Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crochet versus Knitting

I started learning how to crochet while living in China back in 1989. My dad got a job at a nuclear power plant and my family moved to Daya Bay in Guangdong Province. I was 12 years old living in an ex-pat compound full of French families, a few British families, and a handful of American families. The place was full of stuff to do. There was a beach, a swimming pool, and a club house full of squash courts, ping pong tables, movie room, even a skater's park plus kids and friends galore.

It was there where I met a woman who taught me how to crochet. My very first project was a pair of slippers. Ever since my first lesson, I have been crocheting. I would bike to the local market and buy hanks of yarn. I learned how to roll balls without making big tangled messes. I can crochet just about anything doilies, afghans, cool hats (made a butt load of them for the rugby team), and stuffed animals. I even attempted clothing, made a vest in high school and wore it every day. But it was a piece of clothing dear to my heart only because I had made it. In reality none of the clothes looked professional or beautiful. I gave up the pursuit of crocheting clothing.

I just started learning how to knit a year ago when I moved back to China into the winter cold. Two years in Africa made Gansu feel freezing. Even at this specific moment as I type this blog, I am sitting in a sleeping bag. I am cold!

When a person is cold, knitting brings warmth to the heart.

Yesterday I finished a pair of mittens.

Knitted clothes look amazing.

Which craft do I prefer now? I see the benefits of both. I would never knit an afghan. Crochet is fast and easy. I doubt I would ever crochet a piece of clothing. Knitting is the craft for that.

Living in China has taught me two important skills how to crochet and how to knit. All is good.

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