Monday, July 31, 2006

Knit One/Crochet Too?

I’ve come to the conclusion that crochet isn’t as popular as knitting for a reason: there are very few really good patterns out there for crochet. Most of the designs are either very simple or just plain tacky. You’d think yarn manufacturers would get with the fact that crochet uses a lot more yarn and uses it faster than knitting. They need to encourage more people to learn to crochet. There are only a one or two drawbacks to it in comparison to knitting. By its very nature, crochet is a heavier and less drapey fabric. But if you use a larger hook size than you would normally, you get more stretch and drape. It’s at least as warm as a knitted fabric, depending on how many holes you have vs. solid areas. Also crochet is great for those things that you want to keep their shape like slippers, purses, hats, and vessels. Knitting isn’t nearly as “sculptural” unless you full/felt it. Crochet (unless we’re talking Tunisian or Afghan crochet) usually only deals with one stitch at a time on your hook. Mistakes are simple to rip out with only one loop to pick back up to start again. You have the freedom to go in any direction and to work on the surface easily. Lace is easy too and individual motifs can be joined together even as you work to make a larger whole. There are lots of stitch variations to play with and lots of texture possible. Crochet lends itself to improvisation in a way that knitting does not. So why are there not more stylish, trendy, attractive, funky patterns out there that take advantage of all the lovely yarns we have available these days? I believe it’s because it’s actually harder to write clear patterns for crochet in a reasonable number of words and it’s even more difficult to follow them. And although there is a fairly standardized symbol set, not everybody is familiar enough with them to use them effectively. Too bad.

I also think that crochet gets a bad rap from all those acrylic toilet roll covers, ugly slippers, and interminable afghans. I’d like to make a sweater that combines both knitting and crochet. I have a design in mind and I have some yarn. I just need to check a few more projects off my Never-ending List first. Maybe by late Fall? It’s already the last day of July. Yikes!

Today we have what will probably be the last pictures from my old Nikon CoolPix 990 camera. The poor clunky old thing has been replaced in my heart by my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3. This little thing is tiny and powerful, with 5 megapixels and 6-X optical zoom. It only needs 2 AA batteries (instead of 4 like my old one) and uses postage-stamp-sized SD cards instead of the bigger CompactFlash cards. It even has 14 mbs of memory already without a card, giving you extra space or if you forget the card at home. The screen is much brighter and easy to see and it doesn’t need a lens-cap because the lens irises open when you turn it on. A really great innovation is the Optical Image Stabilizer which compensates for when you don’t hold the camera steady. This is usually available only on more expensive cameras. I’m so impressed! Technology just keeps leaping forward, doesn’t it? This one will be traveling around with me since it doesn’t need a pack-horse to lug it. For protection it even fits in my old rug-hooked Palm Cozy — better than my Palm T/X does! Now I just need to make a new T/X cosy.

Oh yeah, pictures. This is my Chinese hibiscus “Marina” (I just love that blue violet) and my Disocactus ackermannii in full bloom. The darn thing hasn’t bloomed for years but I finally remembered to water it enough after I brought it outside in late spring. It’s thanking me with 8 or 9 gorgeous flowers.

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

I agree with you on the crochet charts having seen them in Japanese and German magazines. It takes a bit of determination. I think a combination of knit and crochet would be great especially for some of the ribbon yarns.