@ Heather – Learning how to crochet or knit isn’t a problem. There are a lot of resources online (photos, tutorials, video tutorials, etc.) on how to do both. They’ll take you through the basics, they’ll teach you the basic abbreviations for the stitches, how to hold the yarn with the needles or hook (although, while I do hold knitting needles the ‘correct’ way, I hold my crochet hook differently than most people do, it seems). That’s not a problem. Once you know how to knit and purl (for knitting) and once you get the chain stitch and single crochet (for crochet, obviously), the rest is really straight forward. But there are pros and cons to both.
Scroll down now if you don’t want to read about me going on and on about knitting, crocheting and yarn purchasing.
I personally like crocheting better only because it’s easier for me. But there are some downsides to it. Like… Crocheting takes more yarn than knitting does, which makes it more expensive for for a comparable project. But dropping a stitch in crochet is no problem because you can pick it up straight away, if you drop a stitch in knitting, you either have to ‘unknit’ until that spot or try to figure out how to get it hook back up again. It’s easier to make something circular (I’ve found) with crochet than knitting. This just may be because I absolutely loathe using double-pointed knitting needles. I’ve done it once, I’m probably never going to do it again. Of course, the most important thing to consider is cost. Basic things that you’ll need (a hook to start of with, a set of knitting needles, either straights or circulars) is pretty inexpensive. You can probably find dozens and dozens of needles and hooks at your local thrift store and they’ll wash pretty easily.
The cost comes in the yarn. I started off with yarn given to me and my sister by my mom. She used to knit a lot and I ended up with so much yarn. Like really nice stuff: wool, alpaca, camel, merino. All really nice, natural yarn. All really nice expensive yarn. I knew next to nothing about yarn types when I started out. Imagine my surprise when I headed to a local crafts store and discovered that they didn’t have anything that felt nearly as nice as the gorgeous ball of pink (100% merino) yarn that I had at home.
For some things, the content of the yarn doesn’t really matter. I mean, no one’s going to be constantly hugging or snuggling up with Gwen and Albert – they were made with 100% acrylic yarn that was dirt cheap, but crocheted up nicely and did what I wanted it to do. However, you wouldn’t want to use the same type of yarn for say… a scarf. Why? Because it’d probably give you a rash because it’s not a soft yarn, it’s scratchy and slightly abrasive against your skin. I’ve made scarves in both acrylic yarn and in nicer, natural fibres. I don’t wear the one that’s made out of acrylic yarn, it’s in my closet. I spent a lot of time on it, sure, but it’s just not… nice because I end up scratching at wherever it’s touching my skin. And, well, nice yarn costs money. And I’m a student, so it’s not like I have a tree that drops off fifty dollar bills whenever I need some. So I rely on sales… and my sister. Who has more of a yarn fetish than I do. For instance, the last time that there was a really nice sale at Michaels, she dropped an amount that I’m not going to disclose on the internet for (I hope I can remember this correctly): 10 skeins of 100% merino in two colours, 5 skeins of 100% cotton, 4 skeins of novelty eyelash yarn (it’s a bitch to knit or crochet with unless you’re using it with something else, just to let you know), 5 skeins of alpaca-wool mix (really gorgeous stuff) and 6 skeins of soy-bamboo mix (dead serious: soy and bamboo, in the softest non-animal yarn possible). She calculated how much it would have cost if none of it was on sale. The total? $248 (that’s Canadian dollars, not American).
So while crocheting and knitting is an awesome hobby, I do highly enjoy it and I like making cute things and assorted things that I can wear (because, really, who wants to go cold in the winter? Or autumn… Or spring…?), it is a pricey hobby (however – not as pricey as making jewelry!). I do encourage everyone to learn one or the other (or both?). It makes you a little it more appreciative of handmade gifts that you get. Plus, you’ll end up with awesome projects that you can show off with a smile. As long as you don’t go crazy and spend everything you have on yarn. You do not want to know how much yarn is currently in my house. Or how many work-in-progress projects are lying around the house with needles and hooks and stitch markers. Because then you’d just think that my sister and I are absolutely insane. If we are, it’s probably genetic.
Start of non-knitting, crocheting and yarn purchasing topics.
Wow, I just went on and on there, didn’t I? Hah. Umm… So Thursday. My Thursday went well. I woke up, argued with my father, left the house in a huff (ended up going back home before I caught my bus because I’d left my cell phone at home – I’m such a smart cookie sometimes). But I did catch my bus, where I spent the duration of my trip to school listening to Lily Allen in my ears. School went well today… Sort of…? I got my biology midterm back. I did worse than my previous tests in that class, so I was frankly, rather disappointed in myself. But… it’s not a bad mark. It’s just ‘not as good’ as it could have been. Then again, I wasn’t feeling very well that day (and after that, I spent a weekend in bed because I was sick) so I’m going to factor that in when I’m convincing myself that I’m not nearly as stupid as I think that I am sometimes.
Chemistry’s going well. J was sitting in the back of the lecture hall today with her boyfriend. The one who stole her iPod and cheated on her? Yeah, she’s a smart cookie, eh? Apparently they’re together again. He’s managed to convince her that the girl that he slept with ‘tricked’ him into having sex with her. When I heard this, my eyes went wide and my jaw dropped and it was just like “…. Are you stupid?” although I didn’t say that out loud, because that would not be very nice. Instead, my eyes went wide and my jaw dropped, I recovered (relatively quickly, I might add) and went “Have fun with whatever STIs he’s going to give you!” and I even added in a bright, cheery, sarcastic smile. She had the nerve to ask me for my chem notes (again) because she was “busy” during the time of our last class. Sometimes I wonder about people.
Oh! And I’m going to volunteering tomorrow! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). It’s been a while since I’ve gone. I missed the last… three weeks. Which makes me feel bad, because I love volunteering and it made me sad that I couldn’t go in (but I’m not selfish enough to go and spend time with people with not-so-good immune systems when I’ve got the flu). But I’m going to be going in tomorrow since I am: no longer coughing, no longer have a fever and haven’t had a flu-like symptom for about a week now. So I think I’m good to go. And I’m quite happy and excited about that since it’s been so damn long! Plus, you know, it’s nice to spend time with people who don’t care how well I do on my biology midterm and just listen to someone tell me a story about “my life”. I wonder what kind of animal I’ll get referred to as tomorrow?
And if you read the entire entry, you deserve a cookie! Or 1495 cookies – which is the total word count for this entry. Wow, I talk a lot about yarn! I hope you had a wonderful Thursday and that your Friday is even better! And go buy yarn.