Quick crochet (and about my book addiction)

Last night I decided I wanted a hat.  Specifically, I wanted Gem from the new Kim Hargreaves book.  It’s crocheted with 1 strand of kid classic and 1 of kidsilk haze.  I decided those were probably about equal to 1 strand of Noro Kochoran.  So, 2 hours later…

This is a pretty subdued colorway for Noro, which I do like.  I seem to not be allergic to angora, which is happy news for me (well, I don’t think I am… I’m actually sort of sick right now, but it didn’t seem worse when I crocheted this.)  Mine is slouchier than the model, but I hope that is good! I will have a proper post on this tomorrow, once it dries, but here’s the best part… my hands didn’t hurt at all from crocheting this.  I found a new set of crochet hook at Michaels crafts.  The handle is shaped like a trigger, and it’s amazing how much easier this is on my hands.

It actually comes with these two handles, and 5 or 6 hooks.  The smallest is, I believe an F hook.  I use the hook on the top.  The other hook would probably be excellent for the other way of crocheting.  I hold my hook like a knife, not like a pencil.  Standard ergonomic hooks (such as the clover soft touch hooks) do not really help me all that much, because I end up holding the hook above the thick part.  I will say that the set is a bit cheap (the screws are made of plastic) but the shape of it is a godsend to me.  If you search around, you can also find these hooks in wood, without interchangable heads.  I may eventually get some of these, but they are quite expensive, plus I just ordered this set of hooks for thread crochet, so we will see how they work out.

I’ve been reading a lot on ravelry about the feud between knitting and crochet. I’m not entirely certain why this still goes on – after all, isn’t there room in the world for two yarn crafts?  Crochet is still seen by some knitters as a “low class” craft.  And you know what?  I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.  When I was exclusively crocheting, I felt a wee bit inferior to all the knitters.  And once I learned to knit, I probably didn’t crochet a thing for a good 8 months.  I was all “Oh, I’m past that now.”  My first real crochet FO (post knitting)was the Boteh Scarf, and I loved crocheting that so much – it really showed me the possibilities of crochet, and I remembered how much I loved it.

I’ve since subscribed to Interweave crochet, and I usually pick of Crochet Today, a magazine that usually has some cute projects in spite of the fact that it is owned by a yarn company (Coats and Clark.)  The Winter issue has just come out, and includes this motif scarf (in Moda Dea Wool bamboo) that I’m dying to make.

The design is by Robin Chachula (read her blog; it is excellent!) who consistently designs crocheted items that fight the stereotypes.

Of course, crochet and knitting are not good for the same things.  For instance, while I might knit a cute crochet motif bolero, I’m certainly not going to knit one of those sweaters done entirely in single crochet.  If I want a solid sweater like that I’m going to knit one.
Crochet excels at lace. I prefer the look of crocheted table runners and doilies to those that are knitted.  I also think crochet looks nicer in a finer yarn, although of course this varies depending on the design.  I have recently ordered a few more of the Japanese crochet books (from YesAsia, so it will be a bit before they get here!) because I love the idea that crochet can be used to make so many lovely elegant things.  And because I have a book problem – yes, I will not deny it!  It makes me so happy to have a bookshelf full of inspiring fibery books.

I also bought three books from the Vogue Knitting website sale on their “on the go” series.  I got crocheted shawls, and both volumes of crocheted scarves.  I have actually wanted to buy these for some time, but I wasn’t going to unless they went on sale somewhere.  My favorite is the first scarf book, which I think is worth buying.

 

and the shawl book contains this shawl, which I think it just gorgeous.

I was very meh on the second scarf book, but that’s ok… it may come in handy someday!

I picked up the new KnitSimple as well (hey, I’m trying to use up some Borders Gift certificates, and I only buy magazines there!)

I thought it was a really nice issue.  Vanna White is on the cover, and I inexplicably love her, even if I don’t care for her new yarn line at all.  There are some nice basic patterns in this issue, but what really caught my eye was this:

I think this is so cute – I love the pockets, and the contrast of garter stitch with seed stitch.  I have added it to the ever increasing queue, with the idea that I have some nice beige cascade 220 that might go well with this pattern.

