Is there knitting snobbery?

Gregory Patrick's picture

A really close friend was here on the farm to visit with me a few days ago. As we moved through some dinner and gossip, we found ourselves both picking up projects we were working on. He, a crocheted throw. Myself? Phillip's Teddy. Throughout our conversation he was explaining to me how unappreciated crocheters were in fiber circles. Living in Atlanta, he told me about how crocheters were snubbed from knitting groups, looked down upon. I thought it was a weird concept, but I looked around online a little bit and what he said wasn't that far off the mark. It does seem there are little groups or little individuals out there who regard crocheting as something of a lowly craft. Is this accurate? Is there some sort of "better than thou" attitude from knitters to crocheters? Your thoughts.

Comments

bobinthebul's picture

I think people can be snobs

I think people can be snobs about just about anything. Coffee, cameras, computers, you name it...
It's not just about preferring one thing over another, but an idea that those who think/prefer the same thing are just a bit better than people who don't. There are definitely yarn snobs out there; I'll admit a preference for 100% wool or mostly natural fibers and that it's hard to imagine why someone would pass that up for acrylic.

But anti-crochet (or anti any craft) snobbery just seems pointless. to me. It would be interesting to look at the projects of people who pooh-pooh crochet and see what characteristics they are attached to.

As for me, I wasn't particularly interested in crochet till I saw some tapestry crochet hats; I'm not even a hat person but I loved those and might even try and learn now...

I think that is is

I think that is is unfortunate that there is such a great divide between knit and crochet. I do both and do not understand the reasons for the discord. At our local knit nite we do have both in attendance. The main difference, and I do not know if there is a reason for this, is that most of the knitters use natural fibers and shop at the LYS, most of the crocheters use acrylic and shop at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby. Our yarn shop owner does not mind because she is community minded. We all have a good time, but I have wondered why they would choose to use a lesser quailty yarn to display all their hard work and long hours with. Of course it all comes down to personal prefrences and we are all there to have a good time so it has never been a topic of discussion.

Bill's picture

"...most of the knitters use

"...most of the knitters use natural fibers and shop at the LYS, most of the crocheters use acrylic and shop at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby."

An interesting statistic that plays into the stereotype...

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog
Yep you opened Pandora's Box baby. Some stores are snubbish to crocheters, some people are snobbish to crocheters. Artisans are artisans. I have no idea why people do that, but if they are closed minded they will never be able to appreciate the art that people are able to create in crochet or any other art form that is not knitting.. In Spanish the word for weaving,knitting and crochet are the same, the difference is the instrument you use to perform the art which is roughly translated as knitting. I can tell you it must be a United States of America thing, because everywhere I go overseas, I bring crochet with me and people always treat me with respect and admire my art form. Yet I have never had anyone really put me down for crocheting, maybe because I won't let them. I knit, Spin , weave and Crochet, and There are so many things I want to learn in each craft. LYS that snub crocheters are stupid, crochet takes more yarn than knitting does, most of the time. My best creations are Tapestry Crochet (color work n crochet), Why snub someone for being creative, I guess a granny square is too simplistic for some, but put them together and you have an afghan that will comfort anyone who is sick. A granny squares evokes the thoughts of grandma and thus in my eyes as simple as it is , shows love. Each craft has a strong point, is like people telling you that you can not twist your stitches because is the wrong way to knit. Ha ha ha! A get a lot of looks from my hats, a lot of people think they are knit, but when I tell them they are crochet , they have a moment of clarity, yet they are not easy to make my friend. Tapestry Crochet Hats from Crafty Andy take discipline and the patience of the gods. I am proud to crochet and knit in public and dismiss the people that snub others as ignorant , believe it or not there are Knit Snub, people that do not like knitters, but that is another topic, still it is small minded. Have fun and be creative life is short.

Tom Hart's picture

Seeing Andy's tapestry

Seeing Andy's tapestry crochet work in person and holding it my hands is what gave me the desire to do color work. I wish there were some way that I could show you how amazing it is. It put me in mind of stained glass from a French cathedral...

Bill's picture

"Tapestry Crochet Hats from

"Tapestry Crochet Hats from Crafty Andy" are mini works of art...and are a world unto themselves!

