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My answers to my knit vs. crochet questions

My knit vs. crochet questions are here.



Do you knit and/or crochet?
I know how to do both; I'm better at crochet; I'm currently more interested in knitting.

If you do both, do you prefer one or the other? Why?
Right now I am kind of obsessed with knitting and am doing more of it. Knitting seems to produce a slightly different altered state of consciousness for me than crochet, at the moment.

However, when I think in practical terms about the products of knitting and crocheting, each seems to be better for certain kinds of fabrics and yarns. It seems to me it's easier to produce lacy fabrics in crochet and firm fabrics in knitting. It's easier to knit furry yarns than to crochet them. I understand crochet uses more yarn to produce a fabric of the same weight (but I don't know if this is true of all fabrics. It makes no sense that it would be true of lacy fabrics), but I haven't tested this myself.

Is one harder than the other for you?
Knitting is harder in various ways right now. This may be because I've done a fair amount more crochet than knitting.

What was it like learning knitting and/or crochet?
Both were very slow for me to learn at the beginning. I got the hang of making stitches faster in crochet once I got the hang of a couple of basic stitches. There seem to be a lot more ways to produce knitted stitches than to produce crocheted stitches and I have yet to feel fully confident of my knitting stitches. I'm also having a harder time figuring out ways of keeping count, with knitting (although I have trouble with crochet in that regard too, depending on the pattern).

If you do one but not the other, have you tried to learn the other? Why or why not?
I started with crochet because I thought it would involve less attention, and I wanted something I could take to social events. I decided to learn knitting because I heard it uses less yarn, and I like fancy yarns and I'm cheap.

Do you feel like one or the other (or the products thereof) is "cooler"/more hip/more fashionable? Why or why not? (This isn't about what you think rationally but what you feel.)
In the public eye, knitting is more cool, and there seem to be more hip fashions available for knitters.

When I was at Stitches, a convention run by a company (XRX Books) that specializes in knitting publications, I realized that this company has some marketing geniuses on board. I think that at least some of the extra popularity of knitting vs. crochet is because knitting has cleverer marketing behind it right now. I wish an equally good marketing force were behind crochet. There are starting to be more publications for crocheters, but they're not there yet.

Have you encountered people who do one looking down on people who do the other? What's that about?
I have heard of some knitters looking down on some crocheters, but I don't know why, unless it's about buying into the notion that knitting is more "hip." I haven't encountered it personally. I have had a number of people express something along the lines of "I wish I could knit, I can only crochet" when they see me knitting, and sometimes it seems they are putting themselves down, but I'm not sure.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
kightp
Feb. 18th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
have had a number of people express something along the lines of "I wish I could knit, I can only crochet" when they see me knitting, and sometimes it seems they are putting themselves down, but I'm not sure.

Someone who expressed this sentiment to me went on to say that knitting must be twice as hard as crochet because it involves twice as many needles. I guess I can see the logic, but that's not been my experience.

I won't GAS here, but if you want some tips on keeping count, give me a holler. It's been my bane, but I'm finally (*knock wood*) getting a handle on it.

firecat
Feb. 18th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
Holler: I've figured out about putting stitch markers every so many stitches, but I could use some other tips.
kightp
Feb. 18th, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC)
* Use two (or more) colors of stitch markers, alternating. It helps me keep track of *which* 10 (or 12, or whatever) stitch section I'm in.
* Every few rows, count the stitches as you knit them (out loud, in your head, whatever), and pause to give the last few rows a good look-over. Best way I know of to catch errors before you get so far that ripping becomes a big deal.
* For a while I had a bad habit of picking up a piece I'd put down mid-row and starting off in the wrong direction. I've started using a split-ring marker - when I get ready to lay something down, I slip it around the *next* stitch I'm supposed to knit, which gets me going the right way.
* Use a row-counter, too, especially if you're working on a pattern. After losing a couple of those barrel-shaped ones that slip over the needle (and make irresistable cat toys), I got one of the clicky sort. When I'm knitting in pattern, I use it to keep track of the number of rows in the pattern repeat (4, 6, whatever), and (if necessary) mark the number of repeats I've done on a slip of paper.
* For really complicated pieces, I chart out the pattern on graph paper and use a highlighter to mark through each row as I complete it. I can't figure out any other way to keep track of, say, a multiple cable pattern.
firecat
Feb. 18th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tips!
(Deleted comment)
kightp
Feb. 18th, 2005 10:16 pm (UTC)
What a clever idea.

