Arts & Crafts Rebirth — Knitting and Crocheting

It seems that, in the general public, there’s recently been a real revival of arts and crafts interest, specifically with knitting and crocheting, and I’ve been doing my little part to contribute to it. Anybody else into this, or other arts and crafts projects?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, here’s a good link on knitting and one on crocheting. The main difference that I can see is knitting uses two straight needles vs. crocheting’s one hooked needle and you can do a variety of loop and hole designs much easier using crocheting. I know there’s a lot to it, but I’ve just started 🙂

I knitted a little bit when I was 10 or so, but haven’t touched it since then. I just started knitting again a few weeks ago and made a multi-colored “snail.” A friend of mine, Li, tought me my first few crochet stitches just last Wednesday, and since then I’ve gotten my own crochet hooks, a beginner’s book on crocheting (and one on knitting), and a variety of yarn. I’m currently working on a mini-purse.

Anyway, I know there are some knitters who read this (Megan!) and I was wondering if you had advice or want to share your current projects. I’m also curious about what other arts and crafts projects people have been working on — Andrew’s been wanting to get into making things with clay, but he’s just not sure if it’s really his thing and is trying to find something he’d enjoy…

7 Responses to “Arts & Crafts Rebirth — Knitting and Crocheting”

Let’s see, my current projects include a Merino wool scarf, slip-stitch mittens, a cardigan, and a cabled vest . . . will I ever finish any of them? It’s a question for the ages. 🙂

My advice would be to knit a “gauge swatch” if you’re doing a big project, like a sweater. It sucks, I hate them, but they’re really, really useful. I’ll only elaborate if asked to, since they’re boring to non-knitters. Also, make a swatch and then sit down with a more experienced knitter. Drop some stitches, knit a few more rows, and then learn how to pick up dropped stitches. This was really scary and hard for me to do, but with a crochet hook, dropped stitches aren’t scary. Also, the Addi Turbo needles really do make knitting go faster.

I also hand weave. I’m buying a loom this week! It’s super fun. It’s easier and faster than knitting. Also, you spend less on yarn, since there’s less take up. (Take up refers to the notion that in a given fiber art, like knitting, if you want to knit a row an inch long, it’ll take more than an inch of yarn to make that inch. Take up is ~10% in many weaving projects, but much higher in knitting). The equipment investment for weaving, however, is much higher than for knitting.

Incidentally, Teisha, if you ever have any specific questions, feel free to contact me. I love this hobby! 🙂

ShortSpeedFreak - January 31st, 2006 at 2:10 pm

HI. I am a big crafter but crocheting & knitting are new to me also. Crocheting is easier. And knitting well lets just say I’m trying. There is a whole world of bloggers out there that craft and they come up with some great ideas.
I also really like your theme, as I’m trying to switch to wordpress. I have a question about link dump loop. I was wondering how do I keep my full post up but only the title in the dump?

Gina L - February 4th, 2006 at 8:08 pm

First off– The sub-culture around knitting these days amazes me… Glad you, Shortspeedfreak, and Gina are having fun, Teisha. 🙂 Based on my (very) limited experience, I found crocheting easier.

You have a loom, Shortie? I’ll have to see you in action sometime.

Gina– A quick and easy way to get the effect you want in the linkdump would be to put the “more” tag (look at the buttons above the entry box when you’re writing a post) at the very beginning of your linkdump posts, before any words. Then, one the front page the linkdump will just show the title and a “(more)” link.

Paradoxdruid - February 4th, 2006 at 9:21 pm

I’ve heard some people say that knitting is easier than crocheting and vice versa. I think it may have to do with how you’re taught and/or how your brain is alread wired. 🙂 However, since I’ve not yet crocheted, I can’t speak from experience.

I have a new 8-harness baby wolf! It’s beautiful and still unweaved upon. However, I’ll be putting my first project on in the next few days. So happy!

ShortSpeedFreak - February 6th, 2006 at 11:12 am

An 8-harness baby wolf! I am envious! I have knitted off and on (mostly off) for years, and have 2 knitting machines (which are fun and do *not* detract from the process of knitting — it’s just a rather *different* process), but I have wanted to get into weaving for years…. Good with it!

Meg - February 24th, 2006 at 2:25 pm

Meg, that’s really cool. I’ve always wondered how knitting machines work. Most of the women I know are “afraid” of them and think they’re bad ideas. I like the sensation of hand knitting, but I bet the machines are cool, too.

If you want to get into weaving, I recommend taking a beginning weaving class at Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins in Boulder. They’re really wonderful there. There are other stores in Colorado that offer classes, but I’m not sure about any others in Boulder. I warn you though, it’s quite addictive.

I’ve gotten to projects off my loom! Now I’m going to make a baby blanket for friends who just welcomed their son (8 weeks early, or the blanket would’ve gotten here first!). Maybe I’ll post a picture of it when I’m done. 🙂

ShortSpeedFreak - February 27th, 2006 at 12:00 pm

I would love to see a picture posted of your loom in action…. Just took a hand-knitting “review” class today at Shuttles Spindles & Skeins (yes, I’ve known about them for years, and they’re a great source of coned yarn for machine knitters). It got me hand-knitting for 2 hours, which was good, but it really reinforced my desire to be *machine* knitting — faster, more time spent on design and color play, more room for experimentation within a limited knitting schedule. So, I’ve decided I *must* bring a knitting machine upstairs from the basement, to the main floor of our house where I’ll actually *use* it. The next class I’ll take at SS&S will probably be on ‘assembly’ of finished pieces — even machine knitters do most of that by hand!

Meg - March 20th, 2006 at 4:21 pm

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