Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Knitting vs. Crochet

Do you like to knit or do you like to crochet? Most of the people I know have a decided preference for one or the other. My paternal grandma crocheted, my maternal grandma knit, my mom knit, I crochet. I have one friend who knits, and another who crochets. Do you stick with the technique you learned first? I learned to crochet out of a book, and made tunics for my trolls; I had to be 10 or younger.

Having said that, I fell like I have been knitting a lot more than crocheting lately. I the last couple of years I have knit bowls, a hat and a tote bag, a nice scarf, and an afghan. I have crocheted small things: a couple of pot holders, a reef element (except not that beautiful), and a pink elephant, and I'm working on a chemo hat. Even so, I feel like a crocheter.

I am bringing the subject up because I am feeling conflicted. After teaching my temari class last Saturday I "rewarded" myself by stopping at a yarn store. I had purchased a copy of Interweave Crochet magazine and fell in love with two projects. The first is a ruana, and the second is a pair of mittens. I decided that the budget would not accommodate the ruana... I was upset by the price on-line, and just about fell over when I priced it in the store. But there was a sale on for the yarn I needed for the mittens. I have never made a pair of mittens, it always felt like too much work to knit a pair, and I had never seen a crocheted pair I liked. I liked this pattern so I bit the bullet, and bought the sale yarn (they will not look anything like the picture!). I brought it home and started to show it to C last night. Her comment was "I really need mittens, because gloves are too hard to put on."

Well, I happen to have a kit for knit buggy mittens (this pattern, different decorations) put away in my sewing room. I had planned on making them for P, but when I got the kit it felt like too much work. However, C liked the pattern, and asked when they would be done(!). What's a grandma to do? I guessed I could finish them in a couple of weeks. They are scrappy, and I have about 6 different colors to work with. I let her pick the colors, and started.

I must admit I'm a little shocked. I didn't have to look up any of the instructions in my "Knitting for Dummies" book. I started with the 3 double-pointed needles, and finished the body of one of the mittens! All that is left is the thumb.

Mittens aren't too hard.

Am I a knitter or a crocheter?


Moonsilk Stitches said...

I like both. I used to think they were for different things: crochet for lace and edgings and totebags and knitting for sweaters and hats and mittens but since then I think they are more interchangable, depending on the pattern.

If yarn is skimpy, I'll knit because I believe it uses less yarn. If I want a dense fabric, I'll crochet. If I want drape, I'll knit. Both felt equally well which is important to me.

I love combo projects, too--a knit object with a crochet edge comes to mind.

Debi said...

Hi Jane!

Hmmm... knit or crochet? I go both ways. I just find that the mood tends to hit more for one or the other so it is rarely an issue to choose.

Now, that said, I don't do wither one very often and I tend to be very snail-like about completing projects. But I love them when they are done.

Good luck with the mittens. They sound fun.

MOM said...

Boy, this goes way back. A couple of questions come to mind. You said 3 needle; do you mean the work on 3 needles, knit with the 4th? That is the way I used to do it. I had my best success with mittens (i.e.,best liked) when I made the wrist at least twice as long as indicated. I often looked for a good pattern with 2 needles. I've seen them and they look a lot easier. Well, now I forgot the other question :-(

MOM said...

Did you learn the American way of knitting or the European (a little like crochet)? The Am. way seems much less efficient to me, but it depends on how you learn. To Moon St, I liked to crochet the edge on a sweater - much easier to to buttonholes, for example, than knitting them in. Almost makes me want to get at it again, but I can't stick to a project anymore. Geezerhood, you know!!