31 October 2013

# crafty # knitting

Considering Knitting

I can't remember which I learned first: knitting or crochet. I've always known the basics of both, but once I learned how to crochet in the round, that interest exploded. Hats, clothes, dog sweaters... I felt like I could make anything I wanted. And my knitting skills stalled at that, "Uh, I can make a scarf." stage.

But about once a year, I think to myself, "I miss knitting. I could go for a scarf." and I pick up my knitting needles, get about 3 rows done, and then throw them back down, frustrated with having to juggle two needles and feel like Edward Scissorhands in the process.

Besides, for crochet, you just find a hook you like and go nuts. It's a different story with knitting. Want to try cables? Go buy a cable needle. Want to make a hat? Go buy a 16" circular needle. Want to make a sweater? Go buy a larger size circular needle. Socks? Find some double pointed needles. It felt like I was really constrained by my lack of knitting 'supplies'.

Then I heard about knooking. It's knitting with a crochet hook. You need a special crochet hook with a cable attached in order to hold the "live" stitches. This sounded like exactly my kind of thing! I got to it as soon as I could.

 Pretty awesome, right?! I realize the purl stitches are wrong, but that's just because I take a shortcut when I do them, otherwise they're just too plain awkward and fumbly. I decided, hey, let's try some ribbing and then I can start my first knitted hat! Then this happened:

See the problem? I had basically no stitch definition. I don't know if this was user error or what - but no matter what ribbing pattern I tried, I was just getting a flat piece like this one. Problem is, at this point, I'd been pouring over knitting patterns that I wanted to try with my knook for days. Knowing that I couldn't pull off the look that I really wanted - I started looking into circular knitting needles. I found a local yarn shop and decided I'd go there and find out what they had, and what they thought the best option for me would be. Then I came home with this: My Knitter's Pride Dreamz 16" size 7 circular needle.

And I'm in love. It's still not relaxing like crochet is for me - I can't do it mindlessly or without looking the way I can crochet, but something about the clicking of those wooden knitting needles is really addicting. I've got a long way to go technique-wise, but I did manage to cast on something last night:

 In theory, it'll be a hat with a ribbed edge and stockinette cap. I'm not really following a pattern or anything, just sort of using this as a test swatch on the circular needles while I get used to the different tension needs and stitches used for knitting.

Final verdict? I'm in love with crochet. But I might be about to fall in love with knitting just a little bit too.

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