Crochet

The Siren Call of Yarn…

You’ve taught yourself a few stitches, maybe even made your first simple crochet item with from one of the “Learn to Crochet” resources we discussed earlier.  You’re starting to get excited and you’re ready to pick out something a little more substantial.

Here’s what I remember about those first forays to the craft stores.  Whether you’re at a Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Joann’s, whatever, the patterns, yarns and books can be pretty overwhelming.  I had a terrible habit of buying yarn, and then trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it.  Not your best path forward folks.  You wind up with the wrong amounts, or the wrong weight yarn and you wind up going back to the store for more.  You’ll be better served to 1) look at what’s available online. 2) Make a decision about your pattern, and 3) then go in search of yarn.

I know, I know, it sounds like a no brainer, but the siren call of yarn can be a powerful thing.  I’m trying to save you some money and closet space.  Repeat after me…'”First pick the Project.”  Go ahead, repeat it…Now, “Then Pick the Yarn.”  Good.  Repeat it again. “First pick the Project. Then Pick the Yarn.” Say it to yourself about 500 times, and you will thank me.  Your spouse and children will thank me.

Your welcome.

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Crochet

Crochet vs. Knit

I’m lucky to live in a town with a fabulous local yarn store owned by two very dear sisters who happen to be designers as well as purveyors.  The store is a cacophony of awesomeness.  Ok-that was a little over the top, but it really is chock full of merchandise.  Incredible yarns, patterns galore with examples hanging near the yarn or thread of choice.  Anyway, early on in my crochet venture,   I went on a visit to this yarn mecca hoping to have onsite tech support for what would be my first serious attempt at something other than a scarf. I spent hours, literally, looking at all the patterns and options available in that store. Then I realized I had an embarrassing problem.   If an item wasn’t labeled, I frequently had no idea if it was crochet or knit.  And what was worse, when I did find out, I found myself liking the knit stuff better.

Now don’t laugh. If you’re an experienced crocheter or knitter, you may find this ridiculous.   But please recall, I had just started the crochet path with no real preamble.  It’s not like I saw something crocheted and thought, oh I want to do that! Nope. I just decided to do it.  And here’s what I know.  I know I’m not alone.  I know there have been other people who had the very same problem.  The thing is, what if it was an extraordinary garment that led you to the decision to try crochet.  You better make darn sure you know what crochet looks like, right? So here’s the difference a la pictorial.  First, Knitting…

Knitting essentially creates a woven fabric.  Many sweaters, hats, scarves, etc, look very much like the example above.  It consists of two stitches-knit and purl.  But boy, the things those knitters manage to do with two stitches! Like this one…

And this one…

Regardless of the pattern, cabling or dimension, the essence of the weave creating fabric is there.

Now crochet…I may have started out fascinated with knitting, but today, I find myself preferring the textured goodness that is crochet!

Experts, put your fingers in your ears…. OK- to me, crochet is essentially the tying of intricate little interwoven knots.  (Not to be confused  with macrame or any craft that really is about knots.)  But essentially, you use your crochet hook to weave the yarn into intricate knotting. Experts can remove their fingers from their ears now.  The outcome creates a fabric that is usually (not always) much more textured than knitting.  Like this…

and this…

and this…

Too cool.

So if you’re just starting to explore the fiber arts world, and you happen to be an untutored rube like myself, fear not.  You got this! Google Images is your friend. Just look, learn and move forward into your crafting.