Okay, this is really part of my CGOA Conference information, but I think it’s important enough to deserve a separate blog post. If you know me well, you know that I don’t consider myself to be a knitter. You may be wondering why I say that. Well, let me tell you why. When I was a girl, my mom taught me to knit, but I wasn’t very good at it. I remember asking my mom which row I was on as I was knitting some slippers: the knit row or the purl row. So, apparently, I couldn’t tell the stitches apart at that time.
When I was a teenager, my best friend taught me to crochet. I later married her brother, making us sisters-in-law! I quickly took to the crochet hook like you wouldn’t believe! It was so much easier to use one hook than 2 needles (I used to stick one needle between my legs to knit, which looks pretty silly in my opinion)!
So fast forward almost 40 years to the week before the CGOA Conference last month. I saw the video listings on the Leisure Arts website for the Knook and decided to watch them. If you’re not familiar with the Knook, it’s a wooden crochet hook with a hole at the opposite end from the hook. You can watch the Knook videos here. To use the Knook, you insert a cable (which I think can be just a scrap piece of yarn) into the hole and you can knit with a crochet hook! So I decided to try it, but my local craft store was out of the Knook. I asked my friend, Jane Rimmer, about the Knook and she thought I could do the same thing with a double-ended crochet hook. So I tried it and I was able to knit with a crochet hook! Yahoo! I think using the Knook would be a little easier than using the double-ended crochet hook, but it works for now. I was as happy as a clam with my new knitting skill, since I didn’t have to try to hold 2 knitting needles anymore!!! And the knit stitches are identical, whether they’re made with the Knook (or double-ended crochet hook) or with 2 knitting needles. Can you tell the difference? All of these green swatches were knit with my double-ended crochet hook, not knitting needles. I haven’t blocked them or woven in the ends, so they don’t look too good, but you get the idea!
But my story doesn’t end there. On the way to the CGOA Conference last month, my good friend, Kathy White (she’s known as Kathryn White for her published crochet designs in books and magazines, as well as on her website), tried to teach me to knit with 2 knitting needles (the long style of needles, which are awkward for me to use). I was still having trouble with the 2 long needles and the slippery yarn. So fast forward 5 days to the last day of the conference, on the way home. Nancy Nehring, another crochet designer in CGOA, was flying home on the same plane as Kathy and me (she was continuing on to San Jose, I believe, while Kathy and I got off in Phoenix). I got to sit between Kathy and Nancy on the plane. They’re both left-handed and I’m right-handed, but they were very patient with me. Kathy bought a set of 5 short, wooden knitting needles at the conference and gave me 2 of them to use. So I kept trying to knit, with their wonderful guidance, until I was successful! I didn’t get a picture of myself knitting on the plane, but here I am in the airport before boarding the plane, thrilled with my new skill (and the shorter needles, which are much easier for me to use):
I was having trouble with my stitches being twisted, so Nancy explained about inserting the needle in the other direction to keep the stitches from twisting (unless I was supposed to twist them, as patterns sometimes want them to be).
For the last 2 1/2 weeks, I’ve been practicing my knitting. I plan to keep improving and learning more all the time. Here are the first 2 projects I’ve knitted since returning home from the conference and learning to knit again:
I love the stitch pattern in this scarf, which is my adaptation of a child’s vest pattern from the latest issue of Knit 1-2-3 magazine. And I wanted to try my hand at a lacy knit stitch pattern, so I made a small blanket for a doll. The instructions for this knit stitch pattern are also in the latest issue of Knit 1-2-3 magazine, but it’s a full-size afghan in the magazine.
I’m having a blast with my knitting! I’m currently designing a knitted man’s scarf and I’d like to become a knitting tech editor when I know more about knitting (and can read the patterns comfortably, too). I love the look of knitting and now I can truly call myself “bi-stitchual” or “bi-textural” (that’s someone who can crochet and knit!).
I love knowing how to knit with 2 needles now. I know that it will open up a lot of extra possibilities for me in what I can create. I can add knitted ribbing to my crochet garments or a crocheted edging to my knitting projects! I look forward to the knitting journey ahead and all of the fun of learning something new!!!
If you know how to crochet and knit, in what ways do you enjoy using knitting and crocheting together?
Happy crocheting (and knitting),