Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Crotchity Crocheter

I've been wandering through Yarn Harlot: the secret life of a knitter, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and just finished the chapter where she disses crochet.

Well. I'm a little put out. Just because she failed at crocheting doilies and antimacassers (and why she was even attempting such antiquated projects is subject to question) doesn't mean crochet is evil. So now I am forced to respond to her complaints. (Blog war!)

First, let me admit that I learned to crochet before I learned to knit. Back in the 60's, my mother guided me through the then-prerequisite crocheted vest. I also have been a counted cross stitcher and a quilter, but my eyes won't support the former and I killed my interest in the latter by hand stitching a giant log cabin quilt top that has never actually been quilted.

Now. Ms. P-M claims knitting and crochet don't employ the same skill sets. Interesting, because I hold the yarn in my left hand the same way for either, and manipulate a needle/hook in my right in very similar ways. While knitting does differ from crochet, both require patience and persistance and a little insanity, along with general yarn wrangling and fine motor skills.

Ms. P-M says crochet is faster than knitting. I say, that depends on what you are making. If your knitting needles are large enough and/or you execute enough YO's, you can whip out a baby afghan or a shawl in no time at all. If your crochet hook is tiny and the pattern intricate, a pair of gloves may take ages. Or, if you are insane and/or not a commitmentphobe, hooking an afghan in single crochet can take a lifetime, because this project is destined to stall.

Ms. P-M thinks a hooker is less likely to rip out a project gone wrong than a knitter is, but I have found the opposite to be true. I am much more willing to pull the plug on crochet than knitting, especially if the knitting is on size 1 needles and I've already turned the heel on that damn sock.

As for questionable crochet projects like toilet lid covers in pink and green, Ms. P-M obviously has not seen the blogs like this one. Something ugly, and sometimes scary, can be created no matter what the medium.

There's more!

  • Knitting needles may be sharper but crochet hooks are more likely to make it past airport security.

  • Crochet may use more yarn, but that makes it a fine way to bust that stash.

  • Acrylic may be a fine petroleum product, but it is also cheap, machine washable and dryable, doesn't shrink or lose its shape, and most people don't know the difference between it and wool anyway.

In fact, most people don't know the difference between knitting and crochet, so what does it matter?

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