QueerJoe's picture

I have to agree with this

I have to agree with this completely, and even though I've crocheted for a longer time than I've knit, I still find his tapestry hats challenging and interesting to make.

Also wondering why none of his hat patterns are available in Ravelry...hmmm.

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog My

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog
My Knit and Tapestry Crochet Patterns along with some other patterns are available on Ravelry, but I think that most people find the Tapestry Crochet Patterns challenging, then some people want them for free. I find them challenging myself lol!

Thank you all for the compliments.

MMario's picture

I'll third that!

I'll third that!

hsfg's picture

Those who think of cochet as

Those who think of cochet as easy.....do not understand what can be done with it....after many years of knitting there is some crochet things I can as of yet CAN NOT DO

purlyman's picture

Perhaps it's just a matter

Perhaps it's just a matter of time and place. Here's an article from The New York Times, Apr. 25, 1964.

Crocheted Clothes Drawing Interest

Women who learned to crochet at their grandmothers' knees might set down their knitting needles and bring out their crochet hooks. Corcheted suits and coats as well as smaller items such as sleeveless sweaters on the the bring of a new fashion flurry.

Many fashionable women have brought back crocheted suits from Europe and inspiring a fresh interest in the technique and styles, which have a casual look suitable to today's living. Many stores are planning to show crocheted fashions in the fall, the majority of which will be made by hand in Europe and priced well over $100 for a suit.

Women who bring their crochet skills up to date will find that the open pattern of the crochet stitches can be worked quickly, especially with large needles and heavy wool, and a crocheted garment can be completed in much less time than a similar knitted style.

Masala's picture

My thoughts on crocheting.

My thoughts on crocheting. When I was a little child, I would spend time while on summer vacation from school visiting with elderly people in my neighborhood. One of my neighbors was always crocheting; she asked me if I wanted to learn. I said yes, then she showed me how to make my first “granny square” I started crocheting then, until I saw another one knitting and then I wanted to learn to knit, so my Mom sent me to classes and I was taught. After learning to knit I felt that crocheting just didn’t meet my needs, and at that time I also felt that it was more of a “granny craft.” I took up knitting and only used crocheting as something of a utility craft i.e., for edging, finishing etc., durable household items. I did not see as much talent in crocheting as with knitting. So, when I was younger I had turned into a “crochet snob”, but not any longer. I learned to appreciate all yarn crafts and to enjoy everything created by skilled individuals. Knitting is just my niche.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I have often spoke against

I have often spoke against any form of snobbery concerning fiber arts, whether knitting vs. crochet; acrylic vs. "real" fibers; one style of working vs. another; which hand to use, etc. We are all craftspeople/artists. Yes, some things may turn out better looking than others but that is just human nature and the nature of the various mediums we use. What is really important is that we are creating and using what talents we possess. No matter our skill levels. No matter our backgrounds. That is why I always say that we should use the best materials we can afford and do the best we can with them. That is how we improve and learn more about the art and craft of creating with fibers. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Gregory Patrick's picture

Glad I could have started a

Glad I could have started a conversation of some merit! I couldn't have agreed with your comment more. Here, here. Its as if watercolors are considered inferior to oil paintings....some methods of expression require different means.

Masala's picture

You'll need to start up

You'll need to start up another one on a snowy day! Good job. Sid

EXPRESSING, not expression.

EXPRESSING, not expression. Sorry.

GreggC

If I may jump in here with

If I may jump in here with my little thought...I do not see how something so relaxing, AND not harmful to anyone at all can be looked down upon. Anyone can make something that does not look too beautiful in both knit and crochet. A good yarn and pattern pairing can go a long way in making something look good regardless of being knitted or crocheted. There are sooooo many talented people around who do do beautiful works in both k and c. In this group alone there are too many to name. One art form being better than another should be a non-issue with everyone who works with his/her hands. All are ways of expression oneself and doing something constructive with one's time. What next...one way of knitting being better than another way? Looking down on those who cannot afford $50.00 for cashmere? How silly some people can be, yes?

GreggC

Tom Hart's picture

I have crocheted rugs from

I have crocheted rugs from jute twine and from Red Heart Super Saver and both will probably last far longer than I will. The single crochet stitch is both sturdy and stout. And when it’s stitched around and around on itself in a spiral or in rows to make a square piece, it’s got a strength and durability that I don’t know that you can get from knitting.

