Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crochet vs. Knitting for Dummies

“Oooh what is that you’re knitting?”
“I’m not knitting anything, but I am crocheting something.”

I’ve had the above conversation more times than I can count. I’m sure fellow crocheters can relate. People who are not familiar with either craft immediately assume that because you are holding a utensil in your hand and doing something with yarn you must be knitting. Granted before I knew how to crochet I didn’t know the difference myself. Knitted products are highly commercialized so it’s no surprise that people are more familiar with knitting.
Now would be a good time to preface that I am not claiming to be an expert in crocheting or to know much of anything about knitting. My intent is simply to give you the quick and dirty down-low on crocheting versus knitting to avoid those annoyed looks from your friends or grandma when you ask what she’s up to. Don’t worry I’m not going to get all technical on you, I mean I did title this “for Dummies”, not that you’re a dummy or anything, you ARE reading this blog after all.  ;)
Crochet hooks
Whether your friend or grandma is crocheting or knitting, whatever she is holding in her hand(s) is going to tell you right away what she is doing. She’s actually going to tell you what she’s doing without you ever asking. Crochet uses a single needle or hook that is used to pull the yarn through a previously made stitch or loop. If you look at the end of the needle you will see an actual hook. Knitting uses two needles that are held in each hand. The yarn is simply wrapped around each needle and worked in and out of the previously made loops. Knitting needles have tapered ends that allow the needles to easily form new stitches. You may also notice that knitting needles have a cap at the other end, that’s to keep the newly created fabric from unraveling. Crocheted fabric can only unravel if you pull on the yarn opposite the direction you are working. Both knitting needles and crochet hooks come in a variety of sizes, measured in millimeters, and made from various materials such as bamboo, aluminum, acrylic, wood and probably other things I’m not aware of.  
All types of yarn are used for both knitting and crocheting; I might even dare to say if you can crochet it, you can knit it and vice versa. There are specific patterns for crochet and knit and for the really industrious there are ways to convert patterns from one to the other, but I go cross-eyed trying to figure it out. Crochet has a number of different stitches starting with the chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet and it goes on from there. With knitting there is knit and purl. This is where my knowledge of knitting ends because I’m not familiar with any other stitches. I did try to look some up but as I mentioned earlier I am not a knitter and had no real understanding of what I saw. Besides, I said I was going to keep this simple and I think I’ve trailed a bit. Lucky for you I think we are about done!
Knitting needles
I did want to mention that knitting doesn’t take as much yarn as crocheting. I realize that knowing about stitches and patterns and how much yarn each uses probably isn’t very helpful to recognizing what grandma is working on. However I think it will help you have a better understanding and an appreciation for that sweater Aunt Bertha knitted and gave you for Christmas, no matter how ugly it is. Or maybe you will be inspired to look in to this topic more and who knows, take up a new hobby!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! My husband for years called anything I did "knitting..." and I did everything but knit! I could be doing counted cross-stitch and someone on the phone would ask him what I was doing and he'd say "knittin'." lol!