Friday, July 28, 2006

To crochet or not to crochet...

A wonderful friend of mine just gave me a copy of the Yarn Harlot's "At Knit's End - Meditations for women who knit too much".

I am not a reader by any means - but when I went to bed last night, I picked up Ms. Pearl-McPhee's book and enjoyed reading the little blurbs about knitting. I found myself laughing out loud and muttering to myself, "so true! so true!". It is a great read so far, and I do suggest it for any knitter...

Then - I stumbled across page 48 and read these words:

" with the more important issue - how wrong crochet is".

And I felt like "The Yarn Harlot also hates to crochet? It can't be true!"

I have heard the shunning of crochet before (yes Bethe - you, my love!) and I respect others feelings that crochet is "knitting's bastard child"... (darling - those words will stay with me forver - while I do crochet - I thought that phrase was halarious! - You scared the crap out of me when you said it - but it was darn funny!)

So - I guess I want to ask any of you who crochet and dislike it so much, your reasons why....I am temped to e-mail Ms. Pearl Mc-Phee and ask her why she dislikes it so much - beacuse I really respect her opinion - and she is the coolest knitter I have ever read (click on Erin's blog and click ont he Yarn Harlot Link - I'll get a link up there soon enough). I know it is all of personal opinion..but I am still curious.

Now before I get all high on myself for giving crochet the respect it deserves...I will admit to saying many times that I perfer knitting over crochet. I admit it - I say it here is my list on why I respect the art of crochet....and my own reasons for giving it the "shun" at times.

I love to crochet because:

1. It makes the most beautiful baby blankets. Trying to knit a baby blanket seems like torture to me. Crocheting a baby blanket can be quick and beautiful. Sharon makes the most beautiful baby blankets that I have ever seen.

2. It is the first yarn art that my sister taught me many years ago that I could actually do. My first project was a scarf for Cesar, and I learned many things about crochet and even crocheted 150 heart ornaments for my wedding and I enjoy putting one on the tree every Christmas.

3. Crocheting....lead me to knitting. I think it is a perfect gateway craft if one is nervous about attempting knitting first. That is another reason why I learned this first.

4. As much as doilies are SOOO not my looking at the detail in them - they are amazing.

5. It gives me a well needed break from knitting some times. I can crochet with my eyes shut...knitting requires way more attention for me right now.

OK - I could probally fine more - but I have to go to work soon.

SO - now my main reasons why I perfer to knit instead of crochet:
1. Crocheted sweaters just don't look as nice (IMO)
2. I don't know of any crocheting groups in the area
3. Knitting has given me more satisfaction than crocheting has in the past.

I have to say - I really feel that ANY craft that brings joy and STRESS RELIEF to any person should be praised - no matter what it is (yes, this includes painting Star Wars action figures so that they look like the real storm troopers in the movie). Ok, maybe knitting and crochet did not SAVE my life - but both of them have really made it more enjoyable.

Knitting has created a whole new world for me which I will forever be grateful. I found a group of really wonderful gals to knit with every Weds aging from probally 25 - 75 years old.

And I would have never gotten there if my sister did not teach me crocheting first...then taught me how to do the "2 stitches that rule the world" as the Harlot would say....Knit and Purl

So I just ask - why knock crochet so much...why is it so "wrong" when it gives so many people such joy and satisfaction? It's not THAT bad, right?


At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tricia, I think you hit the nail on the head with some of your own reasons for knitting rather than crocheting. I too learned first to crochet and made scarves, blankets and such. I LIKE the look of some things crocheted. I HATE it in other things, such as most sweaters. I think most of what you would buy in a store, save for some cover up of some sort would be "knit". It just opens the door to more versatility. I mean...can you even possibly crochet a sock?! I don't think so...'nuff said right?

At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Bethe said...

Heh - crochet has both positives and negatives (yes, it does have some positives). I learned crochet first, too. I prefer 2 sticks to 1 hook for many reasons. I primarily create garments and I don't think that crocheted sweaters, hats, socks, etc. look as nice as knitted. However (here's one of it's positives), crochet makes lovely edges and adornments on a knitted garment.

I find that after crocheting for a while, I wind up with a sore spot on my finger from the hook sitting there in the same place and my elbow really aches from the same repeated motion over and over. With knitting, your hand/needle/arm positions and motions change depending on the stitch and your knitting style.

I do agree with you that crochet is much faster than knitting, and I do agree that it makes beautiful afghans, baby blankets, and doilies.

We won't even mention how much more yarn crochet uses compared to knitting!

So, while I still consider crochet to be the bastard child of knit, I don't ever knock anyone for their crochet preferences.

FWIW - one of the Harlot books, or perhaps it's in her blog archives, goes into why she dislikes crochet. One of her reasons is the amount of yarn that crochet eats up.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger AlwaysJoy said...

There is no dissing the crochet here... I love my one stitch! And I don't ever plan on learning a second :-)


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