Monday, December 5, 2011

Experimenting with Converting Knitting Patterns to Slip Stitch Crochet

I learned to crochet a few months ago - instant love :). I learned on #10 thread and then jumped straight into lace, including some in actual laceweight. Crocheting was so much fun I thought I'd learn to knit, too. Got some needles, and practiced knitting and purling till I got the hang of it. Learned k2tog, yo, and psso, and embarked on a simple lace scarf in worsted. I was slow, but I enjoyed the process of knitting.

Didn't really want a scarf, though :doh, so when I came across TECHknitter's Elizabeth Cap - designed so that it would fit over large updos :woohoo (there's not a lot of those in the stores ;)) - in was in garter stitch and I thought it would be a great first project. Got my yarn and needles (sprung for Addi Turbos, even), and set off. Enjoyable enough to knit, but I was slow as molasses (exacerbated by sock yarn on #3 needles), and, as I actually wanted to *wear* the hat this winter, I read up on how to knit more efficiently. And that was where the trouble started :sigh - in trying learn to knit more efficiently, I actually got slower :doh and started making mistakes to boot :grr.

So I decided to give knitting a rest and crochet the hat instead ;). (The entire time I was swatching I was feeling extreme happiness to not be knitting :lol.) I started with single crochet, which looked nice enough, but then I got the idea to google for crochet garter stitch, and that introduced me to slip stitch crochet. Played around with it and settled on the slip stitch equivalent of garter stitch - front loop only sl st (F) - with an I hook (to get reasonable drape, you have to go up several hook sizes). Here's what it looks like so far:

Pretty nice, huh? :)

Anyway, in my experimenting with the basic stitches - front loop only (F), back loop only (B), inverse front loop only (iF), and inverse back loop only (iB) - I realized that if F was the equivalent of the knit stitch, iF was the conceptual equivalent of the purl stitch (seriously - just like purl is knit done backwards, and you can purl by knitting left-handed, iF is F done backwards, exactly what you'd get if you did F left-handed, plus it feels similar to purling with how you change where the working yarn is). And B and iB are the equivalent of, respectively, knitting and purling in the back loops.

(It took a awhile to realize this, as the slip stitch version of stockinette is alternating rows of F and iB, and I had been thinking of iB as the purl equivalent. Which it may be, practically speaking, if you are trying to achieve the same *look*. But conceptually, slip stitch stockinette is alternating rows of F and iF. Which I found no examples of online :huh (but I'm crocheting one up now ;)). iF doesn't seem to be used much, and tends to be paired with B when it is, much as F and iB are paired.)

I came to this realization as I was flipping through my Learn-to-Knit Afghan book (I'll master knitting yet ;)), which led me straight to the idea of converting *any* knitting pattern to slip stitch crochet. It wouldn't look quite the same, but that's fine, as that's not my goal - if I want it to look and behave just like knitting, I'll knit it - but I bet it would look nice (and it avoids knitting ;)). I came up with a few ideas for twisted stitches, and something to try for cables. I'm all excited to get started - I very well may end up with a Learn-to-Slip-Stitch-Crochet Afghan ;). A near one-to-one conversion from knit to crochet (not completely, as gauge would be way different, and yarn substitution might be highly desirable) - how *awesome* is that!

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