Hm. I bet I could adapt my cribbage board to that use ...
(Deleted comment)
firecat
Feb. 18th, 2005 11:08 pm (UTC)
Nifty!

But there ought to be a law against naming something "purple kitty yarns," just like there is a law against selling crack.
(Deleted comment)
karenkay
Feb. 19th, 2005 01:59 am (UTC)
Every few rows, count the stitches as you knit them (out loud, in your head, whatever), and pause to give the last few rows a good look-over. Best way I know of to catch errors before you get so far that ripping becomes a big deal.

Don't be afraid to count stitches every row. I do that for lace patterns, till I've done one whole repeat without making a mistake.
For really complicated pieces, I chart out the pattern on graph paper and use a highlighter to mark through each row as I complete it. I can't figure out any other way to keep track of, say, a multiple cable pattern.
The better you are at reading your knitting, the less you'll need need to do this.
kightp
Feb. 19th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC)
The better you are at reading your knitting, the less you'll need need to do this.

Yup. I find I no longer need to do it for something like a single cable pattern, and I even mark off whole sections without really looking at them in my Very Complicated and Oft-Delayed Sweater, but it's good to have the chart there when I've been away from the project for a while.
karenkay
Feb. 19th, 2005 08:04 am (UTC)
I don't use stitch markers; I always lose them. Instead, I use lengths of cotton yarn. Also, I often use different colors for different purposes. Yellow for the center of the project, beige to mark the decreases for R and L, and so on.
kightp
Feb. 18th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
In the note about row counters, "pattern" should read "stitch pattern (such as lace or cables)." As opposed to, say, a garment pattern.
karenkay
Feb. 19th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
There seem to be a lot more ways to produce knitted stitches than to produce crocheted stitches and I have yet to feel fully confident of my knitting stitches.

What do you mean, exactly? I was going to say that it's all knit and purl, but since I taught myself to knit backwards (from left to right), I don't purl any more. So it's all knit for me!!!!

I'm also having a harder time figuring out ways of keeping count, with knitting (although I have trouble with crochet in that regard too, depending on the pattern).

Practice reading your knitting--practice reading other people's knitting!
firecat
Feb. 19th, 2005 02:21 am (UTC)
Well, exactly - you can knit backwards, forwards, continental, english, into the back of the stitch, into the front of the stitch, and you can purl all the same ways. That's a lot more ways than you can do a crochet stitch.

"Reading your knitting" - is that something other than a knitting-specific way of saying "Pay attention"?
karenkay
Feb. 19th, 2005 02:34 am (UTC)
Well, exactly - you can knit backwards, forwards, continental, english, into the back of the stitch, into the front of the stitch, and you can purl all the same ways. That's a lot more ways than you can do a crochet stitch.

For knitting, internal consistency is the most important thing. No two people really knit the same way, so that's why patterns specify gauge--it's an observable measurement of the fabric produced. It's up to you how you get there.

"Reading your knitting" - is that something other than a knitting-specific way of saying "Pay attention"?

Oh, yes. It's like reverse-engineering--you figure out what stitches have been knitted in what way. My knitting group and I end up doing a lot of this with each other's work.
pir_anha
Feb. 19th, 2005 05:27 am (UTC)
you can crochet in the front loop, in the back loop, through both loops, forward around the post, backward around the post -- and then there are the tunisian stitches. :)

firecat
Feb. 19th, 2005 05:55 am (UTC)
Good point...
nolly
Feb. 25th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
And the ever-popular reverse single/crab stitch....
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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