All my WIPs are going well – I am finally nearly done with the cabled pattern on the gathered pullover.  I keep getting distracted by pretty small projects.  I’m doing better than last Christmas – last year all I knit in December was a pair of socks because I was so stressed!

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15 thoughts on “Quick crochet (and about my book addiction)

  1. I’ve been reading some of those threads at Ravelry. I just don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want another technique in their arsenal. . . I learned to knit first, but fell in love with crochet once I learned. It’s fantastic to be able to do either.

    Just picked up the new Crochet Today yesterday — that is a fantastic scarf. Thanks for the shots from the Vogue book — I think CT had a review of one of those — and a Jan Eaton book that looks interesting.

  2. Phoe says:

    I like that pocket sweater thing, looks very handy. And I don’t understand the knitting vs crochet thing either. I learned how to crochet before I learned how to knit (which is why I knit continental, used to holding the yarn in the left hand) but crocheting hurts my hands too much.

  3. yeah honestly i think the feud gets overblown sometimes. most of the threads on ravelry that i’ve read look like people are taking things the wrong way, rather than anybody actually being nasty. but what do i know? i do both so i don’t care to pick a side.

  4. Katie says:

    Ya know what, I crochet with my hand like a knife too. My wrist gets tired after a while. I may have to try to find a set like the one you found so I can finally finish the crochet cropped cardigan in my WIPs on Ravelry. ;)

    I don’t get the whole crochet/knit feud either. Sometimes I feel like crocheting, sometimes I feel like knitting, sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don’t.

  5. Cute hat! I’m doing a sweater coat in the same colorway of Kochoran. It’s an odd yarn. Mine is pretty rough and scratchy in the skein, but then softens up while working. I’m mostly enjoying working with it, but the piece I’m working is large, and I’m finding the heavy yarn is hurting my wrists. I do think it is going to make a really warm, soft coat. BTW, I’m getting a gauge of 3.5 stitches to the inch on a size 9 needle, and the fabric is really dense. I think the ball band claims I should be getting 4.5 stitches to the inch. Did you have this experience?

  6. I totally agree with you about “the feud.” (and you too, Mary.) It’s great to have more than one way to do something. I actually use both knitting and crochet quite often. It seems silly to fight about it, to me.

  7. Kate says:

    Love the new hat – it looks so soft and light.

    I adore thread crochet but it KILLS my hands, wasting me for either knitting or crocheting for days afterward. Maybe it’s the way I hold my hands, or the old-school metal hooks I use (my grandma’s), but yikes, it really hurts me. However, I agree with you that laces often look prettier made up in crochet.

  8. crimsonpurl says:

    Ooh I just learned the basics of crochet this year and I must admit I was REALLY reluctant but so glad I did learned! I now wish I had learned how to crochet 1st and then knit.

    I must check out those hooks and hope to get better in my crocheting, but yes I am just as guilty too!

  9. I agree, Japanese Knitting and Crochet books are addicting. I have a store not far from me that sells them and I have to keep myself from going there too often.

    There is a Japanese knitting and crochet pattern group on ravelry if you are interested. And some Japanese patterns are getting added.

  10. You said some great things here about knit and crochet. I don’t understand the feud, and I think that many of the people who participate in it are manufacturing opinions out of boredom. Crochet lace is so sharp and structured– I hope to make myself a crocheted scarf this winter also.

    And hooray for Vanna White!!

  11. Marie says:

    Wow–we’re soul sisters….I have a serious knitting & crochet book addiction. I also subscribe to Interweave’s magazines for both. If I put ALL my books & magazines in one place, my husband would probably be quite surprised at this collection. He’s never really seen or know of my extensive yarn stash. I agree with you about knit for solid fabric & crochet for lacey looks–it’s all good.

    Enjoy…love your projects.

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