The war between knitters and crocheters continues unabated.
If you are not a knitter or a crocheter you may not be aware of the subtle war that rages on in parlours and coffee shops across the land.
I was chatting with my friend Nicole at Canadian Frost Apparel the other day about this very issue.
Like most wars, there is a pointless tension between the knitters and the crocheters. No one knows when the animosity began, but it crept in and is seemingly here to stay.
Let’s get straight to the point.
Knitters use two needles with points. They may use a circular needle with points at both ends and a wire joining them, or, just to get tricky, they could use four double pointed needles for socks and tube-like things.
They have many stitches on their needles at once and sometimes hundreds for a large piece.
If they drop a stitch and it runs, it takes serious effort to retrieve it. Yes, knitted stitches will run away from their mistresses.
Knitters often feel superior to crocheters as though to knit is to be better in some way. Crocheters never look down on knitters but they see them as their crafty cousins. Both use the same yarns and buy their supplies at the same store.
You can have a “knitting bag” but who has heard of a “crocheting bag” I mean really.
Crocheters use one hook and yarn. The hook can have a thicker handle to aid tired hands and make the act of crocheting easier for extended periods of crafting. This feature on hooks makes crocheters calmer and relaxed.
Crocheters have one stitch on the go at once.
Crocheters can easily make a circle, square or any three-dimensional shape. In fact, crocheting has been used to demonstrate the Möbius strip-like in the March Möbius cowl, hyperbolic crochet and other spatial concepts.
If you can knit and crochet be careful in which camp you pitch you tent.
Myths surrounding Crocheters and Knitters
Knitters are better looking than crocheters. False
Crocheters only use one hand. False
All knitters can crochet but not all crocheters can knit. False
I once joined a knitting and crochet meetup group. When I arrived the eight women there were all knitting. As I took out my crocheting there were gasps of horror from the assembly.
Who was this woman? What was she doing here, and with a hook?
One pleasant looking woman turned and said to me, “Oh, can’t you knit?”
I replied, “Yes I can knit, but not tonight. I’m enjoying my crocheting time.” Gulp.
I can knit and crochet. But, these days I prefer crocheting. It is easy and quick. I can do small squares everywhere I go and take them home to create a beautiful blanket or lapghan.
Out and About
I can crochet in the car or trapped in an aeroplane seat at 35000 feet. Here I have to use bamboo hooks as they get twitchy these days. But you can’t knit in a plane even with bamboo needles. It’s the point of the needle that annoys the authorities.
In the end you have to do what you like. Don’t be knitting because your mother did. If you prefer crocheting then forsake knitting for a while.
If you prefer the rhythm of knitting and can do it without looking then let that be your therapy.
Do what you love and love what you do.It will permeate into your items and the love will shine through your completed items whether you used a hook or needles. 💛
A crocheted square-a-day blanket is easy, quick and it almost grows when you are not looking.
You make one square each day of the year to reflect what was happening every day. At the end of twelve months you have a crochet record of how the year was for you.
Because the effort you have to expend is only one square a day it can easily be done by beginners and experienced crocheters in a few moments each day.
If you are a beginner this project will help you get better at a simple granny square that will stand you in good stead for all of your crocheting life.
if you are an experienced crocheter you can add this little square to you repertoire of other crochet work that you have on the hook.
The square-a-day blanket is a perfect complement to other crochet work in progress (WIP) which you may have. The square-a-day blanket is a big project and will take you all year to finish. This means that you can also do other crochet work in-between.
Small, medium and large
It is always a good idea to have more than one project on the go, a big one (like this blanket), a medium one like a hat or shawl and a small one like a bookmark.
It is advisable to have large and small pieces and this blanket falls into the small pieces section because you can take it with you.
The squares you do are a basic two-row granny square motif. The two rows can be one colour or in some cases (see below) with two different colours in each square.
You can do one, two or three square-a-day blankets and we have three suggestions of blankets that you can make this year.
3 Types of Square-a-Day Blankets
Three types of daily square blankets that you can make and are explained here are:
A daily rising planet blanket (astrology related)
A daily high temperature blanket
A daily mood blanket (your feelings)
Your life – your blanket
Clearly you can think up other ways to do the square-a-day blanket depending on interests in your own life.
If you are a gardener you can do one for planting, seedlings, flowers and fruits in your garden. The first rose bloom or the first apple on your trees. This is a good one as the seasons change and the garden lives a dies off over the year.
If you live in a rainy area you could do a square-a-day rainfall blanket.
Let the blanket reflect your life and the things that are important to you.
