Monday, January 22, 2007

Knit one, crochet two



Last night, I sat and crocheted my way through "The Apprentice: LA" (which has "jumped the shark" with that ridiculous tent city thing) and "Brothers and Sisters" (which was hard, as I had to keep looking up to take full advantage of the addition of gorgeous Rob Lowe to the cast.) I am having great fun crocheting this baby blanket and, as I am wont to do, couldn't resist stocking up on MORE washable baby blankie yarn the other day for all those future Project Linus blankies I'll be making.

So, I was thinking. I like the LOOK of knitting better, but I like the ACT of crocheting more. Why is that? I used to do lots of knitting, so it's not for lack of familiarity. I went through a long phase (coinciding with my years in cold New Hampshire) where I knit Icelandic sweaters with colorful, patterned yokes. I learned to knit the English way and got really good at knitting the English way and the "Throwing" way at the same time so I could knit with two colors and not have to pick up and drop yarn strands to change colors. I knit cabled things. And I loved the look and feel of it all the way.

Now, I'm just loving the crocheting. It's definitely simpler. Maybe it's that there is only one implement to juggle, not two. And with knitting, there is a whole row of stitches to keep on the needles in exactly the right order.



With crochet, there's just one stitch to hang on to. One little loop. If you make a mistake, you pull one stitch out at a time, without the risk of being unable to retrieve all the knit stitches in the row. (Can you tell that I have some experience with UNknitting?)

Or maybe it's just the novelty right now. I feel like I'm really zipping along with my trusty crochet hook.

Today, I had 30 minutes between my orthodontist appointment and picking Caroline up from school, so I stopped at Starbucks to get a coffee. I popped my earphones on, turned on an Ipod podcast (Alex Anderson's Quilt Connection, today) and did a bit of crocheting. At one point, an elderly women approached me with a big smile to ask what I was making. I told her about Project Linus and my baby blanket project.

"Knitting uses less yarn," she said. I thought of all the yarn piled up at home and wondered whether that was necessarily a good thing. I think I crochet faster than I knit, but who knows.

I searched online for a few other simple baby blanket patterns, and along the way found a zillion things I'd never, ever, ever make. I mean, do you know anyone who'd want this? And NO, I won't be making any of these.

Then again, I find this strangely appealing. And this cracks me up...an amusing office gift, perhaps?

Or maybe the thing to make next is dolls. Coincidentally, today my friend Linda who doesn't know about this recent crochet urge I'm in, sent me this:

A man and woman had been married for many years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $295,000. He asked her about the contents.

"When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll." The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said, "that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "That's the money I made from selling the dolls."

4 comments:

Gerrie said...

Knit vs crochet. My mom had two sisters who crocheted. But she was a Knitter - with a capital K. She looked down on the crocheting as a lesser art form. I think she thought her sisters could not knit and had, therefore, settled for the lesser yarn art form. You post just reminded me of her. I guess that is why I knit. The only crocheting I have ever done was edging around a finished knitted sweater.

Cathy said...

Love the story!

Marianna said...

Hello,

I would like to weight in on your musings of knit vs. crochet. Here are my thoughts: an old saying I heard around the yarn store about crochet “Twice the yarn, half the time” and I totally agree with that. I am with you, I love to crochet but I don’t like the resulting fabric. There is no comparison to the drape and feel of the resulting knitted fabric vs. crocheted. To me the knitted fabric looks and feels nicer, more delicate. Crochet feels cruder and looks cruder. I find knitting to be much more fraught with worry and stresses then I do crochet. I have been kntting and crocheting since my childhood and have had plenty of time to debate the two. I still haven’t come up with a satisfying solution to my dilemma. To knit or to crochet…. Hmmmmm 

Anonymous said...

I'm with you too. I actually learned to knit before I learned to do any other needlework. It looks SO nice. The only crochet that looks real nice is thread crochet. And tatting (but thats a whole different craft). nonetheless I still crochet blankets for charity and whenever I want to give someone a workhorse blanket they can throw in the washer. (currently working on a red heart yarn blanket for mom in hospital).


Liz