Form vs. Function in Crochet Design
Do We Have To Choose?
By Stacy Vaka of Crochet Kitten, special Contributor to Bonita Patterns Blog.
Here’s a common musing every crocheter has heard at some point in their lives: “I know you can do more with crochet, but knitting is just so much prettier.” And another: “I prefer knitting because it works better for garments than crocheting.”
I understand how these misperceptions came to be. For decades crochet has been associated with granny squares and bulky fabrics. Only recently, when crochet began to make its presence on the internet, did we as a community have the ability to explore just how versatile crochet could be. I remember in 2010 the first time I saw crochet cables on a sock pattern. I was in awe. Previously I had only ever seen cables in knitting before. How was this accomplished in crochet?! I had to find out.
Now we know that post stitches, slip stitches, and half-double crochet stitches go a long way toward making a fabric that could fool even the most experienced crocheter into thinking it was knitted. And let’s be honest: even the most die-hard crochet enthusiast has probably at some point longed to make one of those delicious-looking cabled knit sweaters, but most of us are loathe to learn a craft that we view as tedious and more time-consuming than crochet.
I’m not trying to knock knitting, of course; some of my favorite people are knitters. I’m merely pointing out the fact that as the internet has
made it possible to tap the collective creativity of our fellow crocheters, so too have we devised ways to get that knit look we love without having to deviate from the craft we know.
Lianka in particular has recently become a champion of this movement. We all know Lianka for her groundbreaking crocodile stitch, but as it turns out, Lianka takes much inspiration for her crochet projects from knitting. I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with her recently for her Embossed Garden Handbag, and when I asked how she came up with the idea for the stitch pattern, she said she had taken it from a similar stitch pattern in knitting that she had always loved.
A quick look through her other designs reveals more patterns inspired by knitting. Take a look at her Knit-Look Braid Stitch Cowl and Knit-Look Braid Stitch Boots. Not only are these designs completely crocheted, they use nothing more than stitches you probably already know.
So to those still wrestling with the thought of having to choose between the versatility of crochet and the look of knitting, I am here to tell you that we no longer have to choose. By varying the use of basic crochet stitches, we can now get exactly the look we want with the craft we already love.
Here are some patterns to try if you’d like to experiment with knit-look techniques:
I learned the art of crochet from my aunt when I was 12 years old, and after a brief career as a veterinary technician, I became a stay-at-home mother when my daughter, Little Lovely, was born. This was no easy feat, as we were not financially prepared to live on one income, so Crochet Kitten has grown to allow me to contribute to the household and still be able to afford my crochet and belly dance habits.
Crochet Kitten is dedicated to spreading the love of crochet and teaching it to the world. My patterns reflect the interests of the household, primarily belly dance, fashion, geekery, and pets. And since I know how expensive being a parent can be, all of my patterns for children and babies will always and forever be offered for free.
If you have any questions or comments about anything relating to Crochet Kitten, please feel free to contact me!