1) Daily Rising Planet Crochet Blanket.
For this blanket you will make one square for each day of the year.
The colour for each square is chosen depending on which planet rises before the Sun every day for 365 days.
Your blanket can be either 14 x 27 squares and this will make a long oblong blanket or it can be 18 x 21 squares which will make an almost square blanket.
Either way there is no simple way to make a rectangle that is 365 days so there will always be a few squares over and the left over squares can be where you write, or embroider, the date and year for the blanket.
Sunrise and the Pre-dawn Rising Planet
The pre-dawn rising planet (in fact this is also known as the Oriental Plane)t is the planet that rises on the eastern horizon every morning before the Sun at dawn.
This rising planet will change over the course of a year as the Sun and the planets move through the zodiac.
Choosing the Colours
You will use one colour for each planet. In astrology the Moon is considered a planet as well.
Moon – white
Mercury – taupe
Venus – pink
Mars – red
jupiter – blue
Saturn – grey
Uranus – turquoise
Neptune – mint green
Pluto – maroon
The Make-a-Square-a-Day method
Because we do in fact know which planet will rise before the Sun this blanket can be started and you can push forward with the daily squares if you choose.
But the best way to create this type of daily blanket is by making one-square-per-day which is the main idea.
This is a big project and it can be done alongside other smaller or medium sized projects that you have on the hook.
To make one small granny square and crochet it together will take you less than thirty minutes every morning or evening.
2) Temperature Blankets
There are two ways to do the squares in the temperature blankets. You can simply do the daily high temperatures or the high/low temperatures.
Daily high temperatures
In the high temperature blanket you take the daily high for the day where you live and crochet the square in the pre-determined colours you choose.
So for example in Vancouver the highs are about 26C in summer and 4C in winter.
So each degree on the thermometer can be one colour or you can designate one colour to cover two degrees because there are only so many colours of yarn in one make.
Daily high/low temperature blanket
The other option is the high/low temperature blanket.
In this blanket you do a granny square with two rows where the first row is the low temperature and the second row is the high for the day. This makes a more colourful combination of squares in the blanket.
The only thing is that you need a wider range of colours to cover the low temperatures as well.
Example colours for a temperature blanket
Zero and below white
1C to 2C cream
3C to 4C grey/taupe
5Cto 6C light blue
7C to 8C teal
9C to 10C green
11C to 12C lemon
13C to 14C yellow gold
15C to 16C orange
17C to 18C pink
19C to 20C hot pink
21C to 22C red
23C to 24C magenta
25C to 26C violet
27C to 28C purple
29C and above black
3) Daily Mood Blanket
A mood blanket can be done by crocheting a square in the mood you wake up in each morning.
We all like to think we are upbeat and happy each and every day and that is the goal of most people but reality is different. The only problem with this blanket is that you may be in a sad mood for many days and the blanket will bear witness to this.
Also if you get halfway through the year and your cat dies you will be is a sad mood for weeks and this will show in the blanket.
The mood blanket will reflect life as it really is. If you feel comfortable with making a mood blanket here are some suggested colours that you can use for each mood.
Example colours for a mood blanket
Anger – red
Joy – orange
Happiness – yellow
Envious – green
Sadness – blue
Optimistic – indigo
Inspired – violet
Bored – white
Tired – black
You can choose the colours beforehand and hopefully you will have a happy and cheerful year.
That initial sale can be the hardest things to do or you can fall into it naturally.
Below I share with you the story of my first crochet sale which was the one that started the ball rolling so to speak.
We lived in a small town outside a large city which was about a thirty minute drive in the car. It was a seaside town and had two little shopping malls. Each mall had several line shops and one large supermarket.
In the Bayside Mall was a small wool and craft shop. This was a convenient place for me to get my yarns and crocheting supplies.
At that time I had just given birth to our fourth child, a daughter, and I was at home for several months looking after her. The two older children were at elementary school and the third child was a toddler at home with me all day. My husband was at work.
My days as a housewife were typical and there were many chores to be done each day. I organized my life so that I only left the house on a Friday to run errands and to buy the weekly groceries and Friday was my “day out.”
Because I was at home so much of the time I picked up crocheting again and began to make soft jerseys and tops for the children. My patterns were simple squares for fronts and backs and the sleeves were again straightforward with a slight increase at the shoulder. Over time I developed these patterns into complicated top-down no-seam garments as well.
I bought the wool from my local yarn store and it was usually 4ply on a 3.5mm hook. I used pastels for the girls and primaries for my boy.
