Friday, October 4, 2013

To Knit or Not to Knit

In the past I have always gravitated to crochet instead of knitting.  Working with two needles always felt awkward to me, and I was nervous about dropping stitches and correcting mistakes.  I'm fairly fast with a crochet hook, so I was certain that knitting would be too time consuming to keep my interest. I had tried one or two projects that were dismal failures and I wasn't keen to pull out the knitting needles again.  As usual, it was my curiosity that got the best of me. Despite my aversion to knitting, I was always curious about techniques that would produce a knit-like appearance. 

My Tunisian Washcloth
 First, I tried Tunisian crochet.  I loved the fact that you can create many different textures (some very close to knit in appearance), but the fabrics I made tended to be very dense.  I was also turned off by the tendency to curl.  Now I know that there are plenty of Tunisian crochet enthusiasts who very skilled at making very light weight - even lacy fabrics and that there are a million tips and tricks for making the end product lie flat, but Tunisian just didn't suit me.  I made a few potholders and washcloths and then moved on.

Baby sweater knitted with a knook

Next, I turned to the knook.  If you aren't familiar with the idea, it is a technique where you use a crochet hook with a long cord attached to the end to knit. This was something that worked for me.  I was finally able to produce truly knitted fabric.  However, I found that there are not that many patterns that are specifically written for use with a knook.  That meant that I had to learn knit terminology and figure out how to translate those instructions for use with my knook.  Along the way, I began to finally understand a little more about how knitting works.  I lost my fear of dropping stitches and correcting mistakes.  I also began to get frustrated with the slower pace and that darn cord. 

My first knitted washcloths!
After experimenting with other forms, I decided to give knitting another try.  This time around I was more comfortable with having a whole row of stitches on the needle because I had done that with Tunisian and the world didn't implode.  I knew that I could fix a dropped stitch with my trusty crochet hook and nobody would call the police.  I took my first timid steps into learning a new technique, and I tried my best to put the pre-judgement and fear behind me.  Lo and behold, the sky didn't fall and I ended up with a new hobby!  I nowhere near expert level, but I am learning and enjoying the process.

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