Sunday, October 22, 2006


In answer to the question in comments about "favorite crochet designers" there aren't many: there's Melissa Leapman, there are some DROPS designs and even Patons comes up with wearable human clothing at times, then there are a bunch of designs I see online in foreign languages I can't read, and occasional salvage-able things by other designers.

But crochet can be SO nice when done right. I saw this lovely sweater in an ad in Interweave Crochet, and it made me sigh, because it is so much more wearable than the designs in the magazine: Nashua Handknits Holiday. Isn't that pretty, and so wearable, and proof that crocheted clothing can be sophisticated? I'm going to buy the book. Unfortunately, designs like this are scarce, and most are scary, like those screaming loud gypsy skirts in the last Interweave Crochet.

Bad or silly design ideas are rampant in knitting too, of course, but crochet seems to make them a habit. It's so frustrating. And the weight of the yarn used is a big factor in the fugliness created. Crochet creates a heavier fabric than knitting. This means it works best in light fibers - a worsted crocheted sweater is a body afghan, too bulky and heavy to wear, but one crocheted in sport or fingering weight is not. I love those crocheted sweaters in Eddie Bauer too, and what are they made of? Light sportweight, thank you. When knitters sniff that crochet is stiff and doesn't drape, they are almost always talking about things designed in worsted wool. (OTOH, crocheted toys are great for exactly that reason, the stiffness works with the design.)

I've already ranted about the color decisions made when creating models for crochet magazines, but honestly, they baffle and infuriate me. The slippers in the IK Holiday mag area a prime example of the offense. Cute design, but they require imagination to un-fug. The last Interweave Crochet had a cute wrap coat in it that I actually liked, well, sort of, because I'd take it down to a heavy worsted yarn instead of bulky, because bulky and crochet makes something that would be too heavy to wear, and do it in a color adult humans actually wear, instead of the retina-searing "Ultraviolet" chosen for the model. Again, WTF were they thinking? Hmmm, this coat would be too boring and wearable in a nice neutral, let's make it scream and make the model look like a Clydesdale in it?

That's a lengthy rant for someone who hasn't finished her coffee yet. I'm getting well-caffeinated in preparation for moving this desk. Trying to psych myself....


Brenda said...

Do they use those God-awful colors for the samples in the magazines so that the detail photgraphs better?

Catherine said...

Then why don't they routinely do it to knitted designs? I'm not sure why they do it, and I'm sure they could come up with a way to show details that didn't make you want to barf!

dragon knitter said...

i prefer crochet for 3 things: blankets, baby clothes, and toys. somehow, a baby sweater is cute & precious, even in worsted, but the same design on anyone over the age of 2 just screams kitsch at me. blech