Play Nice!

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Play Nice!

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Writer/illustrator/knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column on the life of a yarn crafter.

I was at a yarn shop a few weeks ago, troubleshooting a thumb gusset in the company of those who understand the importance of good thumb gussets, when the topic of steeks came up.

A steek, in case you haven’t run across the term before, is an opening cut into a piece of hand-knit fabric. There are many ways to create one, but they all end by taking scissors to your knitting. Snip! It gives some knitters the shakes to even contemplate this. It shouldn’t, but it does.

That’s not what I want to write about today.

I mentioned to the group that I’ve launched a class in which the students cut steeks, then sew zippers into the openings. Zipper installation is another thing that gives some knitters the shakes. It shouldn’t, but it does.

That’s also not what I want to write about today.

“I’d take that class,” said one of the junior knitters at the table. There was a murmur of agreement from the other junior knitters. The most junior shook her head. “I’d like to,” she said. “But I’m not good with a sewing machine.”

“You don’t need a sewing machine,” I said. “In my class we use crochet to secure the edges.”

“Forget it,” said the least junior knitter. “I don’t crochet.”

“It’s only basic crochet,” I said. “Even if you haven’t done it before, you can pick this up in sixty seconds.”

“No,” she said, under a slightly curled lip. “I don’t touch crochet hooks. Ever.”

Several of the others–junior and senior–echoed her. No hooks. No hooks ever. Well, maybe to pick up dropped stitches. Never to crochet.

“I don’t crochet,” she said. “I’m a knitter!”

That’s what I want to write about today.

Play Nice! An essay by Franklin Habit for Lion Brand

Certain rivalries make sense. Certain things don’t mix. Yale and Harvard, Capulets and Montagues, coyotes and roadrunners.

But knitting and crochet? Why should these be kept apart?

It seems that everywhere I travel–and I spend most of my time on the road, ministering to yarn addicts–I run into knitters who openly hate hooks and hookers who reject knitting with an almost religious zeal.

It wasn’t always so, if the pattern books produced before the second World War are any indication. Many of these publications–including Lion Brand’s own Lion Yarn Book from 1916–offered patterns that mixed knitting and crochet together. I don’t mean just on the same page, I mean in the same project. The editorial assumption seems to have been that if you knew how to do one, you probably had–or would be willing to acquire–a passing familiarity with the other.

It makes sense. Crocheted fabric has certain strengths, knitted fabric has others. Why not use each where it will do the most good? Heck, why not use both for the sheer beauty of the contrast? If you put a pretty crochet lace collar on a sweet knitted cardigan, will the finished product explode?

You’d think so, based on some of the talk I hear.

I have a friend, an otherwise reasonable woman, who once spent three weeks knitting and ripping and re-knitting facings for the front of a cardigan that drooped like an untended houseplant. She could have spent ten minutes shoring up the same edges more effectively with two rows of single crochet, but she refused to do this on the grounds of Textile Purity.

And then there was the time I pitched an idea to a well-known crochet magazine for a piece about a hybrid pattern, written in the 1880s, that was ninety percent crochet with the balance in very simple knitting. The editor declined with regret, explaining that she had once before let a few rows of knit and purl into her publication–and it took months to answer the subscriber mail calling for her head on a doily.

When the present Great Divide began, and why, is something I haven’t been able to determine. I always ask the zealots why they feel as they do, with the hope that one day I can promote a reconciliation through understanding.

In summary:

Among the knitters, there seems to be a strong conviction that crochet hooks can only turn out three things: novelty toilet roll covers, lumpy afghans, and sweaters too stiff or heavy to wear.

Among the crocheters, there seems to be an impression that somehow learning to knit means giving in.

If I might address both groups at once, please: You’re talking crazy.

I’m not saying you must grow to love both equally. Life is short, yarn is long. Play with it however best pleases you. But do please consider, at least for a moment, that the folks on the other side of the imaginary minefield may have something useful and lovely to share with you. It won’t hurt to take a peek.


Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008–now in its third printing) and proprietor of The Panopticon (, one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.

Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue KnittingYarn Market NewsInterweave KnitsInterweave CrochetPieceWorkCast On: A Podcast for KnittersTwist Collective, and a regular column on historic knitting patterns for

These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with an Ashford spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.

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  • I knit AND crochet and I like both. Am I weird? If so, I’m proud.

    • I want to too so I guess ill be weird too.

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  • I crochet (learned this first) and recently learned how to knit. LOVE both. Guess I’m just crazy. Oh well….I’m OK with that.
    I have been to a Local Yarn shop that discriminates against crocheters. (No longer in business) I have only been there ONCE. I think if you are in the business to sell yarn then what someone is doing with that yarn is their business.

    • That exact same thing happened to me. I think this particular shop is still in business because it’s physically connected to a sewing machine repair shop. She lost a pretty good sale the day she treated me like I was something stuck to the bottom of her shoe. I’m a former crocheter. Never could learn how to knit, although I tried many, many times to learn.


      • My grandmother tried to teach me to crochet when I was young, I *liked* it, but couldn’t wrap my head around patterns. A bout of sibling rivalry caused me to teach myself to knit, and suddenly *all* patterns made sense! Now I happily do both. Sometimes to the same project. I’m a proud bistitchual!

  • I crochet and knit. I incorporate the two together a lot. Love them both equally.

  • I crochet, and am currently learning to knit. I must say that I have found something to enjoy, and something to detest, in each craft. I do not understand the disdain so many knitters seem to feel for crochet, but then, that is their problem…not mine. 🙂

    • I agree…for goodness sake, yarn folks, lighten up! Why can’t people just embrace the fact that we all enjoy handling beautiful yarn and creating something special out of it?

      • I learned to knit when I was 4 (from my grandmother) and learned to crochet when I was 13 (from a book). I like knitting better than crochet but I do both. I also can knit and watch TV but can’t do both when I crochet. And I agree, yarn is yarn and if someone can make something beautiful out of it, JUST LET THEM! In my home you will find both knitting and crocheting and I am proud to be able to do both.

        • I am the same way. In fact it is really, really hard for me to watch TV without a knitting project in my hands. Maybe TV is just really that unsatisfying, or maybe really nice yarn is just so much more so.

  • I originally learned how to knit. But then I took more classes that taught me to crochet. And I am sure if I picked up the knitting needles again I could do it. But for me I am just a bit more comfortable with one hook. I have gone to certain yarn specialty stores that once learning I *gasp* crochet was treated a little rudely. I don’t shop there any more. I do agree though there is no need to hate on each other. What we make is beautiful and it takes skill whether you are using a crochet hook or knitting needles.

  • My preference for knitting, thought I do crochet occasionally, is that I can do it without looking, can watch an entire TV show and not miss a single stitch or scene. Can’t do that with crochet as I have to watch when the needle goes in to the row before. Not as relaxing, either, but not totally dismissed by me.

    • I too like both, but like you, I can knit and watch tv at the same time.

    • Same here, Babs, only reversed. I can crochet without looking and find it more relaxing, especially when ripping out. I’ve been crocheting for 40 years but knitting for only 10.

      • My friends mother was declared legally blind. She could make out images enough to watch a tv show but could not see detail so she would sit in front of her tv all day and knit…God bless her soul!!!

        • So it is possible to be blind and knit. I have suspected this for a while. I have a friend who is blind and I really want to teach him to knit!

          • I knit in the dark and with my eyes closed when I want to rest them. As long as the pattern is memorized and he trains his figures to ‘read” your knitting he should be fine.

          • Check out The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (It’s part of The Little House on the Prairie series.) Her blind sister knits lace. I was impressed! (As I recall, she had been taught to do this as some sort of vocational therapy? It’s been so long since I read the book!)

          • Hi Chelli, it definitely is! We’ve worked with blind knitter Davey Hulse in the past, and while we no longer carry his braille-ready book, you can still purchase it directly from him:

            It has great instructions for blind and low-vision people interested in knitting!

        • My Grandmother taught me to crochet before I could ride a bike. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to crochet. I did not learn to knit until about 3 years ago… 30 years after I learned to crochet. My grandmother spent most of the last 10 years of her life blind. She would sit in the brightly lit living room with the TV blaring (she was mostly deaf too) The Price is Right and daytime soaps and crochet a mile a minute with a hook so small I wondered how she could pick up the thread. The round pineapple table tablecloth that is my prized possession was finished AFTER she was completely blind. It exactly matches the one that she made for my mother for her wedding day down to the gauge, stitch and when we get together to carefully block them out, we can block them at the same time because they are so perfectly matched. She shared her joy and pleasure in creating beautiful pieces with everyone she taught and made items for.

          I have been to at least 2 of the local yarn shops and been subjected to outright hostility at one and a less than friendly “reminder” at the other one – please purchase what you would like but please don’t talk about how you’re going to use it in a “clunky pattern that involves a hook”… wow… needless to say, I didn’t return with the students my middle school yarn arts group to either one.

  • I crochet and have learned basic knitting, but vastly prefer crochet. The reason why? I have a hard time coordinating both hands to hold needles and use both of them in any consistent way.
    Doesn’t mean that I hate knitting, just that I know I am not good at it.

    • I also dislike using two knitting needles, so I now use long cable needles. They aren’t just for circular work, you just turn them like straight needles. Plus, the points are shorter and I can hold the tips with one hand while I flip the yarn over the tip with the other – no dropped stitches! And the cable holds my work right in my lap. Don’t give up, knitting is very rewarding. Give it a try, you may find it works for you. Good luck.

  • I do both and teach both. There are items I prefer in knitting and others that I prefer in crochet. Don’t understand the snobbery with knitters, I too have run across it.

  • i crocheted for ten years before i picked up knitting needles. It was such a weird feeling that i quit twice before i mad a decision to stick it out. Im so glad that i now know both. I love both techniques but when im in a time crunch i def still go to crochet,

  • learn to crochet when I was 6 to keep me busy and out of my mothers yarn. Learn to knit when I was 8. love both and to do both in one piece sounds great. I really must be crazy.

  • I learned to crochet when I was 8 and learned to knit when I was 13. I will admit wholeheartedly that learning to work with different tools to produce something similar, slowly and clumsily with slower results wasn’t appealing at first. I got frustrated and gave up until three years later. I think the problem that happens a lot is that we get an image stuck in our heads of what we can do and how well we can do it, and then transitioning to another method is like re-learning from the beginning and it doesn’t feel right.
    I now knit and crochet avidly. I take scrap yarn and make baby blankets for the local NICU. Because I don’t have much choice in my materials (People donate their leftovers) I express my creativity with my method of creation. Some blankets require knitting because I don’t have as much yarn to make crocheting work. Some blankets get crocheted edges because I’m lazy and default still to my original methods. And some are experiments in crochet that go strangely well for what my imagination comes up with. I’ve mixed it all and I love doing it, but I can understand being hesitant towards being bi-lingual in yarncraft. Feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing is always terrifying, and it’s even worse when you KNOW what you’re doing if you just pick up a different tool to do the same thing.

    • I can read a knitting pattern and know exactly what is needed, but I don’t yet “speak” crochet fluently. They are different languages, but I like a challenge.

  • Ugh, these folks would DIE at my SNB group — we are the most welcoming group for all fiber lovers — knit, crochet, spin away my friends! I’ve left numerous knitting groups that were snobs about crochet, and vice versa. Life is too short to not embrace and support each others’ creative endeavors (says one who happily knits and crochets).

  • People are odd. I knit more than I crochet, but I know how to do both; they each have their strong and weak points, and both make beautiful items.

  • I am a crocheter, have been since I was 12 (self-taught). I can remember my Nana letting me play with her knitting needles as a little bitty thing. I have TRIED and TRIED to pick up knitting, and I guess my hands are just used to one hook and have no clue what to do with two needles #shrug. Love pieces I’ve seen that feature both 🙂

    • I had a hard time learning to knit after crocheting since childhood. A lady chatting with me in a coffee shop while I was crocheting a baby blanket suggested trying Norwegian/Continental style knitting instead of English style knitting. I youtubed some videos, and voila! I can now knit!

    • I, too, am a crocheter who has tried to learn to knit mulitple times. I have the additional “handicap” of being lefthanded. I’ve even had other lefthanders try to teach me. Though I picked up the basics, I’ve never really become a knitter. Instead, I’ve learned to make crochet that is soft and drapey, and fun to wear. Besides, crochet is so much easier to frog than knitting.

      • You might try learning to knit by looking in a mirror or by facing your right-handed instructor and make the same movements in a ‘mirror like’ fashion. Try holding your yarn in the same way as if you were crocheting (which would make it more like the Continental knit style) and you should be able to pick it up without too much difficulty. And yes, crochet is faster to do for many folks and frogging is much easier in crochet. Good luck!

      • You also could try Andrea Wong’s style of Portuguese Knitting. It is very unusual but very easy once you learn it. It is much more for a “lefty”. I am right handed but I still love it. I am a knitter but want so desperately want to crochet. I have tried a couple of times but you know once your brain learns that repetition of a certain thing, that thing just kind of takes over and to learn a new thing is harder than going back to what you already know. Still I haven’t given up and will try again. There are so many things you can do with crochet that you cannot do with knitting. I am certainly not a snob about either … and not about technique in knitting. I’m just happy crafting!! 🙂

      • Susan Bates has a learn-how book, one for crochet and one for knit. It is the only learn-how book I was able to follow, and it includes instructions for both right- and left-handed stitchers. I highly recommend it. I suppose it’s still in publication. I learned to crochet before I learned to knit, and was glad I did. I had more trouble learning to knit, and was glad that I already knew how to read patterns so I didn’t have to learn to read patterns while I was learning to knit. I had no problem transitioning from reading crochet to knit. Other than knowing the stitches, I find it pretty much the same.

  • I think that this is purely American in nature. I could be wrong, but that tends to be where this attitude comes from most of the time. There is also a tendency to class Knitting as “beautiful wearable art / expensive” and Crochet as “handmade craft / cheap” which is very frustrating to try countering because once this falsehood shows its head people tend to revert to the stage of l’enfant terrible.

    I both knit and crochet and have not yet put them together in one project, but I have always been open to the possibilities.

    • I like what Yarn Harlot points out about crochet (even though she professes to dislike it, she’s at least fair about it!) – no one has ever been able to make a machine that can crochet. Unlike with knitting, where the vast majority of knitwear is machine-made, every single piece of crochet in existence – all the crocheted collars, shirts, embellishments, dresses, lace, tablecloths, afghans, etc, in mass retail and in small craft-shops – has been made by human hands. That is just amazing to me – but it also explains why knit items are so much more available. It makes it harder to understand, though, why crocheted items aren’t valued more since they are more rare and ALWAYS 100% handmade! (I will say, though, I do both knitting and crochet and it does seem like a lot of the published crochet patterns out there are outdated and consist largely of toilet-paper cozies and doilies… but knitted patterns are the same way, there are just more of them so it’s not as noticeable!)

