Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Superior Craft?

Is it just the debate of the craft world or is it a conspiracy theory based on the behavior of yarn shop owners? Knit vs. Crochet - which is the superior craft? Horror stories of snobbery and condescension abound - most recently on CrochetWithDee's journal - Needing to Blur the Line. Shop owners who ignore the needs/wants/desires of crochetiers while pandering to the whims of knitters. Granted there may be an huge misunderstanding of the needs/wants/desires of crochetiers. But what is the truth about which craft is superior?

We all have an opinion, right? And that opinion is probably biased - in large part by which craft we each gravitate to. You know where I stand - and if you're reading this I may be able to guess where you stand. But for the sake of argument lets examine a few facts:

Knitting: two needles that make noise when you use them
Crochet: one hook that silently glides with the yarn (ok that might have been a poke at knitters, but after all I'm using a blunt tipped crochet hook!)

Knitting: uses less yarn per project
Crochet: uses more yarn per project

Knitting: patterns and magazines more widely available
Crochet: patterns and magazines harder to find

Knitting: uses yarn in a variety of textures and fibers
Crochet: uses yarn in a variety of textures and fibers

Based on the facts it seems that there is a slight bias toward knitting, evidenced by the fact there are fewer patterns and magazines geared toward crochetiers. Knitters may even try to convince you that it is more economical to knit - you can get more projects out of an equal amount of yarn - but I submit this to you:

On page 46 of the BHG Learn to Knit booklet, knitters are encouraged to pack a small bag with the tools of their trade. Interestingly enough, of the 14 items listed - one is a CROCHET HOOK - and an explanation is offered for its use (for picking up dropped stitches!) Oh, and did I mention that the BHG Learn to Crochet also recommends a kit for crochetiers? Seven items on the list - nothing specific to knitting that could be used in case of crochet emergency.

So, clearly crochet is the superior craft - evidenced by the fact that crochetiers require fewer tools (we're lower maintenance) and knitters mistakes must be fixed with the one tool a crochetier cannot live without! (I admit that was a Python-esque stretch of logic but it sure was fun!)

Seriously folks, it is a bit ridiculous to imagine that one craft is more superior than the other. If we all think hard enough, we can come up with appreciable qualities for both mediums. I agree with Dee that there must be a blurring of the lines - why must either craft be looked down upon by the other? I only know about the recommended tools because I have BOTH books. I am trying to blur the lines in my own home by learning to appreciate a craft that frankly has left me somewhat dissatisfied in the past. I think if I give it half a chance I might come to appreciate it much more than I do. In honor of National Crochet Month, let's all get along - teach a knitter to crochet! (Considering they already have the most important tool in their bag!)


Debi said...

Cleverly written!!! My DD knits, and I crochet, and we even live together. So if we can get along in our different crafts, surely everyone can. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic, Tina Marie, fantastic!

Tina Marie said...

[modest bow] :)

Stephanie said...

I think both have great qualities, I love crochet, its easy and versatile (sp)I am slowly learning how to knit. the sweaters are awesome in knit, that really is the only thing I would want to knit, it takes such a long time!! crochet is so fast, even an afghan can be done in a week if we really want it done. it also seems easier to manipulate, as in free form. I couldnt imagine just starting to knit to see what I get, but with crochet, give me a hook, some yarn and I'll give you something wonderful!! love it

Norma said...

Kudos! I have encountered disrespect from LYS staff, but, also, many compliments from knitters. In fact, a co-worker who knits AND my MIL, who is a lifelong knitter, have asked me to teach them to crochet! I won't get to do it during March (Crochet Month! Yay!), but I look forward to "converting" them...or at least expanding their understanding of "hooking" - should be fun!

Kimberly said...

I'm so sorry that people have upset you enough to make you want to examine which craft is superior. I hate when people belittle the hobbies, talents, and opinions of others.

It's all a matter of choices. I love to crochet AND knit. I find the debate about which one is better frustrating.

I've never heard people argue over whether cross stitching was better than embroidery.

I belong to a group that has knitters, crocheters, and quilters.

To me, I'm being a little simplistic when I say this, but it's like Coke ® and Pepsi ®. We can choose both, either, or neither.

I'm glad, though, that you take pride in crochet. I think that the more people see crochet the more they will learn that it is beautiful and versatile.

Robin said...

I loved your post. You made some very good points.