And we have made it to the seventh and last day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. It’s been fun, if exhausting. And now that it’s over, I can do more actual knitting and crochet.
Day Seven: 29 April. Crafting Balance
Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or are you a bit of both? If you are monogamous in your yarn-based crafting, is it because you do not enjoy the other craft or have you simply never given yourself the push to learn it? Is it because the items that you best enjoy crafting are more suited to the needles or the hook? Do you plan on ever trying to take up and fully learn the other craft? If you are equally comfortable knitting as you are crocheting, how do you balance both crafts? Do you always have projects of each on the go, or do you go through periods of favouring one over the other? How did you come to learn and love your craft(s)?
I am both a knitter and a crocheter. The crochet came first; the knitting gets more practice. This is essentially my mother’s fault. While other people choose to learn knitting and/or crochet because they’re interested in it, my mother signed me up for a crochet class when I was 9, entirely against my will (“But Mom, only old ladies crochet!”). There was yarn. There was this hook. There was my near-total inability to find the last stitch in any row, leading to me crocheting a wide variety of triangles, as I lost one stitch on every row. With all this, I have no idea at what point I actually started to enjoy crocheting. But just about the time I became a crocheter in heart as well as in skill, Mom decided I needed to learn to knit as well. I’d enjoy it, she promised. It was more versatile than crochet, she claimed. I wasn’t nearly as hostile to the idea as I had been to learning to crochet, but I was confused: if crochet wasn’t as good as knitting, why did she make me learn crochet in the first place? (I never did get an answer to that question.) Mom taught me the bare bones of knitting, after which I never saw her touch needles again.* I took an accidental revenge for all this enforced learning, though: I spent the rest of the years before and during college hitting my parents up for yarn money.
Mom had a point, though. As it turns out, my favorite projects are sweaters, and over the years, I’ve found lots more knitting patterns that I wanted to make than crochet patterns. I also like to make afghans, and I lean towards crocheting them, but how many afghans does a girl need?** I have finally figured out that since crochet goes faster than knitting, I could crochet sweaters in fingering weight yarns which would have enough drape to wear comfortably, but I haven’t really tried this out yet. So I’m equally comfortable knitting and crocheting, but I don’t crochet nearly as much because I haven’t found as many patterns that I adore.
I don’t set out to balance the two crafts in my life. I have happily not crocheted for a year or two at a time, simply because I didn’t have a pattern that I cared enough to make. Whatever drives me to knit or crochet in the first place apparently doesn’t care which craft I pursue as long as I’m doing something with one of them. So I fall in love with a pattern, finally feel the time is right to work on it, and whatever craft it is is whatever craft I’ll be working in while I’m working on it. Which means that at the moment, I’m actively working on two knitting projects (cardigan and scarf) and one crochet project (shrug), just because they’re what called me at this time. (And I’m doing my level best to keep it to just three active projects, because I picked up pretty new yarn at Yarnover yesterday and it wants me to do something with it! Help!)
*My hypothesis is that my mother had been made to learn to knit from her mother and hated it, but thought that this was just something that mothers were supposed to teach their daughters. I don’t think I was actually supposed to enjoy it.
**I know, I know: make some for charity. Maybe someday. At this point, I’m just not much of a charitable knitter.