Melange: half knit, half crochet.(Winter 2007)
Today's Guest Star poster is Kim Werker, editor of Interweave Crochet magazine and the new book Crochet Me.
Sandi just the best? Not only are her KD posts entertaining and
informative even for crocheters like me, she makes a great lunch date
when I'm in Colorado to put an issue of Interweave Crochet to bed. And that's exactly what we did a couple of weeks ago: we sent the winter issue off to press.
In addition to working on the magazine, I've spent the last several weeks promoting my new book, Crochet Me.
Not only is it amazing to talk about this project I'm so proud of and
to tell the stories of so many talented designers, it's also an
incredible privilege to meet crocheters and knitters from across the
land. Oh, yes, I was surprised, too, by how many knitters came to say
hi, ready to get an earful from me about crochet. I talk fast, too. So
it's really an earful.
When Sandi asked me to write a guest post on KD, I thought of all
the conversations I've had with knitters over the years, and wanted to
take this opportunity to share some of what has come out of those
chats. I'd love to know what you think. Here's the gist:
Close your eyes and picture a crocheted sweater.
Let me guess. It's made from double crochet. It's dense. It's hot
(in the warm sense). It resembles body armour. As a knitter, it's an
affront to all you value about handstitched garments.
Now open your eyes and take a look at the latest issue of Interweave Crochet, or at Crochet Me. Nary a body-armour garment in the bunch. Why?
Antoinette Cardigan (coming Winter 2007)
because to achieve a flattering, pleasing fit in crochet you have to
approach three things just as carefully as you approach them for a
knitting project: Yarn, stitch, and hook size. The only difference
between knitting and crochet is that, well, they're different from each
other. Crochet stitches are denser than knit stitches, and there's a
far wider variety of them to choose from. That can be overwhelming. I
can't stress enough how important it is to swatch early and swatch
often! Grab an hour and some yarn and needles and hooks, and take a wee
journey with me.
Make a stockinette stitch swatch in one yarn on the needles you'd
normally knit it with. Then make a swatch in single, half double, or
double crochet with a hook the same size as the needles. Then make a
third swatch, this time with a hook at least one full millimeter-size
In either case, the crochet swatch will be thicker than the knit
swatch. That's because a crochet stitch is essentially a tube, while
stockinette stitch can lay pretty much flat. It's tempting to write off
crochet right there, isn't it? To say, "Crochet is too dense and thick
to make a flattering garment." But that's lazy, folks. Notice that the
third swatch, on a larger hook, drapes much better than the one made
with a smaller hook. A sweeping generalization about crocheting
garments: Use a lighter-weight yarn and a bigger hook than recommended.
This isn't because crochet is worse, it's simply that crochet is
different from what you're so familiar with.
Really, whether you're interested in crochet or not, being
thoughtful about yarn, stitch, and implement size is key to any
What do you think? I'd really love to know.
Visit Kim's blog on interweavecrochet.com.
Kim's final book tour appearance will be this Thursday, November
15th, from 7-9 pm at Unwind in Burbank, California (www.unwindyarn.com).
Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.
Where in the world is Sandi knitting today? Sandi is knitting
her way around Toronto, Canada for a bit, while she visits with loved
ones. She'll be back as soon as she finishes a few more rows...