What to do with these long summer days? I know, I shall learn how to knit! Or should I learn crochet? Let’s do some research on the internet before I invest in one or the other…..lets see….they say that knitting is harder to pick up, but crochet has more different kinds of stitches to learn–giving it more variety, but once you’ve got knitting down you just go–knit or purl?, but knitting takes about THREE TIMES as long as crochet, BUT crochet GOBBLES up much more yarn. Knitting allows you to make stretchy textiles, but crochet allows for beautiful and lacy designs.
So which one should I learn!? Honestly, I could not decide between the two without trying them first. So. I decided to learn both. At the same time. I tried knitting first. I went down to my library, and checked out the book “knitting for dummies.” Then I went to A.C. Moore and picked out a pair of metallic pink size 9 knitting needles. I don’t know if that was the best size to start with, but I saw a beginner’s kit at the store that had size 8 and 10 included, so I decided 9 sounded like a safe place to settle. So I have my needles, some black yarn (no idea what size it is, I found it under the bed) and my instructional book.
It did take me quite a bit to get going. The initial knots around the needle or “casting on” was not hard to learn, but I found it very difficult to find the correct places to slide my left needle while learning the “knit” stitch. But once I did a few correct stitches, I pretty much had it…most of the time. Then I tried to learn the “continental style” of the knit…..no. Didn’t work. I liked what I had learned and didn’t want to mess it up. I will go back to it someday, but I need more practice first. Anyway, I then tried to tackle the purl. That was much easier to learn than the knit, and my hands felt more comfortable doing it. The picture above of the black THING is the first thing that I knitted. Obviously it’s not perfect. I don’ think I was making the transition from one row to the next properly for a while, and my work had an odd curve to it as a result. I did not bother “binding off” the whole thing here, and just used the first few stitches to practice this finishing technique on.
So the next day I decided I would try crochet because it had taken me about 4 hours to knit no more than an inch and a half garter stitch. Crochet did move a lot faster and the directions and where to put the hook was immediately easier to understand. However, there are a lot more different kinds of knots to be learned with crochet and so it was necessary to keep the instructions in my hand as I practiced.
On the left is a picture of my first crochet. I don’t know what it is….it kind of looks like it could be an ornament…It is a combination of single crochet, a few failed slip-stitches, and double crochet. I did not know how to transition from one row to the next at this point so that is why it started to take on such an odd shape….But at least this only took me about an hour to do!
Once I got going, I decided to start on a new practice piece. On the right is my second attempt at crochet. I was definitely getting better and faster at it. And I learned how to transition from row to row, so it is not wiggling all over the place. This is a few rows of single crochet, but mostly double and half-double crochet because they are SO MUCH FASTER <3 <3
I really like the speed that I can work at with crochet but I do enjoy the stretchy nature of the knitted fabrics. I got a free project pattern from the fabric store to make arm-warmers by knitting. So I decided to make this my first small, but goal-oriented project. And here’s where I am at so far.
Off of the needle, it should be about six and a half inches wide and I will continue to knit a basic garter stitch until it is about 8 inches long. Then I will sew the rectangle into a cylinder with a hole for my thumb. And I will have a home-made arm warmer. Not perfect, but hopefully functional and cute. I will probably embellish with some ribbon, if only to hide my dropped stitches. ^__^;;;