      • Look for Lily Chin. Absolutely beautiful crochet, with different sizes yarn (not all worsted), very drapey. I made a long duster for my daughter from one of her patterns, and she gets compliments every time she wears it.

        • Also Doris Chan. I love her crochet patterns! Not at all ‘crafty’. Obviously I crochet but want to learn how to knit. It’s just that my left hand is stupid and can’t figure out how to hold the needle! LOL

          • Second both of the above, also some beautiful patterns from Robyn Chachula, Kristin Omdahl, Amy O’Neill Houck and Julia Vaconsin

      • I’ve been knitting for many years and simply didn’t much like any of the crochet patterns I saw. And then I ran into the happypotomus. My beginning crochet class starts a week from today. While it will probably not get me completely up to speed for that pattern, it should be close enough that i can figure it out from there. I like learning new stuff, and am willing to do a practice one first.

        To me, knitting seems to be intrinsically rectangular and you move away from the rectangular with increases and decreases. Crochet seems intrinsically circular, so you put adjacent pieces together to make a rectangular surface–or do one of the more unusual stitches–I’ve seen a few that look like knitting.

        • Actually, as near as I can tell — and I’ve been crocheting for 40 years — crochet isn’t intrinsically rectangular OR circular. It’s easy to start with a straight line of chain stitches and build on them to make a square or rectangular piece. I’ve taken up knooking (knitting with a crochet hook) over the past year or so, and I admit I did find an odd difference when doing hats. In crochet, it’s most natural to start a hat at the top of the crown and work downward, while with knitting it’s most natural to start at the bottom and work up, decreasing toward the top of the crown.

    • When I picture crochet patterns in my mind, most of them are either delicate little doily-style projects, or they are quick-finish and look cheap, usually made out of Red Heart Super Saver. When I picture knitting patterns, I imagine expensive luxury yarns. This dichotomy, however untrue, may be near the source of the great divide between the two techniques. Personally, I knit and crochet, switching between them freely as it suits the structure of the project I’m creating. I find it liberating to not be limited by one technique. And nothing beats crocheted edgings on knit projects.

      • I have actually found a great use for that Red Heart Super Saver stuff. Slipper bottoms! That stuff lasts forever and you can wash it a million times.

    • I have a friend who does filet (I think that is how you spell it) crochet and anyone who classifies that as a cheap handmade craft is just an idiot!

      • One year during Lent I gave up all pleasure reading and TV viewing and made a beautiful filet (yes, you spelled it right) crochet wall hanging of Jesus praying in the garden. It was probably about 36-40 inches wide and 30-36 inches high. I presented it as a gift to my church and on Easter Sunday, the pastor dedicated it and hung it in the sanctuary on the back wall, right in line with the pulpit. It brought tears to my eyes every time I saw it hanging there, knowing that every time Pastor stood at the pulpit delivering his sermon, he was looking at my work of love.

  • I knit (learned first) and crochet. I use them for totally different projects, but I think they are complementary arts. Never understood why people don’t learn both techniques, for me doesn’t make any sense.

  • My Grandmother taught me to crochet when I was young. It is my favorite craft. I have taken knitting classes and have made a sweater and a scarf. I prefer to crochet. I have nerve damage in my left arm and it is hard for me to handle the needles and the weight of the project now. I do like the look of knitted clothing more then crochet.

    • Patti: My cousin had the same problem until I suggested she try circular ( needles with a cable) needles. The weight rests on the cable instead of the needles. and the shorter length of the needles in relation to the cable make them easier to handle. Maybe this will work for you too. I wish you the best.

    • if you learned to knit in the continental style you’d only need to hold the left hand needle still and move the right hand; I knit in that style and only knit socks in fingering yarn due to the loss of cartilage under my right thumb. anything heavier or with a larger needle is too much anymore.

      • I have tendon damage in my left hand and have trouble with the really tiny needles. I may have to give continental style a try. Didn’t think of that before. Thanks!

        • Continental style knitting is so much easier in many aspects. You hold the yarn in the same way as if you were crocheting but pick it up with the needle tip instead of a hook. I would recommend it to anyone who is having difficulty learning/making knit stitches. I do both knit and crochet, mostly self taught. Though I prefer to knit, I make almost as many crochet items as I do knit. I have tried to hold my crochet hook like a pencil but by the third stitch it nearly always magically switches to the knife hold. No matter what way I hold my chosen tool, the yarn hold is never changed. Working with the yarn and tools in a continental style makes for minimal and relaxed movements, which is less stressful on your body from the shoulders to fingertips. Try it and you may find you can do more without hurting! 8)

    • Have you tried knooking? I couldn’t make my left hand figure out the needles but I wanted to knit, so I gave it a shot. I enjoy it and love that you can easily swap between knitting and crocheting.

  • I’m open to both. I knit more than crochet and not the best with hooks so I just call myself a “yarn manipulator”.

  • While I don’t have the desire or patience to really learn crochet, I’m capable enough to do something like a simple border on a knit item. I’ve found I can’t really “feel” crochet stitches the way I can knit ones. I tried starting an afghan once and I was almost bored to tears from only being able to look at my work, and not the tv or out the car window. Props to those who can though!

  • I started off with crochet, and learned to knit soon after. I burned out on crochet after several friends requested crocheted afghans as wedding presents, within the same year, and I haven’t gone back to it. But that’s mainly because I’ve acquired more knitting patterns I want to make than I’ll ever have time to make!

    • I have the same problem. So many awesome pattern and beautiful yarn, so very little time.

  • I both knit and crochet. Actually, I originally learned to crochet because there was a knitting pattern I was attempting that had a bit of crochet in . This really intrigued me and I had to learn more. I’m so glad that I did!

  • I learned to crochet 1st & learned to knit 4 years later. But I was really a crocheter most of the time only because it was faster and what I learned to do first. But I always felt that knitters thought of us crocheters as their “poor cousins” … with our crocheted aprons and bathroom accesaries I guess. But years later when I developed the desire and pleasure of “slowing down” and really got serious about knitting, I found out that most knitters didn’t really dislike the crocheter … but that they were jealous of the one who could crochet. And envious of someone who could do both. So now I know I’m so lucky that I know both … by crocheting for over 45 years and now seriously knitting the past 12 years I never reject a project because it has one or the other or both techniques.

  • I’d love to find some patterns with both knitting and crocheting combined. Any ideas where I can find some?

  • I taught myself to crochet first because I figured it would be easier to to manage one hook over two needles. Later I taught myself to knit and was able to knit the bodice of my wedding dress including working with beads that were prestrung on the thread. I always said, “I can knit, but I prefer crochet.” No longer true. I like them both, but currently I think I lean to knitting. However, I have a project of each type going on right now. In fact, the “knitted project” actually includes both skills. Face it, I love them both.

  • I guess I am guilty of textile impurity. I made a cozy for my French press to keep the coffee warm. I started out by making a round coaster for the base and then built up the sides with knitting. I do know that it is possible to knit some thing round with DP needles or using the magic loop method, but, honestly, don’t you think that crochet is easier to use to make this coaster? To make it with knitting and to get the same thickness I would have needed to double knit it (and I have no idea how that would have gone). So, for me it made the project a lot easier and it came out just how I wanted it.

    • OMG!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for that idea! I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to start a baby blanket with dpn’s & 5 stitches. Never would have thought of doing that.

    • I make little purses using the same theory, only upside-down. The crochet makes a very stable base, while the circular knitting forms more delicate sides. Either knitting or crochet works for a lacy little edging, and a knit I-cord or ribbon works well for cinching it closed and forming the strap.

  • I must be crazy too. I crochet left handed and knit right handed but highly enjoy both. I feel sorry for people who only choose to learn one thing in life.

    • I’m like you! It keeps the yarn always in your right hand, could not get over the weirdness of yarn in my left hand to crochet

      • I learned knitting and crochet from the same lady and luckily she knit continental-style, so I learned with the yarn in my left hand (even though I’m right-handed) for both crafts – I think it really helped since I was learning both at once. I had to teach myself English-style knitting so I could do colorwork projects with the yarn in both hands at once and having to control yarn with my right hand felt like learning to write with my toes! I imagine that must be what learning to crochet is like for English-style knitters – very awkward!

  • i would love to knit, but have not taken the time to learn, and I do crochet, but would love to take more time to learn more. I am an amature at best, but I do try.

  • I knit and crochet as well – learned to crochet and was enchanted with many of the things you could do with knitting – unfortunately, it was several years before I could really learn to knit – it is incredibly silly to discriminate on the basis of whether you knit, crochet, or use macrame techniques with your yarn. I must admit – the idea of steeks in my work does bother me.

  • Well how about weavers, what kind of prejudice is this lol. Some people are lookng for differences instead of looking for common things, Crochet and knit and weaving are ways of creating fabric. Not everyone can knit or crochet or weave. I think is Silly.

  • I crochet much better than I knit, but I love the look of both. I do understand your reference of the dividedness, having one time visited a lovely yarn shop. All the yarn was beautiful and yes, fairly expensive. I was passing by and didn’t have any money with which to procure any yarn – at that time, but I wanted to return (with money). That is, until I spoke with what appeared to be the owner. She practically snorted at me when I mentioned crocheting. I left feeling very unwelcome in her establishment, apparently money that touched my crocheting hands wasn’t good enough for her. .I have since made an effort to visit many other yarn shops to see the reaction of crocheting vs knitting – Yes, I have made purchases of wonderful yarns, but only AFTER I felt welcome discussing crocheting.

  • Thank you- I have been trying to explain the advantages of doing both for years- I NEVER understood the problem.

  • I think, if you learn how to crochet first, you can feel very marginalized. There are so many products aimed at knitters (fun sayings on bags etc), so many more knitting patterns on Ravelry, so many knitters (even LYS owners!) that think that crocheting is inferior. Who wants to join that snotty club?
    Except that, after 2 years of crochet, I was tired of passing up beautiful knit patterns just because I refused to learn. I started to knit a month ago and I’m glad I did. I don’t think either is ‘better’ than the other, and I wish everyone would give both a chance!
    Being Bicraftual is the best of both worlds!!! Now I can make All The Things!

  • I do both and while I knit 95% of the time, occasionally a project just calls out to be crocheted – or a knit project needs a crochet trim to finish it off. I just knit a few dishcloths for my 86 year old Dad, and was a bit short on yarn for the last one. So I knit a smaller cloth, then used a complimentary color to double crochet around the edges – worked out great !

  • Personally, as a knitter and crocheter I’d love to find more patterns that combine knitting and crocheting. Maybe a we need a new magazine that highlights items that are both knitted and crocheted!

    • You should borrow or buy russian or ukrainian magazines. Oh boy are they talented and affraid of no techniques. They often have mixed projects, and even if you don’t read the language the charts are easily understandable.

      As for me, I learnt both at the same time from a big encyclopedia my mother owned when I was a child (I was voracious and just read them all – wished I still had the focusing skills) and snce then I have phases where I prefer one over the other. It’s currently crochet because I feel there is more to explore as most patterns don’t use the potential of crochet with the same depth they do with knitting. It’s changing step by step, with people like Aoibhe Ni, but it’s slow

  • I am a fan of both knit and crochet. Which one I choose depends on several criteria, including time limit and where I will be working on the project. I prefer knitting when away from home, simply because I have a tendency to drop things, and I always use circular needles. I’ve dropped enough straight needles and crochet hooks under the bleachers at my kids’ baseball games to know that circulars are best. If I drop the empty side when turning my work, it won’t go anywhere, because I’m holding on to the other end!

  • I first learned to crochet and made some very lovely afghans, I love making big popcorn bubbles and lacy designs in squares and sewing them together. It’s fun, it’s interesting and you don’t get bored too easily because the pattern is intricate. Then I taught myself to knit. I love it too. I love making scarves and hats and mittens. I love making toys with my knit stitches and giving them to the children I love. I do both. I think the “purists” are just afraid of trying something new and not being good at and/or are snobs. I would never make a knit afghan, no way, no how. I look at the patterns and think that there is no way they’d be fun to do. Give me a granny square any day. I have a crochet project in my bag with me right now and a knit one on needles at home and it feels right to me. Go ahead you “purists” limit yourself to one method and give yourself limits. I will be happily creating in whatever method I so choose. By the way, I also have a loom.

  • I knit and crochet. Love doing both and have used crochet techniques in my knitting. I collect knitting and crochet hooks too.

  • I learned to knit when I was 4 and it will always be my passion. I taught myself to crochet when I was 12 and soon enjoyed all it had to offer. Together or separate, both techniques bring my creative energies to the forefront. Get along out there, people!

  • I do both (learned to crochet first) I love both as well, call me crazy

  • I taught myself to crochet 10 years ago. I feared the knitting needles. Got tired of being cranky when a pattern was knit and NOT crochet. So I taught myself to knit. Love both for what they do.

  • Thank you for the article! Never did understand why the great divide. I do both, one better than the other. I went into a LYS and when the owner found out that I also crochet, I was pretty much ignored while I was in the store. Needless to say I have not been back to that LYS, and neither have I recommended it. And regretfully too, I have found that it is more the knitters that look down on the crocheters. “Life is short, yarn is long.” May I use this as my new motto? LoL!

  • I do both. I used to mostly crochet because I could do it so much faster. Then I learned continental knitting which is a lot easier for me than regular knitting so now I knit and crochet equally.

  • I first learned to crochet, and did only that for a few years (only because I didn’t know how to knit) then I learned to knit and loved it. Now I do both and love them equally and differently. I crochet all my bags, and knit all my scarves. I knit and crochet hats, and I sometimes crochet on my knit projects. I love them both!

  • I’m happily bistitchual 🙂

  • I learned to knit from an aunt when I was 10 years old. There was a language barrier. I knitted a few small things. Stopped in my teens and got married. I got comfortable and started knitting again. Then I taught myself to crochet, making a few blankets. I am now a very avid knitter. It is very relaxing. So I knit more than I crochet. Both are beautiful.

  • No wonder there are wars in this world…..

  • I was taught to crochet by my mother and much later I taught myself to knit. I heartily endorse both crafts. I guess you could call me a hybrid.

  • I have a philosophy about this: I knit what should be knit, and I crochet what should be crocheted. I don’t think I would ever crochet a pair of socks, but I much prefer to crochet blankets or little flowers (no curling and it goes faster).

    The funny thing is, I have used this knit/crochet rivalry as an example at work, where people get into the same argument over statistical software: Stata and R. Just like yarn crafting, something things are much easier in one, and some in the other.

    So whether it is yarn or software, get over it and learn both… the world of what you can create explodes!

  • I think part of it is as a crocheter you feel (mostly by people who don’t knit or crochet) like a second class citizen. Whenever I’m crocheting a piece they automatically say “oh what are you knitting???” I have to explain that I’ve never learned how to knit – if I ever did and end up w/ knitting needles like I have hooks my hubby’d probably have a cow. But on the flip side my mom knits and doesn’t crochet (I was taught by my mother-in-law) she knows how to chain stitch for crochet and uses that in a lot of her knitting but feels crochet it too complicated. Yet one of her best friends and her step-granddaughter knit and crochet and have offered to show her how to crochet.

