Saturday, 16 November 2013

Hooked on crochet

I've been a knitter for my adult craft-life. I define myself as such and seek out likeminded yarnies (what can I say? - tribalism suits me). I have attempted to crochet before, but never got far beyond basics and got bored.

Recently my yarnie-side has been horrified to discover that not only is crochet easier than I thought, it's actually really fun. I needed a project to take on a plane with me, and my hit-rate at getting knitting onto airlines is pretty hit-and-miss at the best of times. I was flying into the US and generally didn't like the idea of trying to explain to the TSA that they didn't need to confiscate my hard work and lovely needles, because Denise interchangeable needles are certified airline safe. So, grudgingly, I thought I'd give crochet one last chance.

One conference and two sets of bunting later ("My First Bunting" and "Big Gay Bunting"), it turns out I really love the instant-gratification feel of small crochet projects. They seem to work up faster than their knitted equivalents and use less yarn.

Grey Totoro Amigurumi
pattern (c) Lucy Ravenscar
Naturally, I progressed to amigurumi, which has been the one craft area where I have never felt knitting really cuts it. My Neighbour Totoro worked up with a lovely, dense fabric, really easy to stuff.

In my charity knitting endeavours, I have been teaching people to do yarncrafts as part of a social group. The vast majority find crochet much easier than knitting. We've made Attic24's striped wristwarmers and Crochet in Color's mitts to get people used to various stitches and the difference between working in the round and on the flat, as well as teaching about gauge and making the existing pattern man-hand-sized. Not bad for the first month at a new craft!

pattern (c) Crochet in Color
The joy of having both crafts in my arsenal of yarny goodness is that I can pick and choose. Some projects just look better in one than the other. Amigurumi is a great technique for a sturdy cuddly toy, but I prefer the knit look for clothes. If I've learned one thing from my great crochet binge, it's that flexibility is a good thing. Binarism is so passé, let's transgress some yarncraft boundaries!