I am a knitter and a spinner. This is a very obvious sentence for anyone who has ever met me or read more than this single post of this blog. This statement of obvious has been brought to you by a person who commented in another forum that those of us who do not both knit AND crochet have only “half the skill set” because both of the crafts require yarn. To this, I scoff. A skill set? Really? Not that saying knitting and crochet are not skills, God knows that I truly believe that they are! But the belief that they are one and two and that is “the skill set” is preposterous.
What about latch hook? Spooling? Tatting? Weaving? Macrame? All these require yarn or some long string-like cord, though some finer than others and can be made from any variety of different materials. From the finest of silks to heavy hemp rope, soft merino to coarse Herdwick, linen to acrylics, its all yarn/string/rope and all can be used with skill to create.
I don’t crochet. I don’t know how, really. I was introduced to crochet by a friend, a left handed friend, who taught me how to single and double crochet in an afternoon before a meeting. I don’t remember much but I do remember that another friend laughed at me and asked what I was doing when holding the crochet hook and working “backwards” for a righty. Aside from the little square that I made during that meeting, I’ve never made a single thing, retained nothing of the lesson and I am completely OK with that. I don’t like the way crochet looks, from the blankets (ranging from ‘Granny’ squares to delicate lace) to ANY garment I have even encountered. I know that saying that I dont like crochet there may be readers who think, “Ah, but you havent seen THIS!”, and that may be true. Suffice it to say, I have seen a lot and I dont like any. The work seems…clunky. Bulky and awkward…just not as flowing as knitting. The only thing that I have ever seen and wanted to make in crochet was a Care Bear 🙂 I bought a pamphlet once and some recycled acrylic yarn to make a baby blanket for my sisters new addition…both were donated to the local craft room for students to work with because I just didnt like the way the work was coming out. Before you mention practice, let me tell you that it was even, smooth and quite reasonably well worked. Even my friend who taught me during the meeting was impressed. The look or feel of it…it wasnt “Me” the way knitted items are. I had no impulse to reach out and draw the thing to me and snuggle like I do with knitted things. Do I mind not being able to add crochet edgings to my knitted items? Nope. There are plenty of knitted edgings that I havent used yet. All to be honest as the most attention I’ve ever paid to edgings is the hem that I just turned on the sweater I am making.
Half the skill set? Not hardly. I not only can make yarn from sheep fuzz but I can make that into a garment that fits. I can latch it into a rug too, though I dont think I ever finished one of those projects. I’ve never tried weaving, tatting or macrame but if someone wants to show me how, I dont think I would be completely adverse to learning. Its the love of the fiber and working to create something that I would wear and snuggle that is the important thing to me. Granted that crocheters use more fiber because it takes 3 times the yarn to make a swatch of equal size to a knitted swatch, but I would rather save my yarn dollars to go a bit further. I knit to make things that I like and use. Sometimes I pass those things on to people who value the work and effort I have made but really, I knit and spin for me. Why would I use the time to do something I don’t enjoy? For the knowledge gained? To become more well rounded? If that were the case you could find me working maths sums and honestly, I dont need another sedentary task to work on ’rounding’ me out. I’m working hard enough to un-round myself as it is. I don’t paint. Does this make me less of a craftsman because I cant wield a brush for more use than covering a wall in an even coat? I didn’t think so. One has nothing to do with the other, just like my skill at knitting. One wouldnt tell an artist that they only had half the skill set because they only painted and didnt sculpt.
But as for crochet? You can keep your hooks to yourself. Besides, its always nice to have at least 2 needles to poke someone with, not just one dull, rounded hook. If you add DPN’s to the mix you look even more dangerous.