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.