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Knitting and Crocheting: A Successful Relationship (Plus a Finishing Tip!)

Sep 28, 2009

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.)

Here's Marcy!

Marcy SmithFlirting 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.

Franklin and WimiSo 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

Kathleen, here!

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.





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on Oct 12, 2009 4:27 PM

If this drivel is characteristic of what Knitting Daily has become, then it's a waste and not worth reading.   The Flirting with  the Hood article reads as if you were not prepared and opted for the first thing you came across to fill up the space.   Well, it did not work.    Additionally, Knitting Daily is a knitting website.   If I want to read about crocheting, I will find something on crocheting.    In case you are wondering, I am both a knitter and a crocheter.

on Sep 29, 2009 11:58 AM

Hi Caryn,

This stitch is a decorative edging stitch, not a seaming stitch. It's done with the right side facing, in place of finishing techniques such as picking up stitches and knitting ribbing for a neckline, on armholes, and on hemlines.

Hope this makes sense!


Nancijeanz wrote
on Sep 29, 2009 8:49 AM

I really enojoyed Franlin's story Filet of Soul, I got his book "It itches" as a gift from a woman I taught to knit and crochet last year. I hope to read more humor like this in your magazine.

Thank you,


CarynS@5 wrote
on Sep 29, 2009 7:09 AM

This may be a silly question, but is this stitch worked on the right or wrong side? I have a sweater that has been giving me fits to seam up and I'd really like to try this.

Cgs315 wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 5:35 PM

I too prefer knitting, have been using reverse crochet for a finished look for years, and am glad that more and more people realize the value of reverse crochet.  I have also used a crochet hook to bind off for years.  It is much quicker and one gets exactly the tension one wants much more easily.  Just think of the crochet hook as a knitting needle with a hook and work the first stitch onto the crochet hook in pattern.  Work  the second stitch in pattern and pull  the loop made through the stitch on the crochet hook all in one motion. Then drop the worked stitch off the knitting needle.  Do that until all the stitches are bound off, then secure the last stitch as usual.  Try it you might like it.

AnnR wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 5:12 PM

Thanks for this tip. It looks very neat and I will certainly try it.

Good Job, Kathleen.

OsmiaL wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 4:36 PM

Hey Marcy,

Sounds like you and Franklin and Wimi, but not Smyth :(, had some fun and some flirting fun going on there.  And poor Smyth not only appears to not have been able to join you guys for your fun, but also got left out in the "linky" department, unlike Wimi, who(m?) did get a "linky" to her pattern.

*feeling sorry for Smyth*

deethunder wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 3:07 PM

Thanks for showing the relationship between knitting and crochet.  I'm a crocheter and have been thinking about expanding, this article gives me a better nudge.....blending the two seems a great way of getting people's attention to what is done on an article.

I do have one request.  Since I'm a lefty, would it be possible to also include pics for us lefties?  (I'm told it's not difficult to do, although for me it seems most difficult even though I've been shown a few times.)

And if you're teaching, just hang a mirror and any student can know what to do instead of trying to reverse it in their heads.  I do this all the time with the righties I teach.

thanks so much for all you do,

stephanie@43 wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 2:07 PM

kathleen, for the reverse single crochet stitch to sew seams together, are you placing right sides together or wrong sides?  Love it!!!



AndreaW wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 11:56 AM

While I do both knitting + crocheting....knitting is definately my first LOVE!!!  However...even people who are strictly knitters should be open to the possibilities that crochet offers to their knitting. ie: a friend recently asked me if I had any suggestions for a basic crocheted neck edging on a sweater. She'de run too low on yarn to do the called-for knitted edging.  One of my favorite uses is to create a quick base for a temporary cast on using waste yarn. When the time comes "zip" + it's gone!!!  Crochet creates a quick/ sturdy + sometimes decorative way to join knitted pcs w/o having the multi ends to work in that sewing creates/ etc/ etc. A world w/o crochet??? Not in this knitter's house!!!  Take Care ..... Andrea

Don McCarthy wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 11:55 AM

I find it very distressing when I see these articles because I am left handed.  While I know how to crochet the basic stitches I cannot do the more complicated ones.  This is one of the many reasons I prefer Knitting.  I knit like everyone else!!  I agree with EllenG wholeheartedly.  Thanks MarilynM

EllenG@4 wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 11:38 AM

If i want to know about crochet I would subscribe to a crochet newsletter.  This is KNITTINGDaily.  

Enough with the spinning, sewing, crochet--get on with the knitting!

Tinahens520 wrote
on Sep 28, 2009 11:01 AM

Actually, the direction is Right-to-Left (hence Reverse Single crochet) The stitch is higher and slanted.


A knitter and a crocheter, too