  • Then to top it off there are the people that will only work with wool (I m allergic) Between the two “judgements” It just makes me so sad. It is supposed to be fun.

  • I love this. I have just recently done a little bit of crochet. I did take your Snip-n-Zip class at DFW Fiber Fest. My memories of crochet was all granny squares, aka, my mother did a lot of those things. But I have learned that it can be that, but it can be so much more. How relieving to know that. And I learned to crochet as a child, but not much more than single crochet. But now I am not afraid to mix the two crafts. Thanks for keeping attention to the fact that this Great Divide is not really fortuitous for crafters of any sort.

  • I like to mix knitting and crochet: my latest project involves a crocheted bottom (it’s sturdier) where I picked up the sides on dpns to finish in the round. (It’s a case to hold index cards, I’m a novelist.) I’ll be crocheting the top flap, as well – it will stand up to wear. Not to mention that the contrast in texture is pleasant. My first foray into socks, I stared down at the instructions to turn a heel – and then I crocheted the heel. Socks are totally wearable. Heel took like 10 minutes. And I rarely sew anything I knit or crochet – sc takes care of putting it together and I can set it down without anyone cutting themselves!

    • “My first foray into socks, I stared down at the instructions to turn a heel – and then I crocheted the heel.”

      Clever you, thinking outside the box–or maybe I should say heel. I’ll bet it made a sturdy heel too.

  • I am a self taught crocheter, learned with mostly books and a few videos.
    I love crochet!! Knitting on the other hand, I cant quite get the
    hang of except for the garter stitch. I’m lost with the purl and all
    the other stitches. Someday I want to go back and try again with the
    knitting, maybe it will “click” by then for me. But until then, I’m a
    Hooker and proud of it!! LOL!

  • I knit for awhile, then crochet and then needlepoint, etc. Variety is the spice of life. Why limited yourself to one craft?

  • I learned to crochet when I was 7 and always wanted to learn to knit. Finally learned when I was 34. Love them and use them both regularly. I really don’t understand the animosity. At my LYS there were several ladies who were diehard crocheters, but finally decided to try knitting. They love it. And several who only knit and tried crochet and love it. I think pretty much all of us now do both. It’s the love of the fiber that matters, not how you stitch it together.

  • crazy talk! Next you’ll be saying that a pc user can love macs and vice versa!

  • I plan to open a crochet friendly yarn shop in a few years. While I love knitted items, I have found most yarn shops look down upon crochet.

  • um, I love both. Both have their perfect uses. Combining in a garment can be quite stunning, and nothing beats crochet edging to stabilize a stockinette stitch baby blanket.

  • I found both later in life. I love both equally, however I can no longer knit because it exasperates my hand neuropathy far too quickly. It saddens me. I think all the time how great it would be to make something with combined knitting and crocheting. Sometimes I really want to make something that I feel would look better knitted, then I have to decide if I should forgo it or try to create it with crochet. I have seen the disdain for crochet from knitters and don’t get it. Sometimes I feel shunned because all I can ever find are knitting groups. How about “for the love of yarn” groups? That would be great 🙂

    • There are ‘snobs’ everywhere and it’s too bad for them, because they truly don’t know what they’re missing. I belong to a wonderful group (mostly women, plus some men, and a few craft ‘snobs’) that started out calling itself a ‘knitting’ group…. but it’s now called a ‘stitchers’ group because we all have our individual and varied talents. Some knit, some crochet, some weave, some loom, some sew, some embroider, some do cross-stitch, some quilt, etc, and many do more than one of the above. We share our fiber-craft talents (with each other and anyone else interested in learning) by creating beautiful items for those in need of comfort … free to the recipients. I love fiber crafts of all types and if I don’t already know how to do it, I would like to learn. Next on my list: learning to spin.

  • I learned how to knit first and am self taught, then I learned how to crochet by my grandmother, who also did both. They both have good things about them and no one should ever scorn either one of these crafts. I have at some points in my life knit a sweater and put a lacy crocheted collar on it and visa versa. I love doing both. Right now it is more knitting but I will do some crocheting in the summer months as well.

  • I’m a knitter and yet so far this year I have only worked on crochet projects. I actually like to crochet, but I HATE HATE HATE written crochet patterns. They are too wordy and make my eyes hurt. I would be 100% times more likely to give a crochet pattern a go if it is accompanied by charts. (obviously I am a visual learner) My only other complaint about crochet is that it is not easy to fix fatal errors. You must bravely rip it out, even if it means re reading that convoluted pattern for another week.
    All that aside, I would love to see more hybrid patterns.

    • Fortunately, crochet symbol charts only continue to appear in more and more publications

  • I knit and crochet, and I love both. Also, I never crochet things for the bathroom – they collect dust and are unsanitary.

  • Huzzah and Bravo! I was fortunate to have learned to do both knitting and crochet around about the same time. Though my crochet skills are minimal, I know enough to put on a nice edging on a simple shawl if I choose. And I crocheted a hat or two and they’re ridiculously simple and lovely. I never understood the dichotomy either. Crocheters would tell me “I can’t knit”, and knitters would say “I can’t crochet”. My response: “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”

    • Great response to those of us who are limited to one form of yarn work. It makes me want to try to learn knitting one more time.

      • Sue, if you crochet, try to learn knitting the ‘continental’ way because you would hold the yarn in the same hand and in the same way as you do when you crochet. All movements are minimal and smooth. Just be patient with yourself and you may be surprised at how quickly you catch on to this new skill. Good Luck!

  • I started knitting and then learned crocheting this year, along with cross stitch for the past 20 years…I prefer knitting for blankets and crocheting for smaller pieces to put together. much more variety in crochet. I find crochet easier to put down and pick back up, knitting you HAVE to finish the row!

  • “Life is short, yarn is long” – what a great quote! I’m a long-time crocheter who finally learned to knit just over a year ago, and I love both.

  • I learned both at first, enjoying them equally, but now I much prefer knitting. However, I’ve seen many patterns mix, either with a simple crochet edging, that is not a problem for me, or where each stands out.
    Last night at my LYS our resident crochet ‘queen’ taught someone how to crochet the elastic onto her skirt, it was great!

  • I so appreciate Franklin’s ability to fluidly and beautifully shepherd conflicting points of view into a compelling picture. Yes, agreed, the fervor with which needle-holders fight for their preference is silly as can be. Let’s give it up, shall we, and use the tool that suits the job best?

  • I learned to crochet first then I learned to knit. Why Crochet before knitting?As preschooler, my grandmother taught me to be busy at crocheting for quiet time while my mother nursed my baby sister. With this idea from grandmother who crochets and knits, she felt having a crochet needle in my little hands was safer than the knitting needle until I got little older and understand that I cannot run with my knitting needles, I learned to knit. Love doing both. Concentration is more in need on knitting than crocheting for me. But both hobbies are my meditation to my spiritual needs.

  • I love doing both and I make wonderful gifts for friends and family.

  • I learned to crochet as an adult and love it. All of the girls I work with (at a quilt shop) knit, but have taught me to appreciate good yarn. I find myself showing them, and a lot of other people that crochet is not for just decoration. I like functional crochet – something I can wear. I make socks, hats, scarves, and sweaters, though good, simple patterns for these are difficult to find. Thankfully, my local yarn shops (2 of them, anyway) are helpful and enthusiastic when I come in looking for help or advice.

  • Yarn People Unite!This ‘rivalry” idea is so silly! Two fabulous handcrafts that involve yarn and both complement and contrast with each other beautifully. As for any yarn store that discriminates against crocheters, Pu-lease! Doesn’t crochet use ~30% more yarn or something? How silly is it to ignore a group of customers that are probably going to buy more yarn than their knitting counterparts? I’m a knitter and I so love crochet for reinforcing edgings, decorative finishing and steeking.

  • I do both. I am currently working on a self-designed pair of toe-up socks with a crocheted toe and the rest knit. I decided to do them that way because crocheted toes are more sturdy than knit ones.

  • I agree 100% Both crafts have their strong points! The wise people will utilize both for the strengths and beauty!

  • I LOVE to crochet, but there are a lot of beautiful knit patterns out there that I was tired of passing by because I didn’t know how. That’s why I’ve recently started teaching myself how to knit as well. Having fun with this new challenge and really can’t understand the animosity.

  • What always gets me is when they are like “I don’t want to start ANOTHER hobby!” I mean, dude, seriously, you ALREADY OWN THE YARN. It’s not like you need all this other equipment. You need hooks or needles.

    This must have been a recent development. Every yarn stash I’ve ever inherited has included a mix of knitting needles and crochet hooks. So weird.

  • In Japan there is no differentiation. Knit is crochet and crochet is knit. The big fight here is wetblocking vs steam irons. I am firmly on the side of wetblocking and would never let a filthy steam iron touch my work!

  • I learned to knit when I was 9 and taught myself to crochet. (The basics were in the same booklet they passed out in the knitting class.) I love both – afgans are easier to crochet than knit, I like the look of knit clothing better than crocheted clothing. I’d like to see patterns that incorporated both skills.

  • I also Knit and Crochet. I prefer to crochet but can do both. My Grandmother taught me. I just love to create.

  • I love this post!! My mom & grandmother did both and taught me as a kid. At the time crochet was easiest for me ( I was 8) Two years ago I decided i was going to tackle knitting again and I love it! I love both! But the rivalry between the two kills me. I feel as if I’m a black sheep amongst many knitters when I proclaim that I’m working on a crocheted item. Like @twitter-128054841:disqus I love both so I guess I’m weird too. Give me my freak flag so I can fly it proudly.

  • THANK YOU. You’d think mislabeling something knit vs crochet or vice versa was tantamount to eating someone’s baby. Criminy.

  • The phrase “Textile Purity” made me think of the attitude towards muggle-borns in the Harry Potter books. Let us not be Malfoys when we all want to be Weasleys.

  • I crochet every seam. I’m not afraid to do it, but did have a discouraging moment with crochet when I was little. I didn’t learn to knit until I was thirty.

  • I crochet, knit, and spin. So I guess I’m a fiber Switzerland.

  • I learned to crochet at 7 or 8, and learned to knit at 30. I like ’em both quite a bit, but I lean toward crochet because I’ve been doing it so much longer–it always takes me a few rows before I’m comfortable with the needles again, but I jump right into crochet without a problem. I want to learn All The Things!

  • I must be really, really nuts… I can knit, crochet, build dollhouses, craft stained glass lamps; I can even type on my computer. But I admit I have friends and acquaintances who turn their noses up on one or the other and are amazed that I can do more than one craft. If people are not willing to try something different, a craft will die out. That said, whomever brought back socks – THANK YOU!!!

  • I think that the conflict is ridiculous. As far as the yarn store owners; the more yarn crafts you endorse, knit, crochet, loom etc., the more yarn you sell. It may mean learning more crafts, but that’s just good business.

    For crocheters who refuse to knit-what about Tunisian-its a sub set of crochet with stitches called Tunisian Knit and Tunisian purl. Then there’s the whole “Knook” thing a crochet hook with a ribbon that you use to make knitted fabric (lots more difficult than knitting with conventional needles IMHO).

    My first encounter with knitting was in the 5th grade. We were supposed to knit squares for an afghan to donate to Red Cross. The yarn was TERRIBLE, stiff and splitty. I just couldn’t get the hang of it.(the boys were also expected to make squares but most of them got their Moms to make them, in 1964 real men didn’t knit) Then in the summer of ’68, my Nana came to stay with us. Crochet vests, skirts and everything Granny Square were all the rage. She taught ,my sister and me crochet; and she figured out how to make the vests and skirts without patterns. I was hooked (excuse the pun). A few yeast later I saw a pattern on a craft magazine cover that I just had to have. It was knit, so I taught myself how to knit. The rest is history I enjoy both crafts.

  • First I learned to crochet, badly, then I wanted socks so I learned to knit. And then came along all these babies that needed hat, booties and blankets so I took up crochet again. My knitting really has helped my crochet and now I love to mix them up together. I love it!

  • Wow. I actually made me mad to read this. Do some people really straight-up refuse to learn the “opposite” craft? I learned to knit first, but I happily picked up a crochet hook a year later and went to town! I love both crafts and see the merits in each. Refusing to learn “the other” sounds just plain snooty to me.

    Honestly, I’m a big video gamer, and I hear enough junk about Xbox vs. Playstation. (Console wars are so stupid.) I don’t want the same stupid wars to happen in my favorite crafts! The only thing I’ve seen about crochet vs. knitting is some stickers people were advertising on facebook. They said “The hook is mightier than the needle” or “The needle is mightier than the hook.” I know that they were mostly lighthearted and being silly, but the gist of it irritated me. Why does everything have to be a competition? Let’s just relax and craft, mkay?

  • I never heard of this rivalry. I have met several people who do only one or the other but I thought they just hadn’t gotten around to learning the other. I have several projects that mix both for just the reasons you mentioned. If I can work in some tatting I will be in yarn nervana.

  • I knit, machine knit, crochet and weave – whatever suits the project. At the moment I particularly like tunisian crochet in the round. It’s great to have multi-opportunities available (hooks and needles at the ready) so if the first method/stitch/yarn combination doesn’t look as good as I hoped I can try another swatch in another method. Using the same yarns in different techniques produces many interesting variations.

  • I learned to crochet first years ago then learned to knit. I love both . I just love yarn and creating with it!

  • I love knitting, but I know the basic crochet stitches, and I have found it very useful. Thanks, Mr. Habit for the article.

  • I think it’s primarily a US thing, but Canadians seem to have issues with this dichotomy a bit, too. I think part of it is the influence of outspoken knitting celebrities like EZ (although I deeply admire her, her smarts, her skills, her legacy), who herself said crochet was for servants (or something like that), and even current living knitters have spouted anti-crochet comments – most have retracted them publicly, though. I’ve read those vitriolic posts from crocheters when some knitting work has appeared in a crochet publication…over the top! I think there used to be an economic divide…crocheters use so much more yarn (the 1.3 times as much is a bit of a myth…it depends on the type of fabric…lacy vs solid, cabled vs flat, gauge, etc) that they can only afford the cheap stuff, knitters are willing to spend more money on finer yarns, etc. But I think that is now historical and doesn’t play into the attitudes any more, but could be part of the root cause.
    I think the way the yarn distributors and LYSO’s have talked about some yarns not lending themselves to crochet has fed the problem…although just like knitting, the choice of stitch and the size of the tool you use affects the suitability of the yarn in either craft.
    Maybe it’s cultural. Individualistic cultures like American and Canadian ones promote elitism and the whole ‘keeping up with the Jones’ mentality, as do the marketers who love to set up the have and have-not groups so that the have-nots feel like buy more of what the do-haves have. I’ve heard that there’s snobbery between those who work with Metal clay for beading and Fimo® users for example (sorry, what’s the generic name for this type of product). And snobbery between Rubber Stampers and Paper Folders is rampant! (tongue in cheek?)

