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Old 01-18-2009, 09:45 AM   #21
biztec
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Originally Posted by KnittinChick View Post
For years, I've heard people say that knitting is much harder to do than crochet. I picked up knitting like a duck to water, but I can't crochet to save my life. My mother can crochet without even looking at her hands. She's tried time and time again to teach me, but I just can't do it.
Is there some ancient crochet secret that you only get if you can do a chain stitch? lol
I'd love to learn, so that I can do decorative borders on blankets, and I've seen some beautiful lace patterns.
Can anyone recommend a book for beginners or offer some tips?

Thank you!
The "Dummies" books are good as well. In addition to afghans, crochet lace, and embellishments, knowing how to crochet is also helpful while knitting to pick up dropped stitches, do a neat bind off, add stitches with a cable cast on, etc. I agree with other posters that if you learn how to knit using the English (throw) method, it will be more difficult to switch hands to crochet. I learned to crochet first and made a smooth transition to knitting using the Continental (pick) method. I've also noticed on many knitting TV shows that when demonstrating techniques, the majority of the knitters also use the Continental method. Now that I've learned both, I switch back and forth between knitting and crocheting projects to give my thumb a rest as it gets sore doing alot of crochet, but calms down when I'm knitting.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:36 AM   #22
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I'm having the same issue.. I have successfully crocheted a sc washcloth and a scarf also in sc. Other than that, I can watch the videos over and over and I do okay practicing the different stitches. But when it comes time to read a pattern, I'm so lost. I can't seem to put it all together. I was so excited about learning crochet because I LOVE knitting so much. I'm beginning to wonder if I will fall victim to the saying, "There are knitters and there are crocheters." I even took a beginning crochet class at my LYS and all they taught us to do was to read the pattern they gave us and make a sc washcloth. Although watching the technique was really helpful, again - beyond "chain 30, sc in every stitch until desired length," I'm lost!
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:58 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by knitpurlgurl View Post
I'm having the same issue.. I have successfully crocheted a sc washcloth and a scarf also in sc. Other than that, I can watch the videos over and over and I do okay practicing the different stitches. But when it comes time to read a pattern, I'm so lost. I can't seem to put it all together. I'm lost!

Yes, the way crochet patterns are written are different than the way knitting patterns are written. I know this because when I first tried a few knitting patterns I couldn't decode them. I was full of questions. I knew the K was knit and the P was purl, but "K2, P2" what is that in long hand language and what does it mean with yarn, needles, and hand movements!

Now, I think I could say I can read decode two cryptographic codes, one is crochet patterns and the other is knitting patterns. If you ask me, "how are they different?" I would have trouble putting it in word, but I think it is based on crochet having to tell you where to work the next stitch as well as what stitch to work.

I think I'll try some tranlations...
(crochet on the left <==> knitting on the right.)
  • slip stitch <==> pass loop on hook over loop pull up from/through (old) stitch being worked. It is also like a duplicate stitch (based on appearances, I have not worked/knitted the duplicate stitch).
  • yarn over <==> wrap around hook before you start a stitch or to make a loop to pull through stitch or one or more loops on hook. (Not an increase as it is in knit.
  • single crochet <==> pulling a yo through two or more loops (not a decrease as it would seem to knitters, because there are multiple loops in a single stitch, in fact you use YO's to add loops to increase the height(tallness?) of a stitch.
  • two points: each stitch has two points of contact with your work, first is loop on the hook connected to the last stitch worked and the second is what previously completed stitch (or chain space) you will put the hook through to connect the bottom of the (new) stitch.
  • three parts: each stitch has three parts, they are 1) setup, 0 or more YOs to determin stitch size/height; 2) connetion, where and how to put the hook through another stitch in your work to connect the base of the stitch; 3) pull working yarn loop through other loop(s) until one left on hook, base is "yo and pull through two loops" (SC) all others are a variation or repetition of this pattern.

I guess the easiest way to learn how to read a pattern is to ask a crocheter what the pattern means.

That's how I learned what the knitting pattern notations meant.

--Jack

P.S. Here is a link to crochet patterns for two different matching hat and scarf sets. The patterns are mostly written out in long hand.

--Jack

P.P.S. There is a prolifferation of Crochet tutorials on YouTube by Teresa Richardson, blog by Teresa Richardson and here is one for Making Sense of Written Instructions that may help.

--Me.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:34 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by OffJumpsJack View Post
"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."

Knitting is the same:

Knitting was hard for me because I kept a tight tension on the yarn, casting on was teadious, and keeping the stitches on the needle was a challenge. Casting (binding) off is still my weakness. And then you must do something with each and every stitch. The rows are all the same size, there is only two stitches (no, really just one! A purl is just how to do a knit from the back side.) How can you knit so many different patterns using just a knit or a purl!

Well, I've learned there are stitch variations: YO, KBL, M1, etc. Well, I've read about more stitches than I've actually done.
Knitting is smooth, and rows are the same height throughout the fabric. You just need to count stitches for width and rows for length of your fabric.

Knitting is laying bricks. Side by side. Same size and shape. On and on...

Crochet.

