I don’t really understand crochet. I know how to crochet. I’ve seen some really beautiful crocheted projects. I know people who are really good at crochet, my wife among them. I’ve made multiple crochet projects and read more than one book on the matter. Still, I don’t really understand crochet.
I find most crochet ugly, absolutely ugly. I’m not saying all crochet is ugly, mind you, or that crochet is inherently bad or ugly. It’s just a lot of crocheted projects, to me, look old fashioned and amateurish. There are plenty of knitting projects that look the same, of course, but for some reason I feel like I see it more with crochet than knitting. Perhaps it’s because knitting has been around so much longer or perhaps I’m just biased. I don’t know.
My friend, Mary, is the best crocheter I know. None of her stuff is ugly. Everything she does makes me want to crochet. She’s probably the reason I tried it in the first place, well that and my wife is always telling me I need to diversify my techniques more (which I find odd considering thus far I’ve been all about learning new techniques). Still, I tried it, crocheted a couple of projects, even designed one (more on that at a later date). It definitely made me appreciate the craft a lot more.
This brings me to the second problem I have with crochet, one that’s admittedly completely subjective and personal. Crochet gives the user too much freedom. With knitting there are certain rules, certain structures that are difficult to break, like one row generally follows another and you can’t miss a loop altogether without dropping it or binding it off. Not so with crochet.
With crochet you can go into literally any loop at any time and create a workable fabric. You might not get something you can wear in the end, but you’re not limited by the technique. You can create this weird octopus sweater with appendages coming out everywhere and a great big blister on one side and make the whole thing any shape you want. You can do the same with knitting as well, sure, but it takes a lot more work, a lot more technique and skill. They’re extremely different art forms when it comes down to it.
I guess when it comes down to it I like structure and rules and templates that are easy to make look good. I consider myself a very creative person, but I think the best crocheters are the most creative of all. Knitting requires a small amount of engineering and technical know how mixed with creativity whereas crochet seems (to this ignorant blunderbuss anyhow) like a true artists’ craft.