I have always liked fiber and assorted yarn. I am like a child in a candy store whenever I go to the yarn store. The hanks of fiber arranged by color mesmerize me, calling for me to bring them home, to see what I will create with them. I love how the yarn store is organized by color and wool textures. They challenge me, taunting me, begging me to turn the colorful skein into a one of a kind handcrafted creation. Will this colorful skein of yarn become knotted to make an afghan, a sweater, socks or hats?
The combinations are endless but lead to the great debate among yarn enthusiast, do I knit or do I crochet? Knitting is completed in rows and follows block construction, where as crochet can travel in any direction and takes on a shape of its own.
Knitting has a rich history dating back to pre-Columbian times. The art of knitting became popular in America during World War 1. The November 24, 1941 issue of Life magazine featured a cover story on “How to knit” encouraging women to help in the war effort by hand knitting garments for men at war. (Becker)
There is something rhythmical by taking those two needles into your hands and casting on the yarn to create a wonderful piece of fabric. Just think with only two stitches, the knit stitch and the purl stitch you can create a variety of patterns, magically right before your eyes.
Knitting needles are typically made from aluminum, plastic, bamboo, or wood. Sizes range from 2 mm in diameter to 25 mm in diameter. (Craft Yarn Council of America) Depending on the gauge you seek for your fabric will determine the size of the needles you will use. Different types of yarn require different needles. I found when working with wool, the bamboo needles provide for a smoother process. I like to use larger needles when knitting, because they knit faster than smaller ones giving me a greater sense of satisfaction.
The process of knitting gives you a structural fabric. Unfortunately, if your garment becomes snagged, the snagged stitch will pull and pucker the fabric. This snag will eventually lead to the yarn unraveling. This is called laddering.
People who knit find it to be very relaxing. The clicking of those needles as you work back and forth over the cast yarn can in the end produce a wonderful scarf, or afghan, or sweater each one stitched with love.
Crochet on the other hand, is for us rebellious souls, who like the freedom of letting the yarn take on a life of its own. With just a hook and wrapping the yarn in loops around that hook, you can create things you could never do with knitting. You are not limited to a foundation block; you can go off into a variety of directions. Gone are the days of being square, with crochet you can make a variety of geometric shapes.
The earliest crochet was made by using fingers, rather than the hooks used today. The history can be traced back to the early 1500 BC, as part of...