Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crochet vs. Knit, the Ultimate Showdown

Crochet gets a bad rap. Yesterday, I voluntarily helped out at my LYS, and close to closing time, we received a complaint. A woman came in who was a crocheter, and was very disappointed with the reception she had received. This slightly surprised me, since I frequent this same shop and have never received such comments. Perhaps it's because I have proven myself as a knitter, and a crocheter. I am what is jokingly referred to as "bi-craftual" - I knit and crochet. I am in bewilderment as to why knitters frown so much on crochet. I can understand them not crocheting, just as I can understand how people do not knit. However, for someone to be critical of someone else's creative outlet, is just wrong. Who is to say that one craft is better than another? Who deems one craft higher on the "art scale" than another? Is painting better than embroidery? Is sewing better than scrapbooking? Really? Who is one crafter to judge another by what craft they make?

To be honest, I knit right now more than I crochet simply because knitting is a functional craft. I need functional items. Crochet is actually more "artsy" than knitting. The items created with crochet are usually decorative (not always, but I am speaking in generalities). Crochet gives us the infamous doilies to decorate tables (and I've seen some lovely ones framed), jewelry, the occasional scarf, shawl, and sweater, amigurumi, bowls, and the ever-popular joke of the yarn world - the tissue box cover. These items are generally a strict expression of art, not something to cuddle under and keep warm. These are not items to wear while braving the cold rain and snow on a dark winter's night. These are items to brighten our homes, walls, tables, and add to the "art factor" of our lives. These are an expression, an artistic expression, of the crocheter. It's not to say that crochet can't be used for functional items; I myself have crocheted an afghan which turned out fantastically, and the recipient is still glad to have it. Without crochet, some knit projects would not work out quite as well. I have a blanket, still in time out, that needs crochet in order to be finished. The squares were knit, but a border of crochet needs to be around each square before sewn together. Another bonus of crochet I have found is finishing. I find finishing in crochet actually EASIER than in knitting. The ends are easier to weave in and hide. There are not as many lovely patterns in crochet as there are in knit, at least for functional garments. I have seen some beautiful uses of crochet in garments, but there are many more that are horrible.

My main concern is that crochet will get lost. It is a viable craft, and one that deserves some respect. After the first of the year, watch out knitters - crochet is making a comeback.

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