Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Totally Crocheting Universe

Dear Stylin' Scarf Makers of All Fiber Art Forms:

You may recall me from such posts as "I made ruffles just like every other girl in the universe" and "Has anyone else started the hardest intarsia project in the history of ever."

As some of you may know, it is the position of the Totally Knitting Universe that crochet is an Inferior Fiber Art (TM)*. It's true. Try to deny it.

This came about due to an unfortunate trip to AC Moore, which I will recount briefly for you at the present time.

Brian, the Boy Knitter of the Knitlist, Creator of Mandarin Moonlight and my best knitting pal/blogging partner and I went to our favorite AC Moore to check out their deals. When we first began knitting in earnest, we paid little attention to crochet, except to dismiss it in pattern books as items we would not complete because we didn't care to learn how. We hadn't passed any judgments. Our minds were open and blank as to what other people chose to do with their hands/idle time/yarn.

It was at this moment when we passed the craft table and a woman displaying her many wares was seated and eyeing us suspiciously. A group of other ladies stood off to the side. Brian and I "oohed" and "ahhed" at her creations, noting that they were crocheted but didn't mention it. We offered her the traditional kudos for a job well done and moved on to explore the next aisle.

These women apparently pegged us as knitters right away because they began talking loudly about how much they hated knitting. About how they just couldn't stand those needles clacking together. BLECH. They went on and on and Brian and I just looked at each other. It wasn't until we left that we were able to discuss it openly, and it was then and there that our position regarding crochet as "just flat knots" and "unable to make anything pretty" was born.

We have carried this prejudice with us for almost two months. However, surfing through Scarf Style and noting that many pretty things have been made using the fiber art of crochet, I decided to make an exception for only those projects. We were able to secure two seats via a two month long waitlist for a class at our favorite LYS*. Kevin, the Man Crocheter of Flying Fingers, is a crocheter and offers a class free of charge, provided you purchase supplies from their shoppe. A complete deal, if you ask me.

I went into the class after taking the Yarn Bus hoping to learn to read a crochet pattern so that I could begin my Flower Trellis Scarf from Scarf Style. With Kevin's help I have completed one third of the project. Not bad for five hours in a yarn store. I'm finding crochet not as fun as knitting but a pretty good instant gratification, and will continue to use crochet to enhance and improve knitted projects. As the Flower Trellis contains knitted flowers, this project falls under that ambit.

The pattern calls for a crocheted trellis, and with basic skills the trellis flows right from the hook. Here you can see the relative length of the scarf (it is crocheted lengthwise) modeled against the Official SpokesCat of the Totally Knitting Universe, Lily. Lily is completely attracted to the fiber I have used on this project.

I have chosen to work entirely in Alpaca, as it is "In like a Lion, out like an Alpaca" month at our LYS (this includes online sales, by the way). The trellis is in Tahki Yarns "Kerry" in color 5009 aka green, a worsted weight 50% Wool/Alpaca blend. I also have Kerry in color 5023 aka Pink for some of the knitted roses and picked out a Blue Sky Alpaca sportweight in pink and a sportweight white with little sparkles (Alpine Meadows yarn in "Winter Wonderland") to provide smaller accent flowers using the same pattern proposed in the book but on smaller needles.

It is my hope to finish the project soon so that Macy, the Official Spokesdog of the Totally Knitting Universe, can feel all the more Parisian.

As some of you may remember, she has recently had her ovaries removed and is sort of sullen about the whole thing.

Hope this wasn't too image-intensive,

Jersey City, NJ
Totally Knitting
Bevin & Brian in The New Yorker

**Local Yarn Shoppe


TitaniumRose said...

I'm glad to see that you're giving crochet a chance. I've been crocheting for much longer than I've been knitting, just because it always seemed easier to me for some reason. Now that I am much more comfortable with my knitting, I find that I feel much more liberated and willing to take chances with it than I've ever been with crocheting. I don't plan to stop crocheting all together as I can definitely see advantages to being able to combine them, but I am most certainly giving preference to my needles over my crochet hooks these days. I think if I do go back to attempting a large scale crochet project it will be using thread as opposed to yarn, and either a large doily or a filet piece.

Having said all of that, your scarf is looking grand. Can't wait to see the finished product!

lucia said...

I think crochet is easier to work. Unfortunately, it seems to be more difficult to describe how to work many stitches while also shaping a garment.

I can crochet much, much prettier garments than I find in crochet magazines, and some day, I will need to publish some.

I have, of course, posted the traditional toilet
paper holders