A note from Kathleen: Even though I'm a knitter first, I look forward to seeing each new issue of Interweave Crochet. There's always something that inspires me to try a new pattern or stitch. This time, the inspiration came from an article by the ever-adventurous Franklin Habit. Here to tell you more about Franklin and his foray into crochet is Marcy Smith, editor of Interweave Crochet—check out the preview of the fall issue! Marcy and her colleague Wimi were lucky enough to spend some time crocheting and laughing with Franklin. (And see my crochet finishing tip at the end of Marcy's story. It's the perfect edging for your knitted sweaters.)
Flirting with the Hook
Here at Interweave Crochet, we love to share the joy of crochet. Even more so if we can bring a knitter on board.
So imagine our delight when we discovered that Franklin Habit, intrepid knitter and author of It Itches, had a dalliance with the crochet hook. We met up with Franklin in Chapel Hill, NC, in February. You may have read Franklin's hilarious cartoons and essays; he's even funnier in person.
With me at the reading was Wimi (say "Wee-Me"). Wimi began life as a Best Friend Doll then took on a career as a crafts journalist, meeting crafters throughout North Carolina. Nowadays, my little knitted friend hangs out with her on-again, off-again Peruvian boyfriend, Smyth, who is crocheted. They work daily to overcome their differences.
So after the reading, Wimi sidled up to Franklin to see if he had any insights into dealing with Smyth. And, as you can see, they hit it off right away. Franklin confided that he too has struggled with crochet. Wimi asked if he could write about it. And the result is “Filet of Soul: One Man's Journey into Crochet,” in the Fall issue of Interweave Crochet.
In a tale that begins on a Greek island and moves to Chicago—with Franklin curled around a crochet hook in the fetal position—Franklin unwinds his story of coming to understand and respect crochet. In between are stints of '70s-afghan-trauma therapy and spates of an odd disconnect between head and hands. By turns hilarious and poignant, Franklin's story demonstrates that even the most confirmed knitter can have a happy flirtation with crochet.
Take a whirl yourself in the Fall issue, where we offer several sweaters that will have you marveling at the style capacity of crochet. There are five quick gifts to crochet, as well as five patterns that call for just one skein of yarn. With a couple of beginner patterns and seven advanced beginner patterns (including a lovely laceweight shawl and an afghan that had a non-crocheter in the office reaching for a hook), you'll find something to sink your hook into. And everything you need to know to get started crocheting is right there in the magazine.
So spice up your own fiber life with Interweave Crochet!
The Reverse Single Crochet Stitch: A Nice Finish
I've used the reverse single crochet stitch—also known as the "shrimp stitch" or the "crab stitch"—so many times it's almost my finishing signature. It gives you a nice, almost picot-looking edge that perfectly finishes a cast-off edge or a neckline.
At left is an example of this technique, on a sweater that I knit for my mom a couple of years ago. I like it with the delicate white yarn and cable pattern.
Here are the directions for this versatile stitch:
Step 1. Working from left to right, insert the crochet hook into a knit edge stitch, draw up a loop, bring the yarn over the hook, and draw this loop through the first one. *Insert the hook into the next stitch to the right (figure 1), draw up a loop, bring the yarn over the hook again (figure 2), and draw this loop through both loops on the hook.
Step 2. Repeat from * until the entire edge has been covered (figure 3).
Cut the yarn and secure the last loop by pulling the tail through it.
I hope you'll try this finishing technique, I think you'll like the result.