I’ve been bitten by the crochet bug recently, design name notwithstanding. Meanwhile, Lexie’s developed a sudden interest in an item I knit her a couple years ago (not one of my own designs), which has inspired me to design something similar in crochet (it’ll be my first crochet pattern). I happened to have a skein of yarn I’d balled up a while ago that I thought would be perfect, so I’ve been doing some swatching.
Wednesday, I was working on my swatch while watching Jeffrey and Lexie at their tennis lesson. And as usual, I was chatting with a dad who brings his daughter to the same lesson. He noticed what I was doing and asked, “Oh, what are you knitting?”
I’m used to that. A lot of people don’t recognize the difference between knitting or crocheting, or aren’t sure which they’re seeing. I’ve never understood why some knitters and crocheters find that confusion to be such a deadly insult; I wouldn’t have known the difference before I learned to do them myself. I’m just pleased to have the chance to talk about what I do. Sometimes I tell them it’s actually crochet (or knitting); sometimes I just tell them what I’m making.
But this time, before I had a chance to say anything, the dad corrected himself, “Oh, you’re crocheting.”
Ah. Clearly someone more familiar with yarn craft than most I encountered. Still, his initial question is one I’ve found difficult to answer, even for people how know knitting from crochet; they rarely get the concept of gauge squares (heck, based on some Ravelry threads, I’m not sure some people who knit and crochet themselves get gauge squares). It’s a lot easier to be able to say, “I’m making a mitten” or “I’m making a hat” then to try to explain that I’m knitting or crocheting a square of fabric just so I can count the number of stitches in a given measurement so I can verify the size of my hook or needle. Usually, I just say I’m just practicing stitches or something like that.
I held up the rectangle I’d worked so far and started to do the same, when he looked at it and asked, “Ah, checking your tension?”
It turned out his wife knits and crochets. So naturally, we started discussing his wife’s hobby and mine…which led to a rather amusing story.
They’d moved here from another state, and as part of putting their house on the market, they’d put items in storage, including his tools and much of her sizable yarn stash. At one point, he’d needed one of his tools, so he’d gone to their storage unit to retrieve it. Unfortunately, when he went in, he found his tools missing. So he called his wife and told her someone had broken into the unit and stolen his tools.
“And without missing a beat,” he finished, “she asked, ‘Is my yarn still there?’”
It’s exactly what I would have asked.