3KCBWDAY7 Hooked

Crafting Balance 
Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or are you a bit of both? If you are monogamous in your yarn-based crafting, is it because you do not enjoy the other craft or have you simply never given yourself the push to learn it? Is it because the items that you best enjoy crafting are more suited to the needles or the hook? Do you plan on ever trying to take up and fully learn the other craft? If you are equally comfortable knitting as you are crocheting, how do you balance both crafts? Do you always have projects of each on the go, or do you go through periods of favouring one over the other? How did you come to learn and love your craft(s)?

I would love to learn to crochet. I know there are a few knitters out there who look down on crochet–but I am not one of them. I remember in the 90’s when vogue would try to sneak one or two crochet patterns into the magazine and it would greate an uproar. but I would look jealously at the fancy lace and wish that I could hook them. Sure I can do the basic stitches — single crochet and double. and I can even make a wonky granny square if I concentrate but the charts and directions make my head swim the squiggle lines and chain here and then there just don’t make sense to me. Every once in a while I pull out the bag of leftovers from all the hats and mittens I have made over the past 5 or 6 years and work on my grannie squares hoping to form nice squares like the brown and white ones I found discarded in a thrift store.
When I was young I remember sitting in my Aunt’s cabin- my grandmother and her sister would tell us stories about when they first started going to Mackinac  and how my father played where the fort was before it was a state park. They spun stories about my great grandfather and their lives as little girls. As they churned out these tales their fingers flew forming double and triple knots in the finest thin cotton you ever saw. Before you knew it there would be a doily forming in thier hands. I itched to be able to make this wonderful lace and would lean on their knees as they talked and watch their fingers. I would beg them to slow down and show me how they did it. And they would try to slow their fingers. The stories would stick in thier throats as they struggle to go slow enough for me to catch on. Suddenly they would laugh and say this is as slow as I can go. And they they would speed up and launch into a new tale and that tiny hook and their fingers would blur as the lace flowed off the hook.
I never did figure out how to make the crocheted lace but my mother patiently taught me to knit. It was plain but easy for me to do with two needles instead of a hook. Some how I can keep track of the stitches and where they belong when they are perched on two needles. With the hook I only have one loop under control and I just can’t visualize where to put the next one.
It used to make me sad until I discovered that the plain knits and purls can be manipulated to turn into so many other designs. I can have lace with a YO and a k2t. I can cross my stitches and make cables– the only limit is my imagination.

I still would like to be able to crochet and ever once and a while I sit down with a book or you tube on the internet and work on my crochet sts. But my fingers will never fly and form the light as air doilies I watched my Grandmother and Aunt Katheleen turn out.   And after sweating it out for a while I put the hook away and return to my comfort zone and my two needles and my plain jane knitting. one day just not today.


  1. kathleen said,

    April 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Have really enjoyed your posts this week, as you muse on your craft. I learned to crochet first, then knit, so it has always been fun for me. The designs that are coming out now for crochet are wonderful–check out the Vogue Knitting Crochet 2012 special issue. And there are really great toy patterns around, too. I usually go back and forth with knit and crochet and usually have one or two of each on the go at any time.

    • whatzitknitz said,

      April 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks ; ) I have enjoyed reading all the different blogs this week too!
      I love all the wonderful patterns out there now. It seems like you can do a lot more crocheting a toy than knitting one. I have signed up for a class from Crafty for crochet toy design but I think I need to sign up for some remedial crochet classes first.

  2. Peg said,

    April 30, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Hi MJ, I remember marvelling at Grandma’s and Aunt Kathleen’s gift for gab, crochet, and card playing in that cabin. I often wished I listened to those stories closer! Last year I picked up a book from the early 70’s called Practical Modern Crochet by Vibeke Lind that I often pull out and daydream about making some of the projects pictured. Almost half of the book is devoted to getting started. Even though the projects are very of their time (there’s an amazing picnic blanket that also doubles as a cape!), I would love to make many of the projects in the book. Actually, your post is inspiring me to pick up a crochet hook soon!

  3. baamekniits said,

    May 7, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I knit and crochet but have only crochet for a few years, my neighbour showed me and then youtube helped me get it right. Now I always have both knitting and crochet projects on the go. I find that the crochet is more portable and easy to pick up and put down. Keep going with your squares you will have a blanket soon 🙂 I actually really like knitting and crochet combined!

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