Many knitters are hesitant to learn to crochet because they prefer the fabric knitting creates. And sadly, far too many of us picture toilet-paper-cover dolls when we think of crochet. But some beautiful fabrics can be made with crochet, and there are some key advantages to crochet. First and foremost, knowing how to crochet will make a provisional cast-on in knitting a breeze. Being comfortable with a crochet hook will also allow you to fix your knitting mistakes more efficiently and help with picking up stitches and seaming. In addition, crochet is faster than knitting. It is more stable than a basic stockinette. It makes incredible borders and edges, and learning to crochet can actually make you a better knitter!
Knowing how to knit is an advantage when learning to crochet. If you are a Continental Knitter, you have an additional benefit because you are already used to tensioning your yarn with your left hand. That said, you will soon learn that you wrap each stitch in the opposite direction as knitting, so being a thrower, you will have less muscle memory to overcome. Just remember to allow yourself to be a student. It is challenging when we’re used to being good at one craft to learn another. But it will be well worth it.
One of the critical differences between knitting and crochet is that you must work every stitch with knitting. You can do increases and decreases, but you must handle the stitches on your needle. On the other hand, crochet works into the fabric, so you can choose to put a stitch anywhere you want! And since crochet is a double-sided fabric, it is more stable. So, think back to the last beautiful scarf you knit that insisted on curling, and no matter how much you blocked the darn thing, the curl wouldn’t go away. And now, imagine, if you knew how to crochet, you could simply add a border—plain or decorative—that will make the scarf lay flat!
If I did not convince you with that image, then think about the last baby blanket you knit. How long did it take you? Most knitted baby blankets take a few weeks to make. Crochet is so much faster than knitting. Not only are the stitches themselves easier and faster to make, but they’re also taller than crochet. So a stockinette stitch row may gauge, for a worsted weight yarn, maybe seven rows to the inch, but the same yarn in double crochet is more like four rows to the inch or less! So the blanket requires fewer rows of work.
Some fabrics are more easily made in crochet than knitting. Mesh is one of them. Mesh is one of the most unforgiving fabrics in knitting and is tedious to make. But mesh in crochet is a piece of cake and is so fast! You will be whipping up mesh tops and market bags in no time! Lace is also easier to learn in crochet than knitting, mainly because you get to place stitches where you want them! You can also use the Amigurumi techniques to make toys. Crochet toys with firmer, thicker fabric with crochet! And it’s much easier to begin and to make small, circular pieces.
So take the plunge, try a new craft. It might even help you get through your stash that has achieved SABLE (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy).
The experts at Hands-On Knitting Center offer online crochet classes for beginners to help them improve their craft. It’s a leading knitting and yarn store, offering online crochet classes and knitting and crochet supplies online. Contact them to find out more today!