By visiting the yarn store each Friday to buy more wool and because I took the two younger children in their newly made tops the store owner Shirley started to chat with me about the wool and the patterns I had used for the kid’s jerseys.
I explained that I only ever used my own patterns for items that I made. She asked me if I would crochet her a cardigan for which she would give me the yarn and the pattern from a magazine that she wanted to be made for herself.
You see, she was a knitter and not a crocheter, but she had found a lovely lacy white summer three-quarter length cardigan that she wanted to be made, but she could not crochet it herself.
Well, of course I would do it, why not?
I duly took the white light yarn and the pattern and said, “See you next Friday.”
At home that evening I started to make her pattern and it went really well. I have always been a firm tension crocheter and so could crochet to gauge. In that week I completed her garment and sewed it together.
I folded it neatly in tissue paper and wrapped a ribbon around it to make it look nice for her.
During that week I couldn’t work on my own creations and I did feel that, but the challenge of a lacy pattern kept me interested in the project.
Friday came around and I took the cardigan into the shop for Shirley. She was really pleased and put it on immediately. It fit her well and looked just like the image in the pattern book.
I was pleased that she was pleased. I mean, you never know…
She paid me $5 per ball that was made-up . The cardigan took five balls which came to $25 in all. I was excited about that. I saw it as bonus money for our family.
Shirley and I started chatting about yarns and crafts in general and then she said that if I had items that were already made-up she would put them in her window to sell. At that time she had some booties and other baby knitted items in her window but she had no crocheted goodies.
She wanted little blankets and baby items to promote the yarns that she sold. Her shop window was not big and in fact was quite small but well suited a yarn shop.
The deal was that I had to buy the yarns from her for the items she would sell in her window and I set the price and she took half. This was a good deal as I was buying wool from her anyway, and I was crocheting anyway, but now I had a chance to make some cash for the work.
I went home with new wool and a blanket pattern forming in my head. Because I’d done baby blankets before I knew about the colours that sell so I had a soft baby blue, white and a dark navy contrasting ball and well.
Over the next week I made a blanket for a baby boy in blue stripes. It was simple and a generous size. At the weekend I visited the shop again and she was pleased with the result. Shirley felt the quality of stitches and the regular tension was good and she loved the colour combinations.
I told her my price was $50 and she agreed we would split it fifty-fifty each. She must have put it in the window for the Saturday shoppers as it sold the next week. I arrived back on the next Friday and was excited to have sold my blanket. My first item to a stranger. My first crochet original design blanket. For cash. This was good.
She told me the woman who bought it was a crocheter herself but did not have time to make something ‘handmade’ for her new niece, but that she would pass it off as her own work!
That other crocheters would buy my goods and say it was their own (not that I cared what they did or said) but suddenly I saw a market for my goods, to women who knew how to crochet and were known for their crocheting, but had no time to do it. The perfect customer.
That was my first sale.
I sold a blanket, through the wool shop, to a customer I had not met, for cash.
Since that time I have sold many more garments, blankets, bags and other things although I still remember the feeling of that first sale.
Lancashire is a county in the north west of England.
This special day is celebrated by men and women and lassies from Lancashire who may or may not still live there.
I am originally from Lancashire but I now live in Vancouver.
The sign says “Welcome to Lancashire A place where everyone natters” which is a twist on the saying everyone matters, because to natter is to chat (and maybe even gossip) especially with your friends and neighbours.
But in a friendly way, as people do in the north.
Nostalgia is a funny thing and draws you back to your roots and early childhood memories.
I haven’t been there for many years but still remember living as a child in a carefree environment walking the fields and picking blackberries each endless summer.
It was on 27th November 1295 when the county first sent its representatives to the English Parliament.
That was over seven hundred years ago and this date is now celebrated as Lancashire Day
How to celebrate Lancashire Day
Wear a red rose
This is the symbol for Lancaster and comes from the War of the Roses. For years Lancaster was the county town but now it is Preston.
As you can see it is the icon for Old English Creations and I have it as my favicon as well. Not got much to do with crochet but more of a backstory piece.
The white rose is for York and Yorkshire. You know, where the puddings come from, so no white roses.
Cook my Nana’s Lancashire Hot Pot
This is my grandmother’s recipe and we used to have it once a week as kids.
Lancashire Hot Pot is a casserole like meal prepared in one dish that can be kept warm for people coming home late.
It is made with the local ingredients from the area and is traditionally eaten on a weekday night.
It is a simple dish made from of lamb, onions, potatoes and sometimes turnips.
I haven’t made it for a while so the image is from wkkicommons free images