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Hooking and Cheating

Crocheted pumpkin trivetI’ve been crocheting like a madwoman lately, and it feels a little like I’m having an illicit affair, stepping out on my first love, knitting. All the hallmarks are there–knitting takes more time and commitment, it’s more work and, after years together, the shine has worn off; yet I still love it and have no desire to call it quits. Crocheting, on the other hand, is exciting and new, it doesn’t really want much of a commitment and it provides me with loads of instant gratification.

For the longest time I spurned all of crochet’s attempts to woo me. Knitting was all the man–er, yarn craft I needed, and I was determined to remain faithful. But then I started flirting with it… okay, let’s put that analogy to rest already. Anyway, last year I decided to go ahead and add it to my arsenal, but I couldn’t find any online tutorials that made it really clear what was happening, and I just couldn’t pick it up. Then this summer I found a used book on making granny squares and afghans that had diagrams and instructions that I could actually understand, and I got busy making granny squares. Lots and lots of granny squares.

That got old fairly quickly, as you can imagine. For some reason I was too intimidated at that point to try anything BUT granny squares, so my affair with crocheting started to cool just as it was starting to take off. But in the last month or so, I got over my intimidation and started experimenting on my own with different stitch combinations, and I realized that I knew how to read non-granny square patterns, and so me and crochet are back on with a passion.

As much as I love knitting, it simply takes longer to make things. I love it because in a way it’s easier than crochet; it takes less concentration, unless you’re doing something intricate like lace work or cables or colorwork, and so is better for keeping my hands busy while watching a movie or just letting my mind wander. Crochet takes a little more paying attention, but it’s so much faster. In just the past week I’ve made about a dozen flower and leaf appliques, this basket, a plastic bag holder (similar to this, but I winged it), a pumpkin trivet for the kitchen (shown) and a set of pumpkin coasters for the living room (both from patterns found here). Whereas if I knitted all of those things I’d probably still be working on the bag holder.

Next up I’ll be making this rug for the tile in front of the patio door (to replace the towel we currently have there to catch mud from tiny paws when they come in from the back yard), just as soon as I can cut up some old tank tops to turn them into yarn. I kind of expect that part to take longer than actually making the rug.

In summation: I will always love knitting; but crochet is definitely in my heart, too.

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