Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dilemma and Guilt

I have a Guilt ridden dilemma that I need to get off my chest. I am so conflicted!! In the first place, I want very much to buy yarn at my local yarn stores (Knit On in Newport Kentucky & Fiberge in Mongomery, OH). I feel lucky that I have 2 shops that are no more than 15 minutes away, and they carry just about everything I could ever want in terms of yarns and books, etc.

But....And here's where my internal conflict kicks in....I love playing with yarn, not just knitting/crocheting it. I love spinning it, skeining it, balling it up, reskeining if it's been balled too long and on and on. I even love spending hours unknotting yarn that has gone wrong!! Call it OCD, call it whatever you want, but I know there are others out there like me.

I've recently found another way to extend my "playing with yarn" through recycling old sweaters. I knew, deep down, I would love this, but I was trying to resist because .....Insert guilt here.......I was not supporting my local yarn stores if I was not buying yarn from them.

So I'm not sure what to do because I don't get as much enjoyment from yarn I purchase from a yarn store than from yarn I have either made myself from scratch or yarn I recycled from a "Goodwill" sweater. Also, I feel good about the fact that I am recycling the yarn.

So, I will need to wrestle with this guilt for a while. I will continue to think about ways I can support my yarn stores and still play with my yarns.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Knit-vs Crochet. Knit Designers Have it Easy!!

I don't like the fighting between Crocheters and Knitters. Like one is inferior to the other. And why isn't weaving in this fight....

I like both Knitting and Crochet. But I've come to believe that those who are primarily crocheters, are hurting the craft by trying to do the "look at me too" soap boxing. I understand the soapboxing. When everything in an industry is serving only 1 side of that industry, knitters not crocheters in this case, then crocheters need to ask for what they want from suppliers....repeatedly!! And we must purchase those things that we ask for - Vote with your Dollars.

Are Crocheters insecure about their craft? I don't think so. So what's the problem? Is it that Crochet designers find that they make less money than Knit designers. Well, maybe this is the nature of the knit designers. As I look at crochet patterns I see alot of "me too" products. That is, Crochet designs that try to look like knit designs. And generally speaking, They look inferior to me. But why?

Let's think about this...we have been taught through years of conditioning, that knit and woven fabric is what is used to make clothing. This is because industry can do this on machines and crank out bolts and bolts of it. We like what we are used to seeing/wearing, etc....I get that. So, when a crochet designer makes a sweater from a single crochet stitch, it looks "odd" to me. It doesn't mesh. I don't want to wear it.

For me there are 2 factors that make this worse.
1.) Crochet fabric, no matter what stitch is used, appears to look like upholstery fabric. The idea of wearing a garment from upholstery fabric, Okay, yuck.
2.) Most designers use worsted weight yarn for their designs. In my opinion, this is why the design fails again. In industrial produced garments, worsted weight and bulky yarns are not common place. Combining this with the fact that crochet looks like upholstery fabric, now it's actually as thick as upholstery fabric, makes it something no one wants to wear.

I believe that crocheters would spend just as much money on their craft as anyone else, if they were given products and designs that were something they wanted. I don't think they want a crocheted version of a knit sweater. I know I don't. I want something that is uniquely suited for the crochet fabric.

As I see it, Knit designers have it easy. The industrial revolution taught consumers to like knit fabric for garments. So all they have to do is design garments. Crochet designers have to be even more imaginative than knit designers. But the sky is the limit!!