There’s really only one reason why I decided to learn to crochet instead of knit. It’s because I suck at knitting.
I have tried knitting at least once a year since I was a teenager and it never took. My hands didn’t know what to do, I’d drop stitches all over the place and I couldn’t get into a good rhythm. I come from a family of very fastidious and very talented knitters so I felt like that’s what I was supposed to do – why learn to crochet, when clearly knitting is in my blood right?
I had never even considered crocheting until I went to my local yarn store and unenthusiastically signed up for another beginner knitting class. Sensing my dread, the kind lady behind the counter gently suggested I try to learn to crochet. She said it’s quite normal for people to be stronger in one discipline over the other and that by mastering one, it can lead to mastering the other. She was basically saying that I should try granny squares and then move on to knitting when I was comfortable with a hook.
Well I picked up a hook and I’ve never looked back. I fully intend on trying knitting again one day (knitting is awesome!) but for now I’m seriously in love with crochet. I’m kind of grateful I sucked at knitting, otherwise I would never have found crochet. Even if you don’t suck at knitting, here are a few reasons why you should learn to crochet…
1. It’s great for your health
For real, it’s scientifically proven and everything. There was a study conducted in 2011 by Dr. Yonas E. Geda at the Mayo Clinic and his findings show some fascinating results for a test group of 1,321 people aged 70 to 89. Of the test group, those that had engaged in crocheting or knitting showed a diminished chance of developing mild cognitive impairment and memory loss. The study was held against people who regularly listened to music and/or read newspapers and they did not display similar results. So crochet (and knitting!) promote the development of neural pathways in your brain to keep you mentally sharp when you’re old. It’s also great for arthritis prevention and some people have even used it to successfully quit smoking. How ace is that?
2. It’s cost effective
A few balls of basic yarn and a crochet hook can cost under $20. You can make incredibly beautiful gifts, very cheaply. A few balls of gorgeous yarn can be very reasonably priced and you can make a stunning luxury wool scarf that would cost hundreds of dollars in a shop and will be treasured forever by the person you give it to. Also you only need to buy hooks once – then you’re good to go!
3. It makes you feel heaps less guilty about binge watching TV shows
If you have ever watched 8 hours straight of a true crime series and felt like rubbish afterwards for wasting all that time, if you learn to crochet, that’s the answer to all your problems. You can whip up a scarf or a baby blanket in that amount of time, no trouble. It takes all the guilt out of excess TV and movie watching and you’ll have an amazing awesome thing you made to top it all off.
4. It’s an excellent stress buster
Have you ever done something really repetitive for ages and really enjoyed it? Like sticking labels on envelopes or stamping a pile of documents? Crocheting will give you that same sense of calm. Once you’ve had enough practice, you’ll be able to do it in front of the TV and while you’re talking to people. I take my crochet everywhere – to the pub, friend’s houses, lectures, conferences – I actually find I can concentrate more when my hands are busy.
5. It’s different to knitting
I don’t think crochet is better than knitting but it’s certainly different. It’s a bit quicker, you can bash out a chunky baby blanket really quickly with crochet but knitting tends to take a bit longer. You can do amigurumi with crochet, which is the art of making little stitched dolls and while you can kind of do this with knitting they have a very different look. Having said that knitting uses less yarn which is a plus and it has a drapier, stretchier fabric that’s a bit more difficult to achieve with crochet but then crochet has a denser, chunkier fabric which is also great. It’s also much easier to fix a mistake in crochet because you work on one stitch at a time so you’ll rarely have more than 6 loops on your hook. In knitting you could have more than 50 loops on your hook. Again, neither is better than the other, it’s kind of like a skiing vs snowboarding thing. You just do the thing that works for you and sometimes you do both!
Do yo knit? Or crochet? Or both? Also why?
P.S If you’re keen to learn to how to crochet sign up for my totally FREE granny square lesson. I’ll have you bashing out crocheted grannies in less than a week. Promise.