    In Russian, Japanese and Spanish the word for carrying out the deed of transforming yarn into fabric is one and the same, but the crafts are distinguished by the tool used. In Spanish “tejer” covers crochet, knitting AND weaving, but the tools “gancho, palillos, telar” (respectively) let you know what you’re talking about…I haven’t seen the same snobbery in those cultures. And somehow even in the UK, I don’t sense the disparity is really there.
    So I agree with Franklin! Life’s too short to be elitist about yarn.

  • I knit and crochet and enjoy both. If I can find someone to teach me, I’d love to learn to tat, too.

  • I do both and love them both for their different qualities and how they work. but then I learned to knit only a few months ago and figured I needed to crochet too so hit up the internet to learn.

  • If one is a fiber artist , one has to learn how to do both. Take up spinning too , while you’re at it.

  • I learned to crochet after 9/11 because they would no allow anything on airplanes, but I could put the crochet hooks with my pens and they always went through security. However, after several afghans and home accessories, I found it too limited and taught myself to knit. It may also have been that when I take up a new hobby, I have to get all the accessories I can find, so besides crochet hooks, steel crochet hooks, Tunisian crochet hooks, and cable hooks, I now have knitting needles, DPNs, circular needles, and interchangeable needles from 5 different manufacturers! (And let’s not go into the amount of yarn in my stash…)

    I have met a lot of crocheters who have the attitude “I’m to dumb to learn to knit”, which really ticks me off, because it is the same theory as crochet, grab a loop and pull it through, but they limit themselves with their own words and no matter how much I try to convince them how simple it is, they don’t even want to try.

  • I must say, in my experience it’s the knitters who look down on crochet and the crochet people who are intimidated. Both my cousin and my sister-in-law are outstanding knitters but boy do their noses go up in the air when I tell them what my latest crochet project is all about (long silence followed by a tepid, “Oh, that’s nice.”)! Incidentally, I knit AND crochet and love both for different reasons. Hear hear for your column, Franklin! High time someone addressed this sanely.

  • Knit and Crochet do mix well — it is call Crochenit (or double-ended crochet, or cro-hooking) You basically do a slip stitch in one direction, pick up a stitch and knit it, in the other. Fun to learn and to do 🙂

    • Is that not what is called Tunisian crochet, or Afghan stitch (not sure if they are the same thing or not:-)

  • I’m with knitandcurl, I also knit AND crochet, and also like them both. Guess we’ll be “weird” together, and yes………proud too. And I also agree with Franklin in that sometimes, ya just need “to bite the bullet” if you want a nice finished edge. Frankly, I crochet much faster than I knit, and have done almost 70 afghans over my 40 years of crocheting.

  • PS. Not one of the recipients of my 70 afghans ever complained that they were crocheted, as opposed to being knitted. They all know they were made with lots of love.

  • I can do both, but since my left hand is compromised I only crochet. I don’t really like knitted stuff, I think crochet is so much nicer.

  • Here in Brazil, lots of knitters are anxious to learn to crochet… They say ‘Oh, how I wanted to know how to crochet but no one has patience to teach me!” I think this rivality is mostly an American thing, I don’t see it in other Latin America coutries, in Italy or in Portugal (places where I know crocheters and knitters).

  • According to “Knitting Around”, Elizabeth Zimmerman’s step-grandmother “suggested” that she should stop crocheting since crochet was just “done by servants”. This was some time around 1919 in England. I am a knitter and can only crochet a very little bit because my mother felt the same way. Both knit and crochet produce wonderful things.

  • I love the fact I only have to worry about 1 stitch. Make a mistake in knitting and many stitches involved. I do enjoy both though…

  • Honestly I do both fairly well and enjoy both equally, that’s like saying you can’t like this one or that one because of their ethnicity you would say rubbish to that well I say rubbish to making me pick one over the other I love each craft equally thanks to my maternal grandmother and I will never regret her teaching me either habit it keeps me from killing people on an average day!

  • I knit and crochet as well and have combined the two in many an afghan. I once did an entrelac baby afghan and left the edges pointed with a single crochet ripple edging. I entered the afghan into a local fair as a knitted afghan because only the edge was crochet. I received 2nd prize for it. I looked for the 1st prize afghan to see if I could learn something from the winner, but to my surprise, and after asking about it, there was no first prize winner. I asked the judges why there was no 1st prize but I had gotten 2nd prize. The answer: it was because I had crocheted the edges. That was last year, I’m hoping they have another section this year for combined afghans. I find crocheting the edges makes it much more secure, and every baby shower I make an afghan (for the 1st baby of the family) and later on when they are 6 or 7 the mother always tells me, that afghan is holding up so well with all the washings, the kids take it everywhere with them. So I’m happy with my 2nd prize. My passion is for knitting and crocheting, my hobby is entering them in a fair for fun. Hope no one holds themselves back from doing something they love because someone said it shouldn’t be done. Enjoy your stitches!

  • I started knitting first and later began crocheting when I had to do reverse single crochet for the boarder of a knit sampler afghan. I honestly thought I wouldn’t like learning a new craft and wouldn’t crochet much, but now I am more advanced at crochet and I crochet more than I knit although I enjoy both crafts equally. I also love patterns that combine the two.
    I just don’t understand this thing of being prejudiced to one craft or the other and the people who do them. I mean it’s yarn, for crying out loud! Live and let live, try new things every so often, and if you don’t like the new thing you don’t have to do it again, but don’t be mean to those who do enjoy it. It’s just not necessary.

  • I learned both & would love a pattern that combines both. How can people be so bigotted & narrow minded?

  • love, love, love both knitting AND crochet – both great crafts I’ve used for years!

  • I forgot to mention…sometimes when I’ve been doing nothing but crochet for a long time I actually start to get knitting cravings…Yes, knitting CRAVINGS! Like, I have to knit for awhile to “scratch the old itch”. Then if I knit for a long time I eventually HAVE TO crochet! Not that I’m addicted or anything…I can stop any time I want…I don’t have a problem! 😉

  • Franklin, I really enjoyed reading this!

  • I alternate knitting and crochet projects, and thoroughly enjoy both. I would love to find a project that utilized both, but have never found one. Any suggestions ?
    Sarah Johnson

    • Knit Simple Magazine Spring/Summer 2012 The shawl on page 16 has 3 alternative for the edging and one is crochet. The Spring/summer 2013 issue of this same magazine page 20 has a crochet shrug with knit finishing on the sleeves.

    • Hi Sarah, we actually have a category for them on (if you click on the Patterns button at the top of our site and click on “Knit Crochet” under the first drop-down menu, you can pull them up)–there are some great garments and accessories:

  • I learned to knit continental in Home Ec and made a few things, but never felt that I was very good at knitting. Later, when I decided to take up knitting again more seriously, I realized that all of the patterns that I was interested in making were for crochet. So, I taught myself to crochet in order to make up those patterns. It was hard at first because I had a hard time “seeing” the crochet stitches, but I persisted. I gained confidence in my abilities and then started knitting again.
    As a result of learning to crochet, I gained more confidence with regard to my knitting. I sew, knit, crochet, cross stitch and bead weave jewelry. The process of gaining ability in any technique gives me more confidence to learn new techniques. I may not be a “star” at any of them, but I can make things that please me and others. That gives me great joy!

  • I taught myself to knit first. Then i learned to crochet when a pattern called for a crocheted edge. I like both for different reasons. Knitting is relaxing, makes a stretchable garment. Crocheting is faster for a quick gift and makes beautiful lace. But I have run into people who claim one is better than the other, almost always which ever craft they learned first.

  • I knit and crochet! I taught myself from the C&C “little green book” when I was a teenager back in the 1960s. I like knit for socks and crochet for afghans, but other than that – anything goes!

  • Would love to see the 1880 pattern

  • Crochet and knit? That’s just crazy talk. LOL.

  • Amen, brother!!! I do both! Have you seen the new vogue crochet?! Absolutely fabulous! The possibilities are endless when you utilize both types of handwork. & sometimes, giggle, i throw in embroidery. I know! Am i reckless or what? Love ya!

  • I crochet, hand knit and machine knit. One method starts a project, the others add the finishing touches. Each craft has something to offer. Blocking one without even trying may be missing an opportunity.

  • I do both and can move from one to the other painlessly. I don’t understand having a mental block, because when I picked yarn up again after the lessons in school, I used some East German books which had both mixed indiscriminately. The same goes for moving from thread to yarn.
    Ugly and Oh-why projects are produced in both crafts, which only reflects a lack of thought on the maker and not an inherent flaw in the craft.

  • I both knit and crochet and have learned both at the same time, at the age of 10, in school in Germany. I don’t think we Europeans feel the same way, somehow everybody I know who knits or chochets can do and does do both. Here in Greece, for example, we don’t even have a different verb for the two. Both is knitting; and if you wanted to discern them, you’d just have to add the tools with which you do it. Knitting with (2) needles or knitting with a hook.

  • I knit and crochet. When I was 18, I taught myself both. Well, maybe I should give the woman knitting on the bus some credit. As I watched her knit, I told myself that is simple, “I can do that.” I bought some yarn and some needles and have been crocheting and knitting for 51 years. I am better at knitting. I have a problem with crocheting because I always get the count off if the piece is large. If I do a shawl for instance, I will end up with different number of stiches on each side. Very frustrating. I end up taking hours ripping out and redoing my work. So I take the time to count when I finish each row. This is not exactly fun so if I do crochet, I keep with baby clothes or other small items.

  • I learned to crochet from my aunt, as my mother was left handed and I was not, and made my first project…a poodle bottle cover that I dearly loved. I later taught myself to knit (I checked a book out of the library to learn how to cable knit) and have made some great projects. People who look down on the “other” skill are just people that are afraid to try it. It is entirely their loss, as both skills are fun and create beautiful items.

  • I knit and crochet, have been doing both for years. I find them relaxing and enjoyable and I have no trouble incorporating both into a garment if it so requires. It is not all lumpy and bumpy, I have also crocheted some more delicate items over the years. Why should anyone think this is weird? I call it TALENT!

  • Crochet was my first experience in playing with yarn and I was not comfortable with knitting, until I learned to knit continental style. Knowing both skills opens up so many possibilities!

  • Well SAID, Franklin! I couldn’t agree more. I learned to knit early (5yo) and didn’t learn crochet until my late ‘teens, but I’ve been mixing and matching ever since. After all, how does one do a provisional cast-on withOUT crocheting?

  • I would say that knitting is my main love but do also crochet. I teach knitting as a school extra and frequently design simple patterns for beginners. Waistcoats/vests are among the easiest and edging arm holes front and neck with double crochet seems to be far easier to master than picking up stitches.

  • To steal Marly Bird”s line, I am a crocheted who knits. I learned to crochet in second or third grade, chains, granny’s and potholders. I don’t crochet for years and then get yarn obsessed all over again. Learned to knit in high school but being my own worst critic, when it isn’t perfect and smooth, I frog it. I have never finished a knitting project yet. Yarn store owners think crocheters won’t spend money on good yarn. Not true! And they should remember, we use twice as much yarn per project as our knitting sisters as a rule. Love us!

  • As usual I just love your little stories. Also I love both knitting and crochet but mostly I love machine knitting. I love everything about fabrics and yarn. Thank you so much xxx

  • I love both, too! I love all textile work, and hope to have a loom soon. Yikes!

  • I was lucky to have a knitting Granny and a crocheting Gramma. I learned to do both. I like both for a verity of reasons. For my Knitting Granny I would crochet the body of sweaters for her to put ribbed bands on and she would knit sweaters for me to put “some of that nice sturdy lace” on. From my Gramma I learned the joy of very portable projects that just had one loop to stop from running when you set it down. I can and do make lace with sewing thread and a hook that you can’t even see the hook part just feel it with your finger. String and a stick curved or in pairs are infinitely fascinating to me always will be.

  • There must be a term coined for we hybrid folks; Critters? Knocheters? Love your sense of the insane on this. I also bead, cochet and knit with beads (using….horrors! wire, as well as threads and yarn), woodcraft, polymer clay, and anything else that looks fun and sparks my creativity. When I get to use more than one if these, preferably all, in a single project, I am ecstatic!

  • Well, then, let’s not even mention weaving with that wonderful yarn. I knit, crochet, weave, embroider, couch, and sew with it. Love multiplies, not divides.

  • My great grandmother taught me to crochet. I taught myself to knit. I had found a few projects that used both and both have their uses.
    I work with a lady that will never ever pick up a crochet hook for any reason. She’s had to ask me to finish putting the trim on her completed knitting because she refuses to crochet. I guess she’s just lucky to know someone who can crochet or she’d have to go without that decorative trim!

  • I know crocheters and I know knitters. I learned to do both with yarn at age 10 and later taught myself to crochet with thread. I find knitting very relaxing and have have renewed my interest after meeting some older women at Curves who wanted to learn. Their main interest is to knit dishcloths but at least they want to learn to knit! Our local library has a knitting club open to beginners and all levels and some of our quilt shops also have yarn. The latest craze here is using the ruffle yarn. Monday I’m going to demonstrate how to knit a scarf as well as crochet one because I have both camps at my needlework club–thank goodness for youtube videos. I do have a bucket list: knit a doily (I have crocheted hundreds), design a pullover sweater that does not make me look lumpy (even though I am), and learn to crochet Clones lace. And if you think purists don’t exist in other areas, well consider the quilting camps we have: pre-wash/don’t pre-wash fabrics; it’s not a quilt unless it’s hand pieced and quilted by hand; fiber art is neither art (per Crystal Bridges Museum) nor quilting (per the County Fair). The County Fair now includes an art quilt category and we’re working on the museum. And whether you prefer knitting or crocheting (or any other needlework), all are welcome at my table.

  • As my son said, over 30 years ago, “A Pete’s Sake!” Knitting, crochet, two addictions. I’m ‘doubly addicted’, love both, and love mixing them in a project. They are so complementary!

  • Fantastic article, personally don’t understand the kni-cro snobbery. Both are versatile, functional and have used both in conjunction in the same project. Works completed by either process are beautiful and it would be wonderful to see patterns with a combination of the two.

  • I also both knit and crochet.

  • I must be one of those weird ones who both knits and crochets! I love both and think that patterns that feature both are rare and beautiful.

  • I was taught both knitting and crochet by my mother. She was a beautiful knitter and crocheter. I prefer crochet myself, as it works up quicker for me, but have been attempting the occasional knitting project now that my beautiful mother has passed away. I can ask her to knit things for me anymore. I am glad that she taught me both.

  • What a silly rivalry – especially with all the real problems in the world today! Crocheting and knitting are both wonderful. I do both, but prefer crocheting, just because I find it more comfortable and easier for me to create my own designs. And how ridiculous to say that crocheting is limited. I crocheted my own wedding dress and it was absolutely stunning! I never realized until reading this column that this rivalry even existed. I know that some people crochet and some knit – and perhaps prefer one over the other. But I never knew there was such animosity towards each other. How absolutely ridiculous! I say “get a life” and “live and let live” – or “crochet and let crochet” and “knit and let knit”!!

