Top 5 Reasons You Should Learn to Crochet

There are so many reasons to learn to crochet if you don't already know how. With Crochetpril just around the corner, we thought we'd take a moment to list what we think are the best reasons to know at least the basics of crochet. There are many more than these top 5, but this is a good place to start. We know that once you start, you wan't want to stop.

Before we get into the list, I'll share something from many years ago when Stix had just opened its doors. We had received a window sticker from Interweave publishing which read "Crochet Friendly Shop", with an ask to put it on our door. Interweave had been publishing their Interweave Knits magazines for a few years, and was just getting up and running with Interweave Crochet. We found this a little strange, seeing as we were fully stocked with crochet tools and patterns and crochet shop samples along with all the knitting tools and supplies. We wondered why we needed to advertise something which we thought was self-evident. So, we put the sticker on the door and proceeded with business as usual. 

We were so surprised with the response to the sticker! Shoppers, particularly those from out of town, not only noticed it but commented on it. We heard from many that other shops were not at all receptive to crochet, that some didn't even stock basic supplies like hooks! It was so very strange to us. Why, as a shop owner, wouldn't you want to cater to crocheters just as much as to knitters? Turns out, crochet has gotten a bad reputation over the years, and some knitters were taught to turn up their noses at a skill which had come to be perceived as old-fashioned or out of fashion. Crazy talk, if you ask us. We adore crochet, even (or maybe especially, if you ask Tracy) the kitschy odd retro things about it. I mean, who wouldn't want to make a pair of pants like these?!?

So, let's get into our list. We will go in countdown style, starting with number five.

A few of these reasons are directed primarily at knitters who are unfamiliar with crochet. Some textural or visual effects are so much simpler to execute in crochet than they are in knitting. Which brings us to


Reason Number Five: Applying edgings or borders. 

For instance, let's talk about a crochet lace border on a knitted piece, like this Iris Edging by Julia Schwartz. It can be so much easier and faster to apply a spectacular crochet lace to an edge than it is to achieve a similar look with knitting. You don't have to worry about dropping stitches or losing yarn-overs, and it is generally much easier to achieve open space (lace) in crochet stitches than with knitted stitches. 

It's also a great way to embellish clothing, linens, or fleece blankets!

Wouldn't these sweet borders look great along the cuff of some jeans or on a fleece baby blanket? You can get the pattern here.


Reason Number Four: Ease in working with slippery fibers.

(photo source: Crochetpedia)

I find it challenging to knit with linen, silk, or cotton, but it's a breeze with crochet. For me, maintaining consistent, even tension (particularly between my knits and purls) is a struggle on knitting needles. But the flow through my fingers and the manipulation of the hook make it downright pleasurable for me to crochet with a slippery linen or silk. And since there are many summery tank tops and tees designed for crochet, I win! This one has been in my queue forever, I might have to make it out of Coastal Cotton Fine this year....we just added lots of great new shades of that yarn.

Totum Tee by Nomad Stitches 


 Reason Number Three: Multi-dimensional or Free-Form Objects.

It is at least 19,234,749,589 times easier to make 3D objects or design-as-as-you-go items with a hook than with needles. (Fact source: Me.) Things like Amigurumi toys or other stuffies are a breeze and so much fun to crochet. I'll challenge anyone out there to a crochet-vs-knit Emotional Support Chicken Race. Any takers?

Both of these chickens were designed by Annette Corsino, and are available on Ravelry.

Flowers are another great thing to make with crochet. I made my daughters' wedding bouquet with crochet thread, and she still has it displayed in her house 6 years later, fresh as the day it was made.


 Reason Number Two: Motifs

The best-known crochet motif is probably the classic granny square. For clarity, a motif is a piece designed (but not limited) to be used as a component of a larger part. A motif can be made in a variety of shapes and use a variety of different stitches or colors. One of my favorite designers who uses motifs in her work is Sue Maton of The Mercerie. She uses many shapes and stunning colors in her blanket and shawl designs.

 This is her stunning Wallflowers blanket. Can you even imagine how difficult it would be to achieve an effect like this in knitting? It's so much simpler in crochet! 

Motifs are also great to assemble into tote bags or other home-goods. Again, the color effect is great, and the squares naturally lend themselves to a great shape in the construction of this Magnolia Tote.


Reason Number One: Crochet Uses Different Muscles.

For many yarn addicts, the constraints of available time and muscle fatigue are all that keep us from spending every second of every day and every last ounce of energy we have on our craft. What I have found to be true is that crocheting and knitting use different motions and therefore utilize different hand positions and muscles as well as wear and tear on different joints. When I am worn out from all the knitting, I can switch to crochet and continue my addiction to creating. 

I also believe it uses different neurological pathways. Crochet patterns use a different "language" than knitting patterns, making the brain work a little differently to translate abbreviations to actions. It's a little more free-spirited and free-form too, sometimes making us a little more willing and able to improvise and go off-road than we might be with knitting needles. 

Need more reasons to crochet? Follow along with us for the entire month of April (or Crochetpril, as it's known around these parts). We will be all crochet, all the time, featuring classes, inspiration, and tips. 

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