Thursday, March 12, 2009

Crochet vs. Knitting

Lately there has been talk on Crochet Partners about the attitude that some knitters have toward crocheters. I wonder where this started and why? Some say it started way back when the well-to-do ladies knitted with fine yarns, while their maids had to crochet to make extra money.

And why is it that some knitters who only know how to knit snub their noses when they see someone crocheting? Those of us who crochet certainly don't feel the same when seeing someone knitting! Could it be that the knitters who only know how to knit are jealous because they don't know how to crochet?

Crochet and knitting both require the use of yarn or thread, so I don't know why after all these years there is still a look of horror on some knitters' faces when they find out you're a crocheter!
Even some yarn shop owners refuse to sell to crocheter. The shop owner is losing out on sales by not selling yarn to ANYONE who wants to buy it, no matter what you're going to do with it.
I can imagine someone going into a yarn shop and buying a lovely yarn with the intention of using it for staking tomatoes because it would "look pretty" in the garden. that's an idea on what to do with your oddball skeins of fun fur! Use it to stake your tomato plants!

Since I both knit AND crochet, I can go to any yarn shop and buy yarn and not feel like an idiot when I see all the ladies there with knitting needles. I can knit with the best of them.
I will say this, though. If I don't see anything regarding crochet in a yarn shop, I don't even MENTION crochet because I know the owner is not crochet friendly.

Thank goodness the shop I go to has yarns that will work with knitting or crochet, even though they may a bit more expensive than the yarns you get at a big box store.

Yesterday I bought several skeins of Cascade Sierra for CROCHETING a shawl with it. I can crochet a shawl much faster than I can knit it, but knitting one is more challenging. However, if I want it done quickly, it has to be crocheted.


  1. Isn't that attitude just crazy?

    I knit but my mom crochets A LOT. I am totally intimidated by learning it and really impressed with people who can crochet. I can ask my mom to crochet me a bag and she can just free-form crochet something. I don't feel like you can do that as easily with knitting.

    Someday I'll get her to teach me.

  2. I too have been following the conversation at crochet partners. I am just getting back into crochet, after 15 years away. I have never knitted, But I am open to trying. I like the look of crochet better then regular type knitted designs. Everyone has their preferences.

    I am now a little afraid to vist LYS, because of this crochet bias. I don't understand how a business can ignore anyone wanting to buy items. It shouldn't matter how someone uses yarn etc.


  3. Beats me why this is the case. As a crocheter, I don't "look down" on knitters! In fact, my LYS is named "Simply Knitting" so you know where the emphasis is there! And yet, not only do they welcome me with open arms, there is a sign in the window that says, "This is a crochet-friendly yarn shop." Isn't that cute?

    A Musician by Grace

  4. I have not run into the issue...Although...when I am crocheting...most people will say Oh what are you knitting or there's Lori with her KNITTING...I do correct them nicely and ask if they want lessons. I just hate it when someone comes up to me and says 'Oh if I buy the yarn will you make me...slippers or a afghan...I often will reply...No, but If you buy the yarn I will buy the needle as a gift and the gift comes with lessons.' I have had several take me up on it. In fact, I just gave to a service auction...a blanket- fleece and two crocheted potholders-- each attached to a note...with lessons. They were quite a hit.
    Nice blog.
    Thanks Lori

  5. I just don't get it... Knit and crochet are different, but I enjoy each of them, BECAUSE of their differences! I'm also fortunate, that my LYS is crochet and knit and weave and spin and needlefelt friendly!! There is no prejudice, everyone is welcome. We even had an artist in, looking for "something" to add to a piece - and I've used yarn to tie up the hubby's tomatoes, too.

  6. hi pat, I too haven't come across any discrimination. When I was in Toronto the LYS owner was a knitter and a crocheter and was a darling. I too enjoy both skills.I really don't get why people literally look down at either one. Both are beautiful in their own ways like all people are. Marlene

  7. I am a crocheter, but dabble in knit (mainly dishcloths & scarves). My LYS is friendly, but they are all knitters that work there. They are very helpful & friendly when I bring in a crochet pattern and need help to do a yarn substitute, since most of the LYS yarns have different size & gauge lingo, though they carry some "regular" yarns too. :)

  8. Can't say I've ever been "refused" in a LYS when I mentioned crochet.
    Made to feel uncomfortable -- sure.
    I, too, can and do knit, though not by any stretch "with the best of them."
    At my favorite LYS in La Mesa (Two Sisiters & Ewe), I am made very welcome and will sit crocheting happily on project while swapping knitting tips.

  9. I admire folks who crochet - mainly because I'm so bad at it. I can knit a shawl (just the one pattern I have mastered) and dishcloths. That's it! I see these gorgeous, lacy, complex things other people crochet, and I almost drool with envy! I got a book of delightfully funky crochet patterns for Xmas, so I'm hoping to improve my skills.

    As for an LYS that refused to sell to a crocheter, that is just outrageous! I can't imagine either of my LYS doing that. If I witnessed that kind of spiteful snobbery, I'd certainly take my business elsewhere. In today's economy, any business that refuses legitimate business transactions deserves to suffer.

  10. Oops - in my previous comment, I meant to say that i can crochet a shawl, not knit. I'm okay with knitting, but somehow my crochet efforts (anything beyond shawls and dishcloths) never work out.

  11. I was in a yarn store where a crocheter came in for a hook and was told( nose up in the air) we don't carry THAT. My daughter told the women of another yarn store she could go to get one, in front of the stupid owner. She was not happy with us! We left and never went back and tell others not to go there.
    Sad to say there is discrimination in the fiber arts. I am proud to say I can do both but am sad that crochet hurts my Lupus hand and I don't do it as much as I would like.

  12. Thank you so much for your post.
    I am a crocheter and have not experianced any discrimination, as of yet.. and I've been going at it for 8 years (I'm 18 right now). I suppose it's mainly because where I live, Anaheim, it's rare to see someone crocheting or knitting, and if it is someone, then it's an older person than someone my age.

    Yet, I've been finding myself more and more allured by the yarns not available in box stores. I want ot crochet with Berroco yarn, not Vanna's Choice! Or some nice wool...yet because most of it is meant for knitting, I wonder if it's acceptable for me to use those yarns for crochet, at least by the lys shop owners. Ultimately, there are no rules!

    It's sad to see the fiber arts world so divided.

    I've also been drawn to some knitting patterns I saw in a beautiful! I really don't look down on knitter, though I do find the actual craft a bit limiting ... just two stitches, when those two stitches are the basis for crochet!


All comments welcome!