  • My lovely Grandmother taught me how to crochet and knit when I was very young, so I never even realized that a rivalry existed between the two. It seems kind of silly to me as the stiches of each can be used (together) to create amazing pieces. Thank you for a well written article Franklin Habit. :->

  • I learned crochet first; I thought that working with one implement would surely be easier than working with two. Then I learned to knit; who knew that just two stitches could make so many variations? I like both, but crochet seems to aggravate a ganglion cyst in my wrist, which knitting doesn’t do. So now I mostly rub two sticks together to make flattering lacy capelets (hee hee!).

  • I don’t really consider myself a crocheter, but I almost always finish my knitting with some crocheted edging. Single crochet gives stability, a beautiful smooth edge and nice stitches for seaming. I have a free pattern for a knitted Cushy Cabled Headband on that encourages finishing with an edge of single crochet:
    Franklin, I adore your articles and your humor … thanks for the ongoing laughs!

  • I do both. They are equally useful. Maybe I’m weird but I love it. Knitting is perfect when I don’t want to pay much attention to what I’m doing (like during a movie) and crocheting is perfect when I want something to go quickly.

  • It boggles my mind that anyone would be proud of deliberately remaining ignorant of a useful skill…

  • I knit, crochet, cook, bake, make jewelry, garden, etc.; simply love to create and am fascinated by it all.
    Those who limit themselves are missing out. Do you hate chocolate chip cookies because you like brownies? Won’t sew skirts because you sew dresses? Only grow beefsteak tomatoes but never cherry ones? Only walk with one foot? Sounds ridiculous because it is.
    I get a picture in my head and use whatever skill will bring it to life. Come on, live a little, take a leap of faith and…CREATE!

  • The best of both worlds is for me. One Grandmother taught me to knit, and my other Grandmother taught me to crochet! I was a very lucky little girl and cherish these lessons every time I pick up needles or a hook.

  • The best of both worlds is for me. One Grandmother taught me to knit, and my other Grandmother taught me to crochet! I was a very lucky little girl and cherish these lessons every time I pick up needles or a hook.

  • I know how to both knit and crochet. Last fall I had brain surgery, in my rehab they gave me a crochet hook and let me work with it. Because it was something that I had been doing instinctively, it was easy for me to go back to it. I am right handed and my right side was weaker, so they were thrilled that I wanted to crochet. I have taught people to both knit and crochet. I even taught myself different ways to knit to help others learn. I have loved doing that. I am still at this point in my recovery still having a hard time reading a pattern and so tend to do things that do not take a pattern for me. I miss being able to pick up ANY pattern and moving forward. I am not a patient soul with myself and want to be just like I used to be. So I just keep battling forward.

  • I know how to both knit and crochet. Last fall I had brain surgery, in my rehab they gave me a crochet hook and let me work with it. Because it was something that I had been doing instinctively, it was easy for me to go back to it. I am right handed and my right side was weaker, so they were thrilled that I wanted to crochet. I have taught people to both knit and crochet. I even taught myself different ways to knit to help others learn. I have loved doing that. I am still at this point in my recovery still having a hard time reading a pattern and so tend to do things that do not take a pattern for me. I miss being able to pick up ANY pattern and moving forward. I am not a patient soul with myself and want to be just like I used to be. So I just keep battling forward.

  • This article speaks the truth I have run into teaching classes! Fortunately, I had one Grandma who knit and taught me the craft… Another Gramma who crocheted and taught me her craft. So I grew up with each Gramma saying to me about the other, “I’m glad your Grandma is teaching you to do that (knit/crochet)… Because I couldn’t do it!” LOL! (Just to get this out here… The crochet Gramma is now 95 years young and still crocheting!)

  • I was taught to crochet by my grandma and then was taught to knit by my mother. I go through periods of using one more than the other or sometimes like right now I am doing both in different projects. I think we should all know how to do both. It is kind of like driving. Most of us drive an automatic but everyone should know how to drive a standard because you never know when you may need to drive one. We are all fiber lovers. There is enough meanness in the world. Knitting and crochet is one area that can help us unwind and relax. I think we need to be kind to one another and not be snobs about the craft that someone chooses to enjoy.

  • I learned to knit as a child and later taught myself to crochet. I love both skills and have taught both at LYS and adult continuing education classes. I have incorporated both in many projects satisfactorily. Anyone who rejects either skill is denying herself the expansion of her horizons.

  • I know! I learned to knit and crochet at the same time and had no idea this schism existed until the day I walked into a yarn shop (which shall remain unnamed) looking for yarn for a specific project and was completely dismissed by the shop owner because it was a crochet project. In fact, the owner walked over to the ladies at the table (after disdainfully pointing me to the quite expensive alpaca I was looking for and intending to buy – hello, wait to disrespect your customers until AFTER they purchase your pricey stock!) and said, “Oh, she crochets…” as if it were an infectious disease! Needless to say, I don’t frequent that establishment anymore for my crochet OR knitting supplies, but for a brief instant it made me feel ashamed to be a crocheter. Why can’t I be bi-craftual? I can do ANYTHING with yarn, and I’m proud of it!

  • I knit and don’t know how to crochet, but really want to learn – if only I had the time (and patience). You see, I am a tapestry weaver, and it takes up all my spare time AND patience. But I have an idea for a tapestry that incorporates crochet in a 3D sculptural element, so I am hoping to remedy this gap in my knowledge soon. Now weaving and knitting – thus another can of worm is opened!

  • I know basic knitting and crochet. Have recently learned broomstick knit and would like to learn how to do hairpin lace. I think they are all beautiful!

  • I also knit and crochet. 52 years ago I was taught crocheting by my grandmother, and knitting by my mother. My mother learned from a sweet elderly German lady that owned the yarn shop in our neighborhood, and thus taught me what we always called the German method, or I guess the European method. I can easily knit and pick the yarn through the loop, but have never mastered the yarn around then needle method! I love doing both.

  • My ‘Gramma’ taught me to crochet somewhere around 60 years ago. I wish mother had kept that piece. By now, I also knit, and make jewelry (wirewrap, and chain maille) and dabble at tatting. That is the one I can’t get the hang of. But my reason for commenting is to recall the lady in a crochet class I was taking in the early 70’s. We were treating it as a club kind of thing, occasionally we would get a new, completely new person. We tried really hard to let the teacher handle the new addition. She had problems, More Problems, she was making us all on edge. Finally she just burst out BUT YOU DON’T KNIT THIS WAY !!! The only thing I could think of to add to that wouldn’t have been any help at all and so kept on biting my tongue. It was NOT A KNITTING CLASS. I think that lady gradually dropped out, she was unable to make the transition. and even today, if you asked me how I hold the yarn for each, I have to pick up the yarn and let my hands just do it. So maybe we lock down and are too intense to grab the action of the other. Carol Penry

  • I actually learned how to knit and crochet at the same time. However, I found it easier to crochet because I had trouble holding both needles and working with them. I have trouble working with two items of any sort that need to be used at the same time. I can knit but never learned more than the two basic stitches. I would love to learn more but my manual dexterity has never improved. However, I’ve been working on adapting knitting patterns to crochet since the look of knitted items can be done in crochet.

    I do a lot of crafts with yarn – weaving, plastic canvas, string art, etc. – and find a lot of people don’t think much of the crafts until they see some of my projects. Especially plastic canvas, too many people have done cheap little items leaving lots of the canvas exposed and given plastic canvas a bad rep.

    To me, being crafty means experimenting with any and all crafts I can get my hands on. Otherwise, how can I truly express my creativity?

  • I also crochet and knit. And love doing both!

  • Great article! I always get such a kick out of how he says what he says. I definitely prefer crocheting over knitting – mostly because I could never quite get the hang of working with two needles; the hook just seems easier to me. However, I have run across some really great knit-only patterns that have made me want to give knitting another go. I’ll be honest, if I start to knit, I will feel like I’m having an affair! HA! But I definitely see the benefits of both and don’t have a problem with the mixing the two within the same project.

  • I knit and crochet and have for almost 50 years. I’ve gone through spurts of doing one or the other but love them both.

  • I love them both.!!!! I sew too!! Guess i am just crazy!!

  • I enjoy knitting, crocheting, sewing, and all the arts my grandmother called handwork. If I have a favorite, it’s probably embroidery – or maybe needlepoint. We have the Christmas stockings my mother made for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; the quilt my grandmother made with yarn sheared from the sheep on their farm; my daughters still have the granny-square ponchos I made so many years ago. The crewel pillows are on the sofa; the one-thread-at-a-time birch trees will eventually be framed.
    I love handwork – all of it – and am sorry for those who choose not to explore all the venues. It is Art as well as Craft.

  • Heavenly Stitchers is the name of our Knitting Ministry, because we knit, crochet and sew. Some of us knit AND crochet, and others, only one or the other. With ten different charities to accept our varied items, everyone is happy.

  • I can do both, and enjoy both…I can actually do them both with little attention unless its a hard pattern. I learned to do them both as a child and love them for different reasons. I truely dont understand why people would be so admitly opposed to knowing both.

  • try explaining on is quicker to make the fabric, another to give the interesting details and no the tatting is not just to show off but just compliments the other two.

  • Why don’t you throw knitting machines into the mix? That should start another disagreement. I crocheted and wanted to knit but find hand knitting very slow and tedious (but beautiful) so I took up machine knitting. Many machine knit patterns include crocheted finishes. Now I have the best of both worlds.

  • Yea for this post! I agree 100%, and I love hearing a respected teacher heralding the positives of crocheting and knitting together.

  • My grandmother did both knit and crochet so well. How I wish I had paid attention and learned from her. I am more comfortable with knitting than crochet, but it’s all self taught – and sometimes I needed a better teacher!

  • I both knit and crochet. I love both and, yes, I already know I am weird. Perhaps we could form a group–People who love yarn so much they will use anything to keep it in their hands.

  • I learned to knit at 5 yrs. old. I taught myself to crochet. I love them both and do both. I am now 78 so I have been doing both for a very long time. I have a large family so I have lots of takers for my crafts.

  • Let’s go back to “steaks”. I am working on a sweater that calls for this to be done, would love some encouragement . I do sew, so the sewing machine does not scare me the CUTTING does.
    Please help build up my hand to do this cutting 🙂

    • You can totally do it Ruthe! Michelle, one of our managers, did it a month ago on a colorwork sweater she was working on to make it into a cardigan, and it came out GREAT. It’s totally worth it! Courage!

  • Franklin,
    Thank you, thank you for addressing this craziness!
    I learned to crochet at a very young age, but always loved the look of knit fabric. So a few years ago I taught myself to knit. Now I love doing both. I think rejecting one or the other is nuts. As you wisely point out, both have their own advantages and both can work together. As a yarn lover, I cannot bring myself to discriminate against how the yarn is worked up. 🙂

  • I knit and crochet. Heck, I just love yarn in general! I enjoy doing both since there are so many patterns and textures for both that I want to try.

  • I learned to crochet first and struggled to learn knitting UNTIL I taught myself the continental method. It feels familiar in my hands. So, now I do both, whatever the project calls for. But, I must say, my hands ache more following a crochet session than a knit session (even though I crocheted for many, many years). My sister taught me hands exercises and massage methods. Helps some. I love both.

  • I enjoy knitting over crochet, simply because I can watch TV, visit with others etc. Right now, I am dealing with an eye problem, unable to read a pattern (or drive for that matter). So I can do my tried and true patterns that are familiar to me by knitting, I can knit a hat or cowl with my eyes shut, just by feeeling it. Not so with crochet. I often trim my knitted items with crochet. Crochet flowers are prettier than knit, in my opinion. I do agree with the needles also, I only use circulars!

  • I was asked to knit a sweater for a small dog. I found a cute pattern and decided to crochet the leg openings so the toe nails would not get caught in the loser knitted stitches. Both the dog and the owner love red it. I learned to crochet first then to knit, both have their strong points and are fun!

  • I was asked to knit a sweater for a small dog. I found a cute pattern and decided to crochet the leg openings so the toe nails would not get caught in the loser knitted stitches. Both the dog and the owner love red it. I learned to crochet first then to knit, both have their strong points and are fun!

  • Do all yarn textiles rate fairly? How about the tatters, and the weavers? Can they too play in this new group of yarn experimentalists? A nice picot edging along a finished woven project would be rather dashing no? How about a tatted lace insert in your crocheted/knitted project? Lets include all people who create with yarn 🙂

  • Do all yarn textiles rate fairly? How about the tatters, and the weavers? Can they too play in this new group of yarn experimentalists? A nice picot edging along a finished woven project would be rather dashing no? How about a tatted lace insert in your crocheted/knitted project? Lets include all people who create with yarn 🙂

  • I find that it cuts down on symptoms of repetitive stress to have at least one knitting and one crochet project in progress, alternating my work on them, since I stitch for an hour or so most evenings and more on weekends. The two crafts require slightly different motions and postures, so switching between them is easier on joints and muscles. I’ve also noticed that people who don’t do either craft regularly mistake one for the other, so the snobbery is strictly within the needlework community. Quality work always looks good no matter the craft or combination of them, and snobbery always makes the snob look small, insecure and mean-spirited.

  • I find that it cuts down on symptoms of repetitive stress to have at least one knitting and one crochet project in progress, alternating my work on them, since I stitch for an hour or so most evenings and more on weekends. The two crafts require slightly different motions and postures, so switching between them is easier on joints and muscles. I’ve also noticed that people who don’t do either craft regularly mistake one for the other, so the snobbery is strictly within the needlework community. Quality work always looks good no matter the craft or combination of them, and snobbery always makes the snob look small, insecure and mean-spirited.

  • I love to create all types of things from a single strand of fiber. The more methods and techniques I know, the more creative I can be. No Hatfields or McCoys in my house!

  • Thank you, again, Franklin, for MAKING SENSE! I started a Knit & Crochet group in our area almost 6 years ago – why exclude one over the other, just doesn’t make sense! We all love YARN – why not learn from each other? (I also knit & crochet).
    Pam L, Waterford, MI.

  • Thank you, again, Franklin, for MAKING SENSE! I started a Knit & Crochet group in our area almost 6 years ago – why exclude one over the other, just doesn’t make sense! We all love YARN – why not learn from each other? (I also knit & crochet).
    Pam L, Waterford, MI.

  • I’m a knitter who tried to learn crochet on my own in the past without success, except to do an edging on a knitted piece or as a means of attaching knitted squares, The current online resources are so much better than what used to be available that I’m trying again, this time with Tunisian crochet. We’ll see what happens.

  • I’m a knitter who tried to learn crochet on my own in the past without success, except to do an edging on a knitted piece or as a means of attaching knitted squares, The current online resources are so much better than what used to be available that I’m trying again, this time with Tunisian crochet. We’ll see what happens.

