Love to Knit, Love to Crochet

Knitting Loves Crochet by Candi Jensen

I’ve always been “bistitchual”. I’m just as happy with needles and yarn as I am with a hook. I learnt both skills early on and sometimes I’ll even combine the two in a single project. (My knitted baby blanket for Craftseller for instance had a pretty crochet trim).  It always surprises me that other yarn enthusiasts think that combining both crafts is unusual or even a little bit “edgy”. For years knitters have been learning to crochet just so they can add a pretty trim to a baby cardigan or join knitted squares together. Both crafts have their strengths and like many yarn lovers I’ll choose the most appropriate tools for the job, stranded colourwork and fairisle just beg to be knitted (tapestry and jaquard crochet can never quite match the details, drape and finish) while amigurumi whips up fabulous toys, which are robust enough to withstand a toddler’s love and attention.

I’ve often wondered why there is such a fierce “rivalry” between knitters and crocheters? Just a couple of years ago a knitting magazine received sackloads of mail complaining there were “too many” crochet patterns in it’s latest issue and it’s rare to find a magazine that gives equal weight to both skills. I picked up a copy of Candi Jensen’s book “Knitting Loves Crochet” a few years ago, it’s now well thumbed and I still pick it up when I’m looking for inspiration or ideas. There are other books available which combine both skills, but this is my favourite.

So, how can you combine both skills in one project? Here’s my top three “bistitchual tricks” to entice knitters into the world of crochet:*

1. The crochet cast off.

This simple technique gives a firm edge You can find a video tutorial for the knitted cast off over on New Stitch A Day.

2. The provisional cast on.

A provisional cast on is used when you need to a “live” row of stitches, perhaps to graft the beginning and end of a project to make a cowl, or if you’re working a scarf and want both ends to be identical. You can find a really helpful guide to the crochet provisional cast on over at the Purl Bee blog.

3. A simple crochet trim.

A simple shell trim (or scalloped edge)  can enhance any knitters repetoire. Use it to edge a knitted blanket or to give a feminine touch to a plain baby cardigan. You’ll need some basic crochet skills for this one, ask a crocheting friend to show you how or take a look  Very Pink Knits  brilliant video explaining the technique( aimed at knitters), you can find it on Youtube. I’ve embedded her introduction to crochet for knitters above. If you haven’t come across Staci’s  tutorials before, check out her website. I recommend them a lot to my pupils (why make my own when someone else has done such a great job?)

I’d love to know, are you “bistitchual”, do you have  a favourite way to combine both skills in one project?

*I’ll look at knitting for crocheters in another post)

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