Bill's picture

Tom's jute rugs are

Tom's jute rugs are stunning! ...the best kind of crochet...

claude's picture

Very interesting issue

Very interesting issue indeed. I started with crochet years ago and moved on to knitting more recently. I have always noticed the difference of interest when I show a project done in crochet to one done with needles. It feels like people are always less enthusiastic with crochet. I often hear people commenting how "crochet is easy" and knitting "complicated", which is of course a false notion. So much more could be said about crochet. I agree with Bill's comment that crochet has a "granny square feel" reputation. For those who feel that way about crochet, have a look at these 2 websites:
http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/crochet-animal-sculptures-7
and
http://highstreetblog.com/2009/08/design-trench/not-your-grandmas-crafts/
You may just change your mind...

Tom Hart's picture

Thanks for those links,

Thanks for those links, Claude. Really amazing, mind blowing stuff!

Thank you Claude for posting

Thank you Claude for posting those addresses.

GreggC

michaelpthompson's picture

Since my wife (as were many

Since my wife (as were many in her family) and now our daughter are/were crocheters, I have never considered a bias against it. However, there must be one. I've been in two different yarn stores now that had signs in the window saying "Crochet Friendly Yarn Store." They both had dogs too. I'm not sure if that is significant.

--
"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."
Tallguy

Gregory Patrick's picture

That is funny that the store

That is funny that the store would post a sign saying they were crochet friendly! I simply feel some projects are left done to crocheting. And I feel, should I mention, that the snobbery (if it is even tolerable), can only be justified by people who can work through their way in just about any fiber art.

Bill's picture

The "snobbery" is based on

The "snobbery" is based on the crochet work we've seen..not on our ability to do it...

Gregory Patrick's picture

I will completely agree with

I will completely agree with you. However, do you think the amigurami craze has helped to kinda defy the myth of the granny square?

Bill's picture

In general, I don't like

In general, I don't like crochet.
...so much has a granny square feeling about it...and yet a lot of knitting does too.
Crafty Andy does gorgeous crochet...almost tapestry like. ...and I like some Tunisian crochet. I think the more dense forms appeal to me...and, of course...I LOVE Prudence Mappstones freeform crochet. ...but, yes..I have a bias against crochet, ...not happy about that.

For men's fashions, i.e.

For men's fashions, i.e. vests, sweaters, caps, scarves, I much prefer the appearance of knitting, which why I learned to knit in the first place. But having been a crocheter prior to that, I have an appreciation for the stability of crochet, especially in doilies and bedspreads, and many women's fashions are fine in crochet. For me, knitting lends itself to greater artistry and expression; however, I am currently working on an Orenburg shawl in crochet. I wonder if some of the denigration of crocheting comes from seeing the useful, but commonly made, inexpensive potholders and loosely crocheted afghans or shawls at craft fairs. I recently saw a lady with finely made doilies having little success selling them even at less than $10 per item. Her work deserved better. And as far is artistry is concerned, I tremendously admire Irish crocheted lace.

smalltownknitguy's picture

I have heard that crocheters

I have heard that crocheters often get snubbed at the LYS. They should be revered because crochet projects tend to take more yarn, therefore bigger sales for the LYS. (This coming from a crocheter of 30 years).

Gregory Patrick's picture

You know, I learned to

You know, I learned to crochet long before I learned to knit. And depending on the project, sometimes crocheting can be better than a project. So unfortunate that people would behave like that. I was appalled when he told me he had been snubbed. So I had to find out. Seemed....silly.

MMario's picture

Seems like there are all

Seems like there are all types in all groups.

Yes - there are some very vocal people who appear to look at crochet as if it should be handled with surgical gloves and masks or with a "pooper scooper"

However - they are nutzoid - because if nothing else crochet is good for many finishes, detailing, etc on knit works. And there are whole ranges of things you can do with crochet that are at a minimum Difficult with knit if not impossible.

Gregory Patrick's picture

I agree. I think there are

I agree. I think there are certain edgings (like a reverse single crochet) that look simply awesome on a finished piece.