  • What a great topic….I have been a knitter for years and was recently turned on to crochet by my son’s girlfriend. What fun I have had with it, however, have been surprised by the attitude of some of my knitting friends to my new craft! It is all good….keep an open mind. Some items I have made for years knitting are better/stronger done in crochet (market bags and kitchen cotton items). Found a sweater on this website that I will be trying this summer. Anything yarn is great…

  • Wow. The intensity of this feud never fails to shock me. I was blessed to learn knitting from one grandmother and crochet from the other. I enjoy both and love being able to turn fiber into the fabric I want because I can use either method. Sometimes the speed of knitting is what I want, other times the density of crochet. Also, I find making laces and edgings much easier in crochet.

  • I knit and crochet and, last week, inspired by a pattern on Lion Brand’s website, just tried my hand at Tunisian crochet (which makes a fabric that almost looks woven and was easy to learn)! I have thought about how to describe my interests. Am I a knitter, yes, but not exclusively; am I a crocheter, yes, and I also like to do embroidery (cross stitch, surface, needlepoint), sew a garment (machine or hand sewing) or make a quilt. I have decided to say to people that I like working with anything that requires a needle. I am a needlework aficionada!

  • I learned to knit and crochet as a child, one skill from each grandma, but as a teen did more crocheting, it was faster! When I was 30 a friend gave me a beautiful pair of knitted booties for my new baby and I just Had to learn how to make them. That was my introduction to what she called European knitting. I held the yarn in my left hand as I always had for crocheting and it was Fast. Years later I took the squares my deceased grandmother (my crochet instructor) had made in her knitting class and joined them together by crocheting the tunisian stitch. It looks like knitting on one side so it blended and gave the illusion of a knitted afghan with the flexibility and ease of crochet. Then I crocheted an edging and gave it to my mother, her daughter, as a gift of love from two generations. I lean more towards knitting now but enjoy, and employ, both.

  • I’m an avid crocheter and I don’t hate Knitting or Knitters at all…I’m scared to death to learn how to knit. I’m also a lefty and it took years (and I mean many, many years) for me to learn how because I was trying to learn from someone who wasn’t. It looks like knitting is much harder than crocheting so I may not have enough years left to get the hang of knitting.

    • Don’t be too scared to try. Many people find knitting easier than crochet. Others find crochet easier. It’s down to the individual, and you can’t be sure which group you’ll be in until you’ve tried both.

  • I knit, crochet and machine knit and enjoy all of them. Any snobbery I have encountered from knitters is towards machine knitting – they say it’s cheating, yet they don’t consider making an article from purchased fabric and putting it together on the sewing machine as cheating. Machine knitters actually create the fabric before assembling the pieces, so what’s cheating about that? Plus, machine knitting is a lot harder to learn the knitting with needles! (hope i’m not stirring up another hornet’s nest 🙂

  • I LOVE the summary!!!!!! Thanks fof the laugh!!!!!

  • I am an avid knitter and crocheter and often combined both in projects. I recently made a market bag with a crocheted base and knitted in the round sides. I like the ease of picking up the stitches around the base. I have also used crochet edging or inserts on knitted pieces. Thanks for the article.

  • I knit and crochet, and I love both. I have crocheted beautiful christening shawls in cotton for all 4 of my grandchildren. I both knit and crochet shawls for our church prayer shawl ministry. And I frequently mix both in the garments I make for myself and my family. I have bought a Russian magazine with amazing crochet fashion designs, and a book on Irish crochet lace. When I retire (Ha! ha!) I intend to learn more skills, such as tunisian crochet and tatting.

  • I learned to knit as a child, over 40 years ago. I only recently taught myself to crochet from books and online videos. It is so easy, what was I so nervous about all these years???? It’s also faster than knitting, and oh boy, what beautiful lace it can produce. I love to put a lace edge along a crocheted shawl. There is nothing like a garment knitted with an even tension, especially when done in a sock weight yarn; so delicate, yet strong and long lasting. I never could do just one project at a time. Now I have both crochet and knitting in my basket next to my recliner, and work on each every day. It is so soothing, and I am even able to earn a little money from it. Oh, and I’m not even against quilting, sewing garments, mosaics, painting, or any other crafting. It’s all artistic expression.

  • I knit and crochet! But I must admit to being a Knitterly snob. I feel that crochet has its place and can be very useful when in need of a fast project. I have some beautiful crochet layettes that were loving made by a dear friend for my babies. But I much prefer the look of knitted fabric for sweaters and hats. Although I did just crochet an adorable Hello Kitty hat for my daughter. Oh well- I just enjoy creating beautiful things for my friends and family!

  • My grandmother taught me to single/double crochet when I was about 6, but never did any projects until my oldest son was born (now 20), then, re-taught myself to crochet. Picked up knitting when it recently became “in” about 10 years ago, but had to teach myself to knit by using a book written for kids. I enjoy both, but have a terrible time with tension and gauge; prefer crochet for blankets/afghans where gauge doesn’t matter so much but knitting for scarves/hats.

  • I learned to knit, sew and embroider at five, taught myself to crochet at 13, to tat at 15 to weave at 19 and am learning how to do bobbin lace at 64. What’s wrong with learning something new? Keep your mind sharp!

  • I used to knit a lot, and did some crochet. Now I weave mostly. I also do some kumihimo, hope to pick up again on macrame, and even have some spindles and a bit of fleece and would learn to use those if only time allowed…..
    As for the person calling lefthandedness a “handicap”, back in first grade my handicraft teacher refused to teach me knitting because I was a (gasp) unrepentant lefty; so my (righthanded) mom taught me. I probably knit “righthanded” but what the heck does it matter whether you work left to right or right to left, you work with both hands and both needles anyway.

    • Meant to add, if it involves yarn, or fiber in general for that matter, and you use your hands to create with it I LOVE it, love it all!

  • I knit and crochet and have never considered, until now, combining both in the same project. My wheels are turning and I think a crocheted lace ruffle would be the perfect finishing touch to the baby blanket sitting in my project bag. Hint hint Lion, give us some patterns that incorporate both!

    • Hi Bradley, we actually have a category for combined patterns on (if you click on the Patterns button at the top of our site and click on “Knit Crochet” under the first drop-down menu, you can pull them up)–there are some great garments and accessories:

  • One grandmother taught me to knit my other grandmother taught me to tat and believe it or not, my dad taught me to crochet. I had learned the basics of all three by the time i was 8. (I am now 64), Over the years I have created many, many items with all mediums and enjoy creating things using what ever seems best for the item. I made my granddaughter a beautiful sweater that had elements of all 3. Finished with a tatted lace collar. I think favoring one over the other, for any reason other than what works best for a particular piece, is ridiculous. Relax, enjoy and explore all the exciting possibilities!

  • Franklin, I loved your essay. Like Elizabeth Zimmermann, my mother knit, but did not crochet. Mom also did not let me use a Knitting Nancy, because it wasn’t proper knitting. Duplicate stitch and embellishments were not considered proper knitting, either. She taught me to knit somewhere between 5 to 8 years old. Later on I taught myself to crochet from a book. Now I am an avid knitter who can crochet and has no fear of embellishments. One of these days I might even try a Knitting Nancy.

    I don’t understand Textile Purity, either. You are making something for someone to enjoy.

  • I picked up crochet first, because I am left-handed, and could actually find left-handed instructions. Knitting instructions always said that knitting left-handed uses the exact same motions as knitting right-handed. Uh-huh. I believe only right-handed people say this. I have since learned to knit (left-handed combination continental, so I hold the yarn in my right hand, and knit *all* knit stitches through the back loop, while the purl stitch is the same). Now my biggest problem is translating English (or Western) patterns into combination and adjusting the slants.

  • I am a bi-stitch-ual person. Love both types of yarn craft – maybe not equally – but I do enjoy both. So many options, so little time – it’s great!

  • I love making all yarn crafts & people that snub any of the yarn crafts are just limiting themselves in their creativity. 🙂

  • I do both and tat also. Consider me a weirdo, but I enjoy all three crafts.Anyone who doesn’t is narrow minded in my estimation. I could be wrong, but don;t think so.

  • I have agree with author 111%!!!!! Both Knitting and crochet have their merits and I love to “applique” a huge crocheted granny square onto the front of a simple stocking stitch knit cardigan for special effect and contrast. We all love to work with yarn in one way or another and the love should be mutual.

  • I’m a knitter, basically because it came easily to me. Crochet is a whole other thing entirely! I have tried and tried to get it, but to no avail. I’ve even resorted to a professional teacher who, after several sessions, told me to forget it.She said that teaching me was even more difficult than teaching a “leftie”. I would love to incorporate crochet in my knitting projects, but I guess it just isn’t going to happen. 🙁

    • For me, crocheting came easily. But knitting – my mother tried to teach me several times, each time resulting with the needles flying across the room. It wasn’t until a few years later that I sat down with a book with lots of detailed pictures that I finally figured out the mysteries of the needles. Main point: Don’t give up. If you can figure out one, you are capable of learning the other. Forget that “professional.” Try a different teacher, or a local group, or a picture guide like I did, and be patient with yourself. Give yourself permission to fail, but don’t give up.

  • Terry Engh

    YEAH FRANKLIN! Knitting and Crocheting go together like a horse and carriage!

  • I learned to crochet before I started school (52 years and counting). I have never learned to knit simply because i have never taken the time to master it. I crochet everything from bulky yarn afghans to worsted weight sweaters to thread angels and snowflakes (you can’t do that with knit). I am currently crocheting a matching skirt and jacket from a crochet magazine and my next project will be a suit by Doris Chan. I love the lacy look and feel of thread crochet and lace weight yarns. I have never been able to reproduce the delicacy of crochet lace with knitting so I gave it up. I have found that with the right weight yarn and the right size needle i can produce a garment with the soft drape and hand of knitting. It takes a little experimenting with your guage but is worth the effort. I am always looking for patterns for clothing and have found some very beautiful ones on the web.

  • One grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 6 or 7. I taught myself to knit by a book, when I was about 28. I became legally blind when I was 59 (almost 10 years ago). I still knit some (I am maybe only an advanced beginner, maybe a bit more), but with poor eyesight, I find crocheting is easier (because it’s easier for me to rip and fix with a hook, than to have occasional stitches slide off needles. But I still try, and usually have at least one knit WIP (and a few crochet ones)!

  • I knit and crochet and have been doing both since forever. Love them both and do each equally well. I tend to switch back and forth between the two techniques because my hands get stiff/sore when I do either for long periods of time. I also get bored doing the same thing for very long, so rotating both rests my hands and keeps up my interest.

  • This is the first I’ve ever heard of this. I taught myself to knit when I was 8, and learned to crochet (with a 00 hook and thread!) when I was 9 and have been doing both equally since (some 50 yrs!) You are so right that they lend themselves to different projects, and can combine. Take broomstick lace. (Or leave it back in the 60’s, if you want.) And it’s fun to try the variations of each. Plus I like to take a break from one to do the other. Knit sweaters are softer and more supple, but I can’t imagine knitting a snowflake.

  • I’d love that 1880 hybrid pattern

  • I crochet… Took me a long time to get over my distaste for knitting. Now I can knit and crochet, but I refuse to purl! ;p

    • Aw, purling is just knitting in reverse. I could show you…

  • I knit and crochet. I learned to knit first. For some reason that has caused me to hold my hook oddly, which makes it difficult to teach others to crochet. I must say that I prefer to crochet, but am working on improving my knitting skills. One thing about crochet – if the cat runs off with my hook, I might drop one stitch. When she runs off with my needle, I’m in big trouble. No catnip for her!

  • I knit, hand and machine, I crochet, I tat, make hairpin lace, bobbin lace and goodness knows what else. To do one craft to the deliberate exclusion of others seems crazy to me – I would be so bored. It is such fun to ring the changes.

  • I learned to knit long before I learned to crochet. Currently I am doing a lot of crocheting because I’m making potholders and other items that I prefered crocheted. I’m going to start making socks and those will be knitted.
    BTW, I’ve crocheted a pair of socks so I’m not saying that it can’t be done.

  • Delightful article. And the advice about keeping an open mind and being willing to try new things and fresh approaches– well, that’s pretty much Advice for the Good Life, with and without yarn.

  • And BTW, what’s so objectionable about novelty toilet roll covers anyway? And funky-animal stuffed toys and potholders too? Any of these can be pure silly FUN. And what’s objectionable about that?

    • I think the “objection,” as you put it, is that many knitting snobs feel that’s all crochet is good for. They are lovely projects that lend themselves well to crochet, but there are other lovely things that can be crocheted, too. It’s just that the knitting snobs are too snobby to realize it. (I both knit and crochet very well, and try not to be snobby about either.)

      Our knit/crochet group has a few people who crochet for charity: one lady creates crocheted turtles for our local hospital ER to give kids when they come in. And another lady crochets lap robes for the residents of a local nursing home. Crochet is great for these projects also because they can be completed so quickly. Last year, our group put together a squares afghan – some knit, some crochet, whatever people wanted to do – and donated it to a local young man who had his legs blown off in Afghanistan. Make love, not war, I say! Esp. where yarn is concerned.

  • I knit and crochet, but being aware of the “enemy camps” I don’t admit either to the “other” group. 😀

  • I taught myself to crochet many, many moons ago. My daughter showed me how to knit (which she prefers), but I’m not very good at it. So…I stick to what I know. I can crochet for HOURS, including while watching TV or traveling. It calms my nerves and relaxes me. Knitting is just not my favorite thing to do, but I at least know how to do it.

  • I love both knit and crochet! I am currently working on a knitted child’s sweater with crocheted waist band and cuffs.

  • I love this… as an avid crochet maniac I have felt looked-down upon by knitters…mostly those who run small yarn shops. Almost like they felt sorry for me. I learned how to knit when I was 7 years old, and was near 20 before I learned to crochet. It’s just my preference!

  • Bravo, I have long been a combiner of crochet and knitting. Good article. nancylee

  • for many years I avoided knitting. In crochet, when you rip, you only have one stitch to pick up.
    I now seem to knit more than I crochet. The resulting fabrics are different, so, it depends on what you wish to accomplish. My opinion is that one (both boys and girls) must know both techniques.
    One must overcome the mental block, if one can knit, one can crochet, and vice-versa.
    And, enjoy doing it!

  • I have been a crocheter for over 40 (!) years (self-taught). I have just learned to knit! I’ve taken (& am still taking) some wonderful classes. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE both of my crafts!! I feel that my crochet experience has really helped me a LOT with my knitting. In fact I’m in the process of making a 12 month Block-of-the Month blanket (knitting) and am going to make my squares into a sweater instead of a blanket. I plan to put the squares together & finish the edges with crochet! Both of my daughters & one son-in-law are knitters & one daughter also crochets. In our family there is no yarn rivalry!

