I started learning how to knit in August 2021 and picked up crocheting shortly after. I can honestly say that I am grateful to have learned both these crafts. Especially around the holidays! It’s cold outside but I love the excuse to not be outside so I can spend extra time getting crafts done. It’s like cold weather is helping me make time for handmaking gifts.
I don’t usually have problems choosing between knitting or crocheting. I usually have at least one of both a crochet and a knit project going on at any one time. Once I get tired of one I can easily switch to the other. Some projects really are better when they are knit, and some just need to be crocheted to turn out right. If you can do one, you can learn to do the other. Also, it’s kind of nice to be able to knit a blanket or cardigan and then crochet a nice lacy border. The two can work together.
I spoke earlier about how crochet cannot be duplicated, but knitting with machines is possible. It seems unfair that most cable knit sweaters for sale are just made by machines with no appreciation for how much skill it takes to handmake it. I guess that could be said for a lot of things nowadays.
There is no way to enjoy yarn crafts without overbuying and ending up with a stockpile of yarn. At the moment, I have about 1/2 of a room dedicated to stashing my yarn. I’m not really going to call that a problem per se, since just seeing the colors and imagining the possibilities make me smile. It could absolutely turn into a problem, but for now, I just keep telling myself that I will not be bored if the power goes out, or the internet shuts down. I can make things. My hobby can be gifted or sold, (at least that’s what I tell my husband).
Admittedly, I have learned more than I have lost while making mistakes in knitting and crocheting. I am so grateful for people who post tutorials (especially videos) online. Once you learn how to fix a problem then it doesn’t seem like such a big deal when it comes up again (and again, and again). Mistake-free knitting does not exist in my world. I’m a bit better at crochet but even there are some times I still have trouble. I accept that I’m going to mess up and try to forgive myself. Mistakes help me learn.
There are some things that are actually problems with yarn crafts. I mean, besides family members calling me an “old lady” with my hobby and cracking jokes at my expense. I made a list of the top ten suckiest things about yarn crafts.
10 13 Knit and Crochet Problems
(because I couldn’t stop at 10)
- Yarns that split. I found a lot of dreamy yarns to work with, not all of them are the most expensive either. The one I am working with right now is so soft I can’t wait for the recipient to feel it on their skin. The thing is, it splits if I’m not watchful. I hate this!
- Patterns that suck. Yarnnspirations I’m looking at you. Make patterns easy to follow or don’t offer them. I feel like these patterns are actually made to make me feel confused. It’s not that I don’t appreciate free patterns that sometimes challenge me. It is that once I finally grasp what the pattern is explaining, I know there was a much easier way to explain it.
- Finishing a project and then being disappointed in its overall look. The pictures of the pattern looked so good, but somehow it is now the ugliest thing I’ve ever made! I have given away more cardigans than I care to admit because the fit wasn’t right. It’s just like trying on clothes at the store, only I just spent hours (days or even weeks) working on it to have the same kind of disappointment.
- Gifting a handmade craft to someone and then they don’t ever speak of it again. If you only knew how many hours I spent thinking of you while I made this… you would realize that a little thank you could go a long way. Do you hate it? That’s totally fine, but at least acknowledge the thought. Yes, I want to feel appreciated. Also, common courtesy.
- Promising a project and then losing interest. Maybe it’s just me on this. My joy fades over time and I find I am picking up new WIP (works in progress) to keep from hating my craft.
- People send me “ideas” of projects I might be interested in. This is my actual hobby. Trust me when I say I have seen ideas to drool over and be inspired by. Please, don’t actually expect me to make any of those ideas you send me, okay? I don’t have enough hours in the day as it is for all my aspirations.
- People trying to encourage me to sell my work. Talk about sucking the fun out of a hobby. I just want to make things without the added pressure of being a salesperson.
- To Frog or Not to Frog. Rip it, rip it! That’s the unfunny joke about frogging. If I end up frogging I will either start the project completely over or change to a completely different project. I never know which. I just can’t continue once I find a mistake.
- Making Guage Swatches. I hate making these and am guilty of skipping them and then realizing why they are so necessary for some patterns. I recently found a project that made the gauge swatch a future pocket and it made me stupidly happy.
- Losing or gaining stitches. Umm, yea. So my stitch count is off by like ten, do you think they’ll notice? One or two stitches are easy to make up, but more than six and it’s time to start over. Ugh! Guess I’ll just be frogging this entire thing. Count your stitches often, that’s the lesson here.
- Dark Yarn and I can’t see what I’m doing. I know I’m getting older but like I need a spotlight or something. Skipping stitches is not okay just because the room is not ideally lit.
- Cats and Dogs. Specifically their affinity for my projects and the hair they leave behind.
- Tangled Yarn. I like to pretend I actually enjoy re-spooling a full skein of yarn because I either 1. pulled the wrong end, or 2. I made a big mess while frogging back to a mistake. The truth is that I’m not too fond of this. I also know there is no way to avoid it unless I discard the messy skein (which I obviously would not even entertain the thought of).