Crochet: What's New?
Hello and welcome back to the blog! Today we are going to be starting our new section all about crochet. I know that crochet is on the rise right now - many of my friends are learning or want to learn how to crochet. However, there can be some misconceptions about it as sometimes, people get crochet and knitting confused - after all, both of them are yarn crafts with similar benefits and techniques. However, there are some key differences can help you differentiate between the two and deciding which one you prefer. So, I thought that I would start this section by looking at some of the key differences between knitting and crochet.
1: The Appearance
Sometimes, people may look at something that I have knitted and call it crochet or vice versa. For some more experienced knitters and crocheters, the difference between knitting and crochet is very obvious, but for someone who has never done it before or is new to it, it can be a lot harder to tell. However, with crochet, there are usually more holes than in knitting. If you look at a crochet tension square, you will see lines of raised stitches with thin dips between each row, whereas with a knitted tension square, you will either see one side that is smooth and has a fishtail pattern and one side that is more bumpy (stocking stitch) or lines of flatter stitches with thinner lines of bumps in between (garter stitch). Here are a couple photos - the left photo is crochet and the right photo is knitted stocking stitch.
2: The Equipment
Most of the time, the equipment used for crochet is very similar to what you use for knitting; for example, you will always need yarn, scissors and a tape measure. However, instead of using two needles in both hands, you will need just one crochet hook, which you will hold in your dominant hand. The same sizing applies to hooks as to needles (apart from the fact that your natural crochet tension may be different to your knitting tension, meaning that you may have to increase or decrease your hook size slightly) and just like with knitting needles, you can also get crochet hooks in a range of materials.
3: The Number of Stitches
If you read the post explaining how to knit or you are a knitter, you will know that you keep all the stitches on the needle at all times and do not cast off a stitch until you have finished with it (most commonly at the end of a project. However, with crochet, you will only have one stitch (or two at most) on your hook at a time. Then you work with that stitch (I'll explain in more detail how to do this in the next post) and move on the next one. The action creates something that is a lot like casting off in knitting, but in crochet, you will keep going back into the stitch, working on it, moving on and "casting off" in every single row, not just the last row.
Knitting is always either back and forth (doing a row then turning the work to do another row) or in the round (using circular or double pointed needles to keep knitting without turning the work and going in another direction, forming a tube). In crochet, you can do both of these but in addition, you can go around edges of the project to form a bigger square, a 2D circle or other cool shapes which are much more difficult in knitting. I have also seen crocheted 3D mathematical models which I think are super cool - if you want to take a look, just search up "crochet curvature" online and look up images. For this reason, some people find that crochet is more versatile and therefore is better for them.
There are many exceptions and overlaps with this point but more often than not, crochet is more delicate and stiff, meaning that it is great for toys and blankets but because of its bulkiness, it isn't often used in jumpers or tops, particularly not ones that are meant to drape. Having said this, as more stitches and combinations of stitches have been discovered, there has been a rise in things such as crochet sock patterns (of which there never used to be any of before) and there are plenty of patterns for knitted toys on the market too. In my opinion, it is good to play around with both knitting and crochet to help you get an idea of texture, technique and personal preference.
That's all from me for today. Next time, I'm going to be explaining how to crochet a tension square and show you some of the ways to you can work old tension squares and scraps of yarn into projects. Until then, happy crafting!
My name is Sharon the Sheep, the owner of Avicraft Wool Shop in Bromley Kent..