  • My grandmother taught all of us to do both. That’s what women ALWAYS did, and it has held me in good stead all my life. I like to do both, and yes, the results are different, and both beautiful. Combining them in one project produces a thing of beauty and a work of art indeed.

    I have personally found crochet to be much easier to master, so all those knitters out there who refuse to crochet: get off your high horses and learn! You’ll enjoy it, and be very pleased w/the results, which are faster to accomplish than w/knitting, I might add. But a question for you: how do I convince long-time crocheters to give knitting a try? Or another try? If I can do both, anyone can, yet these people (on both sides) seem to think they just can’t. I find it very disheartening. Thanks!

  • Can’t we all just get along! I crochet and knit – took classes in both at the same time, although Mom taught me the basics of knitting may years ago. Find crocheting easier, especially ripping out errors (never really mastered that for knitting). I’m left handed and managed to pick up continental knitting, as it just seems more natural for both hands to be involved. And yes, LYS, get with the crochet program.

  • I too love to knit and crochet – and sometimes together… I am using both at the moment to make some “nests” for orphan baby squirrels at our local wildlife sanctuary – and the babies love to snuggle in! I do know people who are afraid of the other style… until I get my hooks into them 😉

  • I started with knitting, took up weaving as well, then taught myself to crochet. Am I weird? Who cares: I’m always warm.

  • I learned to knit and crochet from my mom when I was very young. I would like to make something that incorporates both. Some yarns are better off using the crochet method. I had to unravel a part of a pinch that was knitted with chenille, but it came loose so I had to crochet.

  • I have been knitting for 54 years, but, as I grow older, my love for the smallest yarn and needles wont fit with the time I have left. I know that eventually I will have to turn to crochet if I want to finish anything! In the meantime, I do use both, finding that finishing any edge with crochet makes it look nicer. It is also useful to assemble Warm Up American afghans . I have bought a small booklet explaining the basics for crochet and it is waiting for when I decide the time has come. Until then think of me as a person who really likes boths.

  • I second the comment about knit patterns being translated to crochet. I love both crochet and knit, I’m still learning to knit though, btween beginner and intermediate level right now. A pattern with knit and crochet that’s more than a crocheted border or edging would be most welcome from anywhere. Ive learned a few things I didn’t know before by reading the comments, they are all great.

  • Thank you for writing this and all the replies of the people who also do both. Walked into a weaving store that also advertises knitting and you would think I killed someone talking about crocheting. Glad I do both also…I quickly changed to talking about knitting as to not “Offend” a whole room of knitters. Oops 🙂

  • I love knit and crochet, but despise anything about sewing. Therefore, I crochet my sleeves into my knit sweaters, use my knitting skills on crocheted projects that call for needle and thread.. Although I am comfortable with needlework, please deliver me from those scary sewing machines and those eye-bending needles with which to sew clothing. Shudder.

  • Gee, when I first learned to knit, I always had a crochet hook handy. How else to fix all my dropped stitches! I thought everyone did too. Really both skills are relatives at heart. Great story, Franklin, and thanks everyone for all the life stories.

  • I learned years ago that crochet makes lovelier lace and knitting makes better garments because of its give. I love both and sometimes use both in the same item! I think people who can do both techniques are at an advantage, utilizing the strengths of each technique and also having a better understanding of the structure of textiles. I encourage yarn lovers to have both techniques in their repertoire.

  • I knit, crochet, embroider (crewel and thread), and I’m seriously considering some weaving…If there’s yarn, I’m there.

  • I taught myself to crochet as an adult. Then I taught myself to knit and discovered I prefer it, as it is, for me, a more pleasant and relaxing activity. I love the simplicity of it: simple loops interlocking without the twisting of crochet stitches. I find the motions more soothing to do. I can knit and read subtitles on foreign language TV programs at the same time. I find knitting easier to do than crocheting: I don’t have to be always counting because all the stitches are right there on my needle and also, knitting is a bit easier on my wrists than crocheting. (Some people find exactly the opposite is true for them, so it’s probably a matter of individual technique.) I prefer the look of knitting, generally speaking.

    But the anti-crochet snobbery of some knitters is ludicrous. Both are good skills to have. Crochet is better for making sturdy things than knitting. Crochet is faster. Crochet makes amazing lace and great edgings. Crochet is great for seaming things together. I have never seen a knit bookmark that was as functional (and only rarely one as attractive) as the simple ones I whip out quickly with my own very modest crochet skills. I like to look at other people’s complicated renditions of words and pictures in filet crochet and am in awe of some of the photos of “hyperbolic crochet” I’ve seen online.

    Why look down on either skill? I still do both and enjoy both, although I prefer knitting. I don’t look down on needlecraft skills I don’t possess either (for example, tatting or naalbinding). Why would I? All skills are potentially useful to have; why should I care what someone else’s chosen hobby is; and, besides, I am genuinely glad to see old, less necessary skills (hand knitting, blacksmithing, whatever) being kept alive for another generation, even if I don’t choose to practice them myself.

  • I admire the complexity of knitting, but I don’t have the skills to interpret the charts correctly to get what I think the stitch is supposed to be. I love cables, haven’t figured them out. Plus, knitting seems to take a long time to me, and I can get quick results with crochet. I took a crochet class to beef up my crochet skills. While there, a shop employee was finishing a knitted piece for a client with crochet. If the client hadn’t been a knit snob, she could have finished her item for a fraction of the cost and spent the money she saved on luxurious yarns. Heck, I could have finished her knitted item and spent the money she paid me on luxurious yarns.

    How much trouble will I get into if I say I prefer cross stitch? Will I cause riots if I say I dislike the long and short satin stitch in crewel embroidery and avoid kits with an over abundance of this heinous stitch? Will I be forgiven for having fallen off the silk embroidery band wagon (to mix metaphors)?

  • i just love to read this. I was one of those with eyes of prejudice 😉 I used to think that crochet is somehow second class (sorry!) art to knit because I met more crocheters than knitters and thus thinking that with so many crocheters why bother learning the art itself. Call it a injustice pride and silly misconception but that’s what I feel back then. And because no knitter I know was available to teach me I would be content not to touch either form of arts. Several years later I found crochet publication that is elegant and classy and that’s where my brainwave take turn. I learn to knit soon afterward. (How silly is that? To think that something is better without even trying myself. I know, laugh at me as you please, ^_^). Now that I can do both, I see them complement each other, they save me from boredom and I just feel content that I employ both to suit my need and style. Just my two cents.

  • I knit and crochet. I learned to crochet first and then to knit. I find that some crochet patterns look more interesting. I am making vest that has both a crocheting pattern and a knitting pattern . I am making the crocheting pattern because the crochet pattern is more interesting to look at.

  • I knit and crochet and on any given day I have a project of both going.

  • I first learned how to crochet when I was nine. I learned how to knit two years ago, thanks to a YLS. Now I enjoy both and I do go into phases when I prefer one over the other. I would love to try a pattern that involves both, but I want to improve my knitting skills before I do.

  • Crochet is my favorite, but I knit as well. At one local yarn shop, when I mentioned I crochet, the shop owner told me “we don’t sell crochet yarn”. No sale for me at that shop, and I didn’t go back. We have some great yarn stores in the area, and one has a sign on the door “Crocheters welcome”.

  • I learned to knit at a very young age. I never had to learn to crochet because my mother, then later, my mother-in-law would make any item I wanted for myself or my children. Now, both moms have passed on and I still only know how to knit. Maybe I can learn when I retire next year! I now have a new grandchild and would love to crochet her some new things.

  • Try adding tricot (Tunisian crochet) and croknit to the mix.!!

  • I also knit and crochet, love both for different reasons, and can’t imagine why anyone would want to restrict themselves..each to their own I suppose.

  • Live this post (I actually meant to say ‘love’, yet ‘live’ works even better 🙂
    & I love it, too … Thank you, Franklin!

  • I make knit hats and crocheted blankets for the newborn nursery at my local hospital. I’m sure they are equally warm and comfy!

  • I do both but prefer crochet because its gentler on the joints. I’ve come across prejudice too, sadly only from knitters.

  • Thanks to my grandmother, I was a hooker when I was 5, designing crochet items for my dolls. I have always wanted to be a knitter, particularly of cabled items. But every time I try to do so, I get quite far along into my beginner’s project knitting and purling, when I notice that I dropped a stitch several rows back and I must rip it all out and redo. So, I’m a dyed in the wool crocheter and after 60 years of never dropping a loop while crocheting, I will probably NOT try to knit ever again. But I hold nothing against knitting just to maintain an attitude. When Mom was in her 40s, I showed her how to do single crochet so she could edge a knitted project. She managed that, but didn’t feel comfortable with the process, and prefers to choose knitting projects which don’t require any crochet. Still. So, at least for us, something more is going on here. Our preference is like feeling comfortable in our skin. The other seems like hard work, where our favored yarn craft is an old friend, comfortable, stress-free, at times mesmerizing, at times mindless.

  • I crochet but have knitted. It has been so long I no longer remember how to cast on and never figured out how to cast off. I bet there’s help out there for those problems.

  • PS. After reading the article AND all the posts, it sounds like yarn shop owners would do well to heed the words of the crocheters in these replies because it sounds like we buy about 50% of the yarn. If I owned a yard shop, I’d want EVERYONE’s business. Luckily I’ve never been treated badly. Woe to the shop that snubs me because I’m a hooker! ; ) Social media is pretty powerful today.

  • I knit and crochet both!! I actually like crochet better because I think it’s easier, but I absolutely love knitting also. I don’t understand those people either!!

    Check out my craft blog at

  • I knit and crochet and love them both. I even teach them both. My students have asked what I like better and I tell them it depends on what I am making. It is ashame to discriminate because of the love of one or the other. Both make beautiful things and each have their merits and their faults, so why not embrace both. Just making something you love out of a beautiful yarn how canthat be wrong.

  • knitting and crocheting belong together!! I do both and much, much more…..

  • I will soon be 90 years old – my brother once asked my Mother & me “if you were to lose some part of your body, what would you miss the most? Mother said “my eyes.” Brother & I both said “my hands.” Since the age of 5, I have been interested in all crafts and learned that no matter what happens in life, there is always something one can do to smooth the path of living. Please keep an open mind and gain all the knowledge you can. Have learned to crochet, knit, tat, spin, paint, draw, pottery, jewelry, designing, weaving, life has been full. My only regret is that there is so much to learn and so little time in a lifetime. Open the floodgates for yourself, be it in the beauty of sunrise or sunset, the fresh smell of earth after a rain, freshly mowed lawn or field, the song of a bird, mew of a kitten, bark & friendship of a dog, enjoy what is all around you every minute and hour of every day!

  • My preferences tend to go in stretches. For years I wasn’t terribly interested in knitting, and made afghans and scarves and other crocheted projects, some quite elaborate. About 8 or 9 years ago, I picked up knitting needles because I wanted to make a fine-gauge sweater, and felt that crochet would be “too bumpy.” Did I say stretches? Looong stretches. Some of my favorite projects, however, are sweaters with crocheted edging at hem, sleeve, button band, and collar. To me, lace seems easier with a crochet hook, and knitting is better at turning out fabric for garments (particularly socks, in which you will be standing on stitches, and an even fabric is close to a must for comfort). And, from what I’ve read in comments already posted, the “divided” crafters are in the minority!
    Long live the stitch, no matter what implement we use to make it! 🙂

  • I have trouble with keeping a gauge when I try to crochet, so I don’t as a rule crochet. But I do have a full set of hooks and I use them to slip stitch edges together or to add a simple single crochet border to things I knit. I also occasionally crochet a mini bag or clutch purse. I do amigurumi knit animals and would love to learn to do them same in crochet. My mom crochets some beautiful things and sometimes I do suffer from hook envy. I love both as the art-forms they are and combine them when I can. I also make mixed media jewelry and love to combine things with that including yarn. My late grandmother taught me to knit and to sew, both by hand and on a machine, but the most important thing she taught me is to not be afraid to experiment with different things. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and you learn from that.
    I know people who are beaders and would not think of using wire and people who make jewelry and are apparently terrified of fiber art, so there are divides everywhere that don’t need to be there. I want to learn it all, but I also like to teach so I guess I am just a mixed bag of tricks. lol

  • I started knitting in HS in the 60s and started crocheting a few years ago. My Italian grandmother did both marvelously well. Because she could not read or write English, she would look at a picture of something that you wanted and would knit it up for you. I’m sure many folks have grandparents like that. My fondest memories are of her and a group of her lady friends sitting around, crocheting or knitting, and talking a mile a minute in a language I, regretfully, never learned. She could talk to you and never look at her project but the project always turned out correctly. I have many doilies that she crocheted in her “spare” time. Although I don’t use them, I can’t part with them either.

  • I wasn’t aware of the hostility between the two groups! I learned to crochet ten years ago and learned to knit a couple months ago. Here is my story about it:

  • Tried unsuccessfully to learn to knit. Learned to crochet so-so, but then when I decided I REALLY wanted to learn to knit (was around European knitters and saw more than scarves and afghans), I picked it up better because I had learned a little crochet. I have found each has helped me improve at the other, and like them for different things. I love to knit, but can crochet much faster and with less concentration.

  • Great article! So true (for whatever nonsensical reason)! I’ve done my part as a “Crocheter” to learn to knit, and I love it! I think it makes both arts more versatile to know some of each.

  • I learned to crochet when I was about 8, and taught myself to knit about 25 years later. I love both, but mainly knit because of stiff hands. Get with it – both are useful skills.

  • I thoroughly enjoy ALL fiber crafts!!! Though I have learned and regularly do many, I just haven’t learned them all yet. I share my creative talents by crafting for others… who very much enjoy whatever I make for them and often request additional items. I firmly believe it’s just plain ugly to scoff at or demean any type crafting talent, no matter what it is. It’s best to NOT place one creative form in higher regard than another. They ALL have their good and bad points depending on what is desired in the end product. So, maybe those who reject a particular craft are really just jealous and need to take the time to learn how to do it themselves.

  • I do both and have combined in the same project (altering a crochet pattern to give a knitted back). I have crocheted for more than 50 years and knitted for most of those. I love both, but probably try to convert more knitting to crochet than the other way around because I can edit in crochet and only copy in knitting (sometimes poorly because of gauge errors). Thank you for your blog.

  • I learned to crochet first, a blessed gift from my grandmother and I cherish it, as she is not with me anymore. I learned to knit many years later by a friend. I do both…I love both! When I do projects, I alternate…one knit project, one crochet project. I used to think that I did that to keep my skills up. But now I believe I do that because I love them both immensely! I guess I’m weird. But its ok, it adds to my charm!

  • I’ve been crocheting for over 20 years . I’ve always wanted to learn how to knitt and this year I will!! ” life is short and yarn is long”!

  • Y no you are not weird knitandcurl I knit AND crochet and I like both to

  • I learned to crochet before the age of 5 and to knit in high school. I learned to weave in my twenties and to spin in my forties. I love it all and depending on what I am making depends which it is at the time. Why settle for one way to use fibers!!!