Crochet is different. Each stitch is complete. You get to choose where to connect the next stitch, because each new stitch binds off the previous one.

Crochet is freedom. Freedom to be adventurous! A chain is nothing more than one slip knot made through the loop of another slip knot. You have a larger variety of stitches in crochet, and each changes the texture of the fabric.

Crochet is working with knots of different heights and shapes. Like taking irregular stones and building a wall. Crochet is stone masonry. Shape the stone to fit and fill the next gap in your work. Crochet is texture, each stitche has width and height(or length). Rows can be short or tall or both mixed together.

What knitting and crochet have in common is the fiber and using one or more loops to make more stitches.

Crochet is beautiful lace and doilies, afghans, and grannie squares. Crochet is big and bold or fine and delicate. Crochet fits a mood or follows a fancy.

You start easy enough. You tie a knot. Then you pull a loop of your strand through your knot and make your second chain. Try it with a soft rope, like clothes line or a shoe lace. Work it with your fingers. See what new shape you can make, then find the name for it. "Oh, that's a harringbone-half-double-crochet."

Crochet is discovery, discovering how the rope or yarn loops and passes over, around, through, and back again. Crochet is an exploration of what is in the yarn, yearning to me formed into a warm blanket or a cosy set of slippers.

Crochet is a game of twister with a hook and some yarn.

Lean back and explore the twists and turns. Enjoy the art of creating beauty.

Crochet.

--Jack

Ah, well, back to knitting this scarf.

...this is the scarf that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend, some fellow started knitting it not knowing what it was, and now he keeps on knitting it forever just because...
This makes me want to jump from desk here at work and run out the door to go and try crochet again! I'm just like the original poster, knitting came quite easily to me and I am completely spastic when I try to crochet. I vow to try again this evening! I want to ge able to do it so badly!
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:51 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by missibob View Post
My problem is I can do a chain, but I don't know how to turn to go back on the next row. I am definitely going to watch the video mentioned, and hopefully I can pick it up again.
This is the problem I have. I can make the starting chain and then begin going down the chain to proceed with the single crochet, but after I do the first one, I cannot recognize where to put the needle next. I know this sounds completely stupid.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:54 PM   #26
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You know, I've heard knitting is harder than crochet too. I learned to crochet first, but learned knitting not long after, and I don't think one is really harder than the other. They both have techniques I have struggled with. They're just different. And I like to use them for different things. I prefer knitting for garments and crochet for afghans.

I will say though, that I can knit and purl without looking at my hands. I still can't do that with crochet.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:36 PM   #27
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I'm envious because knit is hard for me!
I have the opposite problem--crochet is so much easier for me. Knitting was so much harder to learn, and I still don't feel as competent at it as I do at crochet. If I mess up in crochet, I can frog it and fix it one stitch at a time. If I drop stitches in knitting, heaven help me trying to fix it!

It's hard to add to the advice above, but I'll say this: Like anything, practice is important, and you will get better. Start with dishcloths or coaster. Do a single-crochet cloth or coaster or placemat, it doesn't matter, just do something square or rectangular. Do one in another color. Do them til you know you have the same number of stitches in each row and your rows aren't growing or shrinking. Really get the feel of it. Then learn the double crochet stitch via dishrags/coasters/whatever, then the half-double. Then pick a simple pattern and make a baby blanket or scarf. I use stitch guides for inspiration.

Walk before you run.

As for books, there are many good ones, including Crochet for Dummies and SnB. There are also many demo videos on YouTube. I keep a copy of the small-but-information-packed The Crochet Answer Book in my craft bag. It really does answer most any question I have.

Have you been to www.crochetville.org? It's a great crochet site, the best IMO.

You can do this, you will do this! Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #28
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knit/crochet
I love doing both! I do find that sometimes the language for either can trip me up. Some writers of patterns I think get paid for the word as I don't always see why it is repeated and then they put ** around it to repeat it again. Make it simple to read has always been my complaint.
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:14 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by themonkeygirl View Post
This is the problem I have. I can make the starting chain and then begin going down the chain to proceed with the single crochet, but after I do the first one, I cannot recognize where to put the needle next. I know this sounds completely stupid.
If you look at the top of each stitch, you'll see a "vee" shape, similar to knitting only running horizontally instead of vertically. Just insert your hook below and pull up your loop. Some of the more complex stitches require you to insert your hook in different places, but once you master the basic single, double, half double and treble, you're set to go. Also, use a bulkier yarn and larger hook while learning and be sure your tension is loose enough so that you can see where to put the hook. It's so much fun to be able to do both knitting and crocheting!
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:39 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by biztec View Post
If you look at the top of each stitch, you'll see a "vee" shape, similar to knitting only running horizontally instead of vertically. Just insert your hook below and pull up your loop. Some of the more complex stitches require you to insert your hook in different places, but once you master the basic single, double, half double and treble, you're set to go. Also, use a bulkier yarn and larger hook while learning and be sure your tension is loose enough so that you can see where to put the hook. It's so much fun to be able to do both knitting and crocheting!
I'm doing better but I still have difficulty getting my stitches to be a consistent size. Any tips on this?
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