There seems to be an inexplicable rivalry between crochet and knitting. Once, a woman came into the store, looked around briefly, then scoffed, “There’s nothing for me here: I crochet!” (…I don’t know what she crochets with, but apparently it’s not yarn!) On the other hand, some knitters with specifically avoid patterns if they even mention the word “crochet hook.”
But why? There are so many excellent reasons to crochet, just as there are so many excellent reasons to knit! Gone are the days of acrylic granny squares and itchy afghans: stylish dresses, hats, handbags and amigurumi (stuffed animals) are becoming more popular – and contrary to popular belief, you can make them with any kind of yarn.
The key difference between crochet and knitting is the tool. In crochet, you use a single hook to pull one loop through another, rather than working with a set number of stitches that must be knit every row. In some ways, crochet can feel a bit freeing from knitting because you can literally work in any direction, building up chains, making bobbles, creating spirals, etc. (It also makes blankets a little easier because you don’t carry the weight of all those stitches on your hook – hence the popularity of afghans.) Crochet hooks come in huge sizes for bulky projects to tiny hooks for delicate lacework.
If you are interested in learning the basics of crocheting, we are holding a “Crochet Floral Baby Blanket” class on Sunday June 23rd from 12-3pm. Not only will you learn all the beginning techniques, you will get started on an impressive first project!
If you can’t make the class, Debbie Stoller (of “Stitch ‘n Bitch” fame) has a fantastic book called “The Happy Hooker” that will give you lots of great instructions on how to get started.
And for all you diehard knitters out there who aren’t yet sold on the idea, crochet can help stabilize stockinette stitch edges and add beautiful openwork to sweater hems…
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