Instruction
Interweave Editors, Crochet to Calm: Stitch and De-Stress with 18 Simple Crochet Patterns
Cynthia Coe is an author, blogger, and avid knitter. Her books are available in paperback and e-reader edition on Amazon.com. Visit her Author page and follow this blog for more info and news.