Crochet Away

In case you weren’t aware, March is National Craft Month. It also happens to be National Crochet Month.

Too bad I didn’t realize it was National Crochet Month until after I’d gotten about 12″ into my latest knitted project (more on that in a later post).

Any other crocheters out there?

I knitted long before I learned to crochet. Back then crochet seemed mysterious to me, maybe a little dangerous. Not only is it worked with a single hook, there isn’t anything there to hold the stitches. Wouldn’t the work unravel? Then I realized that unlike knitting — where all unworked stitches are “live” (meaning they can easily unravel if they’re not on a needle or stitch holder) — with crochet there’s only one live stitch at any given time. Suddenly it wasn’t so scary.

Once I got the hang of crocheting I realized it’s faster and easier than knitting. It’s not that crochet isn’t challenging in its own right — learning where to start and stop rows can be tricky at first — it’s just not quite as fussy as knitting. Knitting uses dropped stitches, slipped stitches, yarn overs and the like to create lacy material. In crochet, lace patterns are made by combining things like chains, stitch heights and clusters.

It’s easier to crochet large pieces, like afghans, since you’ve only got one live stitch to worry about and there’s not much weighing down your hook. Here’s an afghan I crocheted a few years back — the field was worked as one giant piece, and I made the flouncy border separately and attached it:

Anastasia Afghan

Anastasia Afghan

When knitting something large, you generally wind up using circular needles – basically two knitting needles connected by a thin cable (lengths vary) — and the work can be heavy to hold. In some cases, it can be pretty cozy, too:

I'm somewhere under the Cushy Smocked Throw I was working on in this photo!

I'm somewhere under the Cushy Smocked Throw I was working on in this photo!

Depending on the yarn and pattern, crocheted fabric is usually a little thicker while knitted fabric is often smoother. I find intricate work easier in crochet, but sometimes it’s worth investing the extra time for a luscious knitted piece.

Fellow crocheters, do any of you knit, too? If so, which craft did you learn first? Which do you prefer, and why?

Even if you’ve never picked up needles or a hook in your life I’m sure there’s some creative pursuit you can do to celebrate National Craft Month! What is it?


About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on March 5, 2012, in Creativity, crochet, Inspiration, Projects and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m a fellow crocheter, and I started crocheting only a couple months ago! Already hooked haha! I’ve tried my hands at knitting, but it’s clearly not for me. Crochet just feels more natural for me than knitting really. Love the afghan btw. Happy Crochet/Craft Month!

    • Paula Hendrickson

      MsCrochet, your experience makes me wonder: Is it easier to learn to knit first and crochet later, or the other way around? I think it would have been harder to move from the crochet – which seems more fluid to me – to knitting, since it has to be strange to suddenly be working with two needles.

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