  • I have also encountered this phenomenon and frankly, I just don’t understand. All of the ladies in my family made an effort to learn every handwork skill they could, with the understanding that each craft was more suited for certain uses than others. I sew, embroider, needlepoint, cross-stitch and knit. It is also on my list to learn crochet. When I find women spewing venom about certain skills and those that choose to do them, I have to wonder at their motives. Why should another woman’s love and preference have such a violent reaction?

  • Thanks Franklin! So true! I learned to knit and crochet about 6 years ago. It’s too bad more people don’t learn both (extensively) so they can open up their options.

  • I learned to knit and crochet about the same time. Both crafts were valuable to me at some point in my life. I crocheted a beautiful (not lumpy) diamond afghan for a friend as a wedding gift. I knit a baby blanket for another friend. Just last week I crocheted myself a beanie with bear ears and a propeller for a play (it was the Gaelic-language version of the Three Bears, for a class) because it was faster than knitting one. The projects I knit take a long time but I enjoy the process. The knit shawl I’m currently making requires a crochet hook to place beads. Now, I’m intrigued by the notion of crochet instead of sewing for steeking! Thank you for this piece, Franklin!

  • Ah, Franklin! If only it were that easy! My sister’s M-I-L despaired of ever getting me to learn knitting, while I did master crochet and embroidery thanks to her patience. Maybe that disdain from knitters is their feeling of superiority that some of us can’t master two needles and use only one. I don’t know, but fortunately, she had patience in abundance. A co-worker finally succeeded to show me the way, but it only lasted as long as I worked there, b/c once I left, I did not have her with me every day at lunch to direct me how to fix issues. That was 26 years ago. I still have that 6-ft long piece with all those different stitches and long to get back to it, but I am intimidated and have no one now to help me get back onto two needles. I even was given two of Martha’s looms so it would be “easier”, but talk about intimidation….! I did open one package! LOL! And as far as patterns go, I do understand the reasoning behind the “don’t mix” ideation b/c I’m probably not alone when I say I won’t buy a book of patterns I can’t finish, and they need to sell the books, so…! As I approach retirement age, still a few years yet, I hope to find another patient someone near me who knits and will not curl their lip in disgust and condescend to re-teach me. If that does not happen, I won’t despair b/c Lion Brand has so many types of yarn suited to crochet projects that are just as beautiful, in my opinion, as some knit projects, and they have so many free patterns, I could crochet until I’m toes up and not run out of ideas! Thanks, Lion Brand!

  • Bravo!

  • Bravo!

  • this harks back to the day of class discrimination and race discrimination. The Irish did stunning crochet that from what I have heard, simply breathless in scope and complexity. However the Irish were much malign, and ANYTHING they did was looked down upon. Another section of the US also crochets more than knits, African Americans. Again the same sort of discrimination.

    Lastly I would LOVE to learn to do really stunning items in crochet and have even bought a knitting & Crochet stitch dictionary. The crocheting I have heard eats up more yarn and I really don’t want to buy more yarn. My walk in closet is about to burst.

  • I can crochet, and I think it’s a handy skill to have, but I really don’t like the way crocheted fabric looks. That doesn’t make me a bad person or anti-hooking; it makes me a a person with an opinion, one that I’m perfectly fine sharing with anyone who asks.

  • I am not sure I understand what the big deal is and why crocheters hate knitters and vice versa. I crochet only, but it’s only because of time constraints. I work full-time and just don’t have the time to learning knitting right now. I have my hands full with crochet. But there will come a time when I will want to add to my reportoire of skills and learn to knit, too! I have encountered knitters who are somewhat hostile to crocheters, though, and I’ve never understood why that is.

  • And, don’t forget…picking up sts and casting off as you go (in two different ways, no less!) is the same as picking up and single crocheting or slip stitching. Great ways to support or finish an edge, and you can’t tell which technique was used to do so.

    Until the 80s, at least, I saw patterns for knit garments with crocheted edgings. I am sure I didn’t see them after the eyelash craze took off.

  • Crochet has done some very nice things to my knitting.
    I learned to hook first from my husband’s grandmother; taught myself to knit from a children’s book and only put the needles down to add crocheted loops, or ti spin ‘n weave-a-little. After all, it’s all fiber manipulated with tools and practice.

  • I also knit and crochet and love doing both… I have a couple young friends who just learned how to knit and both are very good at it and now they are both ready to learn how to crochet… I don’t understand why knitters would shun crocheting and vice versa… I have never heard that before…

  • I crocheted before I learned to knit, and must be honest; my crochet skills are far superior. BUT – I can do both.

    I have been to both a LYS and to Stitches East and been “hated” on for being “only” a crocheter at the time. I was purchasing luxury yars at both locations – spending a lot of money – and was sneered at. “WHY would you spend so much money on ‘just’ crochet?” “Don’t you want to find the Red Heart or Lion Brand booths?” To which I’d already been and spent the first half of my savings. But they didn’ need to know that.

    Because I preferred wool and silk and alpaca to acrylic? Because there are BEAUTIFUL crochet projects that are better suited for those fibers? Because making my son’s earflap hat from alpaca will make it warmer and I want him warm in Boston?
    Anyhow – I am now bicraftual (bistitchual?) and love both arts for what they bring to the table. There are some things that are better suited for crochet than knitting and vice versa. But I see no need to hate.

  • I both crochet and knit. I learned to crochet 60 years ago and knitting not long after. Although knitted projects were lovely it was such a slow, tedious process I never got good at it, then I learned about the continental method which uses movements similar to crochet. Knitters who consider crochet a simple, cheap craft should wake up to the fact that crochet was originally a lace making technique and is far from simple or cheap, where as knitting was the simple and inexpensive alternative because it could be done with a simple homemade machine, and was from about the 1400 – 1500 hundreds. Both methods have their uses so I can only pity those who are so narrow minded that they look down on either technique as cheap and outdated. Hooray for yarn manipulators no mater what technique they use.

  • I do both, love both, and regularly incorporate both into the same item. I don’t understand the knit or crochet snobs, man. I guess it just means I have more pretty toys and more pretty yarn to play with than those that militantly stick to one or the other. 😛

  • I do crochet as well as knit.
    In fact, this is the first time I hear about rivalries between the two crafts. Is this specific to the US, maybe? I live in Germany.
    I learned crochet at the age of 6 and knit around the age of 11. Usually I prefer knitting, yet I love crochet for finishing, embellishments and for accessories. I love the variety of both. Each has endless possibilities and unique look and touch. Depending on what I want to achieve, one technique might be more suitable than the other.
    Most German knitting books which aim to give a deeper introduction have a chapter on crochet as well. When teaching a knitting class, I also teach basic crochet.
    I think both are wonderful crafts and complement nicely.

  • Presently making an afghan using both knitted and crochet blocks and it looks stunning! I also tend to embroider at times on the knitted blocks. The more crafts one can master, the more equip one is to live an independent life.

  • I try to incorporated crochet in my knitting whenever it makes things easier. Definitely for the border, but also I Bind off with a crochet hook! It’s much faster & gives consistent stitch size. Also, if I need to bind off loosely I just increase the size of the crochet hook to get the desired looseness I want.

  • I have crocheted for 31 years & knit for 13 now. I do not have a Jekyll-and-Hyde split in my psyche, & don’t have a problem with either craft. Can’t understand the “either-or-but-not-both .”
    The “won’t do” folks miss out, in my opinion, on a very enjoyable craft, no matter which it is.

  • I am with you, I do both. My knitting is basic, but I learned after crochet. Its like cooking beef 1 day and pork the next. Or chicken or turkey, or beans and peas. You get the idea. They each have a purpose.

  • My mother was both a crocheter. I mostly crochet but im in the process of improving my knitting. I like doing both. It opens up your world to so many more projects that way..I met a woman that said you cant do both. I say if you want to you can.

  • Okay, so call me crazy too! I learned how to knit & crochet at a very early age. My Mom was a lefty and I’m a righty … boy was that fun! As she was teaching me, she said to remember the three most important words: “Yes, You Can”. Today, there isn’t anything I can’t do and I’ll be hanged if I’d let a little hook or pointy needle scare me back to hide under my afghans!

  • I can see where a crafty person might prefer crochet over knit or knit over crochet, but a yarn shop should embrace crafters of any kind who will buy the yarn. The yarn shop owner or salesperson who one prefers one or who can only teach one skill, can say “I’m sorry I can’t help you with that.” Of course a SMART saleperson would do a little research on the other craft to be able to suggest appropriate yarns and amounts for a given project.

    As a costume sewer, I have only dabbled a bit into quilting, but I can assist a customer with selecting fabric and colors for a quilt. Similar skills, different projects, but ends up selling products which makes the store a profit.

    As for knit and crochet, I have knit some, but prefer to crochet, if I drop my work and it starts to unravel, it only unravels one stitch at a time.

  • It doesn’t help that every time someone in a movie wears crochet, it’s to accentuate their eccentricity. In Harry Potter, Mrs. Weasley had some amazing sleeves .. I wouldn’t wear them, but she was meant to be a bit eccentric, as was her house. She knitted, but had crochet. Then later along comes Luna Lovegood, wearing crocheted sweaters. This sort of thing leaves impressions on people out in the real world.

  • I knit and crochet! AND I do it left-handed! Talk about a hard time learning……my mother couldn’t teach me because she was right-handed, so I learned from a book. I am better at crochet and it is my first love but I think knitting is great too and when I find patterns that I feel qualified to make, I GO FOR IT! The controversy is silly, both crafts produce beautiful projects and that is what matters, so I say To Each Her Own!

  • My first comment before reading other comments is a resounding AMEN. I knit some things, crochet others, and have combined the two in the same project on more than one occasion. I love knitted AND crocheted lace, although I generally knit garments. Crochet for me is usually reserved for ornamental things (some literally, as I do crocheted snowflakes). Both are wonderful and amazing crafts, and there are incredibly beautiful examples of both everywhere you look. To those who insist on restricting yourselves and doing one or the other exclusively, all I can say is that you are truly missing out, and only hurting yourself.

  • Comment made below under name of neednap…that’s me, but with my knitting/crochet/craft email address, which is different from my facebook registry address…

    Also, my Ravelry user name is neednap, just to clarify. Request: can we log in or share with Ravelry some time in the future? I practically live there! (grin)

  • I do both and actually have sought out patterns that combine them. They are definitely in the minority! What a shame. Which reminds me, I’ve been struggling with a collar that just doesn’t do it for me. I may have to rip it out and convert to crochet on this all knit sweater. Now to pick my stitches …. I’m feeling better about this sweater already!

  • Very true , we can become very blinkered once we get involved in a paticular craft , we should be open to all methods then decide which we are best at !

  • I was sneered at in a yarn shop once for saying that I crocheted! You would have thought I said I didn’t bathe! It was a shame, too, because the shop was gorgeous and I tend to buy yarn for it’s own sake and not just for a project.

  • I learned to both crochet and knit as a child. When my youngest was a baby 46 years ago I quit both until my children were grown. I then picked up crocheting again. A fefw years ago I decided to start knitting again. I made scarves for Christmas presents. Then a few years later I went to a friend of mine who owns a yarn shop and said I needed help. I wanted to start really knitting again but I would NOT use double pointed needles (bad experience in those old years. He taught me how to use the circular needles and I love them. I have made several large projects for myself (as in knit shawls) but my preference is to knit hats for the troops. With circular needles I don’t have “chicken wings” flapping beyond my elbows and my work easily stays in my lap.
    Why some people discriminate regarding crocheting and knitting I don’t know. I love them both. I have friends who do both as well as many other of the fiber arts.
    I just came home from a trip with a hank of alpaca yarn that my friend made from fiber she carded, and spun and it is beautiful. Watching a fiber go from an alpaca to a finished project whether knitted or crocheted is really beautiful.
    I have discovered that whenever I pick up some yarn my mind automatically switches on the right information as I pick up the needles or a hook.
    The new thing I’m going to learn is how to use 2 circular needles at a time. This was just recently suggested to me and it will greatly enhance making the hats for our military.

  • I completely agree. I happily do both. Right now I’m knitting afghan squares that get connected using crochet and then a crochet border around the whole thing. I’ve seen crochet sweaters with knit ribbing. As you say, both have strengths and weaknesses.

  • I had a grandmother who knitted and another who crocheted. I do both and remember my grandmothers fondly 🙂

  • I really envy crocheting because they can make such perfect balls and little amigurimi! But ii am really good at knitting(told so, honest) and can follow a pattern with ease. I’m the only one in my family to do so, everyone else crochet’s and ii just can’t get it 😛 ii sum it up to a freestyle or grid mindset.

  • I learned to crochet at a young age & my mom taught me to read instruction books well. I couldn’t “get” knitting until many years later a friend at work taught me the Continental style. I love both equally well, but never thought to put both into one project … gotta try that!

  • I crochet and knit. I feel good about myself that if I see an item I like, I can do it either way. I’ve never used both on the same item, but it makes sense to me. All I have to say about it is,
    “Bring it on!!”.

  • I’m a knitter who recently learned to crochet, and have just finished my first crochet project. Let’s not be purists – let’s embrace bicraftuality!

  • I crochet and knit, and I love to find patterns that combine the strengths of each. I would also love to see more patterns that take existing clothing and add parts of it in knit and/or crochet. It would be a great way to recycle!!

  • I can do both easily, but I’ve heard even professionals on early episodes of both Knitting Daily & Knit & Crochet comment they can’t.
    ref “…pitched an idea …for a piece about a hybrid pattern… took months to answer the subscriber mail…” Simply Knitting, the only magazine I subscribe to had a recent issue with a few pieces of hybrid & pure crochet included – wow, the outrage.

  • I attend a Knitter’s Fair every fall that won’t allow vendors to display weaving, machine knitting or crochet. I think that anything you can do with fibre is fair game and I love to combine hand and machine knitting or hand knitting and crochet. You can get effects by combining techniques that you could never get by using just one.

  • I knit, but I sure wish I could crochet. I have tried learning buy going to a class and I just do not have the patiance to learn. I have however learned how to do simple, and I mean very simple crochet steps for finishing some of my knitted items. I think crochet should be taught along with knitting, they really do go hand in hand and both skills are good to have.

  • As ever, beautifully put, Mr. Habit. I go both ways, myself, so I applaud anyone who advocates for a blending of two harmonious approaches to making yarn into beautiful, useful things. Thank you!

  • I do both – they do have their strengths and weaknesses. Why throw out the screwdrivers and only keep one hammer?

  • […] at odds.  A very funny and quite pointed essay by Franklin Habit describes the phenomenon, here:  In short, sometimes knitters feel that crochet is good for only useless dustcatchers like […]

  • Mom originally taught me to knit and a teeny bit of crochet when I was younger, and I retaught myself to knit in… 9th grade, and had an army brat freshie friend poke me into relearning how to crochet. I have to admit, I like both. I’m better at knitting, though;.

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