Please take our poll! One question!

Question and challenge

How often do you make things for yourself?

I am, for the first time in over two years, currently making myself a hat. It’s not a gift. It’s so I can brush my hair less in order to spend more time crocheting.

How about you? Do you make things for yourself? If you don’t, I challenge you to do this – by the end of the month! I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

Can Crochet be fashionable? Discuss!

We have a SUPER interesting guest post for you this month! How many times have you experienced people turning their noses up at crochet because it’s “old-fashioned”? How often do people describe crochet as what grannies do? I personally have never made anything remotely grannified in my entire crocheting life! Omitting crochet from the fashion sphere means missing out on an entire area of creativity.

Meet Sarah from singularityware.wordpress.com. We spend a lot of time at her blog. She’s kinda gorgeous and creatively very clever, but not only that she is a fashion guru who loves crochet, and she’s got a word or two to say about it! We want to say a BIG THANK YOU for her work on this guest post and we encourage you to take at look at her blog – you won’t have seen anything like it! We guarantee you’ll be inspired and feel a renewed sense of creativity towards crochet. THANK YOU, SARAH!!!!

Here’s Sarah!

There is something incredibly soothing about crochet (even more so than knitting): the way your hook-hand moves backwards and and forwards and around falls into a rhythm. And yet to an outsider crochet conjures up images of doilies and granny square blankets hanging over chairs in old folks homes.

The message I want to get across is that crochet is incredibly fashionable! I will hold my hands up and say that I have made my fair share of granny squares and doilies in my time but as I got older and my interest in fashion blossomed so did my love of experimental crochet. Here I will just give a rundown of three big trends and how they work in crochet:

Crochet art graces the catwalks almost every season. There is something about crochet that shows craftsmanship and man hours and, while this means it adds expense to shop-bought or haute-couture garments, it is something you get for free when you make it yourself (well not exactly for free but the enjoyment of crochet is payment enough).

1. Geometric (less is more)
In the last couple of seasons squares have been a big player for instance in Rodarte Spring/Summer 2013 there was this lovely jumper.
 

 
So modern! But wait, it is just solid granny squares linked with metal links! It just makes me want to rush down to the nearest hardware store and grab some silver wire! Although it is not in crochet, the trend for squares continues in Louis Vuitton’s latest range (search Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2013), harking back to the 1960s. A copy of these dresses would just look fabulous in crochet.

It is not just squares but all geometric shapes that crochet really shows off well! For all budding pattern designers and fashionistas: keep your eyes on the catwalks and the high street shops for geometric shapes.

2. Punk
The punk look has been making a massive resurgence lately (I for one have been practically glued to my Doc Martens for the past 12 months) and crochet art fits right into this aesthetic!

In a recent clear-out of my cupboards I decided to transform some of my old T-shirts into yarn by cutting a one inch wide strip that spiralled around and around I managed to get approximately 30 metres out of one t-shirt. This is not only super stylish but also really eco-friendly! Waste-not, want-not!

3. Pretty in Pink
I know, I know, this is not really a crochet-specific style but hear me out! What way is better at creating flowers than crochet? The round and round motion just lends itself perfectly to all forms of embellishment and both florals and pinks are bang on trend at the moment. For this I refer back to the dress patterns of the 1960s and 1970s. I got a fabulous pattern for a 1960s minidress this spring and splashed out on some lovely cotton yarn for it.

P1000549-2
 
You can read more about the construction of this dress at my blog: http://singularityware.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/crochet-dress-completion/

So, feel inspired, crochet is always one of the most stylish options wherever you are!

~ Sarah
~ singularityware.wordpress.com

What to crochet for our blokes??

Everyone is getting a handmade present this Christmas whether they like it or not! :>

I expect you’re all like-minded?

But what will you make the men in your lives? I gave them all hats last year so I’d like to come up with something different.

If you have any ideas, would you share them with us in the comments? Link to your blogs and shops too, if relevant!

Results of our question about favourite hook size

I found it so interesting to watch everyone’s comments come in! It surprised me that everyone is basically within the same small range of hook size, all around the 4-5mm. I thought we’d see more 6mm and upwards, even perhaps the odd 12mm (which I have a soft spot for), but the range was very narrow indeed.

Fascinating!

So … Crochet or Knitting?

Our good friend Judit from MonsterYarns.co.uk is going to start you off:

So which came first – chicken or the egg? What has that to do with knitting or

Image From Kat Goldin Designs

crochet, I hear you wonder. Well, literally everything. Since the beginning of time man has been mulling over the chicken and egg question. And crafters have been debating the thorny issue of whether crochet or knitting is the superior art form for an equally long time. So in my mind, the two debates are inter-linked. When one answer is found, the other will magically also be answered. However, in the meanwhile, this is my take on it.

I shan’t try to teach any of you to suck eggs [haha] by stepping you through the obvious technical differences but a neat list of pros and cons I hope will start the yarn rolling nicely.

Crochet

  • There is one hook.
  • There is one live stitch.
  • There are half a dozen or so stitches to learn and if you want to get fancy, it’s easy to lose count of how many more you may need.
  • Crochet fabric comprises a series of “knots” (pretty ones of course) and on the whole is firm and bulky.
  • Eats yarn for breakfast.
  • Is incredibly versatile to make accessories, small items like hats, household items, rugs/throws, toys.
  • Crochet works up fast.
  • Freeform crochet is liberating – just turn the corner with your stitch and start hooking somewhere new.

Knitting

  • There are at least two needles but up to five DPNs if you’re being complicated.
  • There are as many live stitches as is required for your project width/length.
  • In the main, you really only need to learn two stitches.
  • Knitted fabric has v-shaped stitches and is smooth and pliant and stretchy.
  • Economic with yarn dependent on gauge.
  • Is incredibly versatile to make clothing, accessories like hats/gloves/socks. household items, rugs/throws, toys.
  • Knitting is most definitely slower than crochet but usually worth the wait.
  • Freeform knitting is harder to achieve – bit difficult being spontaneous when you have to cast off and cast on again/join stitches each time you want to change direction.

Well, that’s all very well but a careful examination of the list does not actually throw up a clear winner. And perhaps this is where it gets interesting. Most people I know who can both knit and crochet have a very clear preference and there are large groups of people who can only do one,  have tried for years and just can’t get their mind/fingers wrapped round the “rules” of the other or frankly can’t see the point.

Why? I don’t know. But early conditioning, as with everything, must have something to do with it. For instance historically crocheting has had some bad press – if you do a bit of digging, the term “hooker” does in fact originate from crafters using hooks who were so severely underpaid that they turned to other forms of earning to supplement their income. And originally crochet was used by the poor to recreate the eye-wateringly expensive laces of the rich. The art form is still suffering from the rather dowdy image of polyester brown/tan/orange Granny Square kaftans from the 70s. Come on, those of us who are old enough to remember, be honest. You do know someone in your family who had one of those! So some snooty crafters stuck to knitting and this was passed down unconsciously from generation to generation.

Conversely, those zany hookers who create freeform art in multicolours rather pity the more  limiting and laborious form of knitting. All that knit, knit, knit, purl, purl, purl in straight lines! What’s that all about?

And in case I still have your attention and interest, I can honestly say that I love both and rather rarely for me, sit on the fence of indecision as to which one is better. Because I don’t think that’s how you should look at it. I think each has its own virtues. However I can say that rather inexplicably, I do always feel more light-hearted when I crochet.

What do you think?