Here I will debunk several crochet myths and misunderstandings that I have encountered on social media.
1. Crochet is just like knitting but with one needle.
Lies. It is a completely different craft. Firstly, crochet requires a hook, not a needle. The hook is used to pull loops through chains. Do not let anyone mansplain crochet to you. It's a hook!
2. You can't crochet if you're left handed.
False. You can crochet if you're left handed. Crochet is worked right to left if you are right handed and left to right if you are left handed. I've taught left handed crocheters as well as a right handed. If you're working in the round, there's no wrong side most of the time so work anti clockwise and enjoy yourself.
3. Crochet is hard to make garments with because it creates really dense stitches.
Not true. Take a look at my blog post How to create crochet fabric that drapes and you'll see that it is not dense. If you use chunky yarn and a small hook, it will be dense. You'd get the same thickness problem with small needles and a thicker yarn, so use common sense.
4. Crochet is an old lady hobby.
While I do not doubt that older ladies may like to crochet, this isn't exclusive to that demographic. Crochet is enjoyed by people of all ages. The more you believe that kind of mythical trope, the more likely your work colleague who was thinking of taking it up to help with their stress and anxiety is not going to bother. Crochet is for everyone. Now, please excuse me while I scroll through my Instagram feed and like all of the amazing crochet bikinis and dresses that the gen z makers are wearing in their photos.
I was really saddened to learn that my aunts didn't ever share their crochet knowledge with me because they worried "it's an old lady thing". I was sad because they felt they had to hide it. There are still people out there who you might come across at work, at the park or in coffee shops who wink as though you're in some kind of secret club that isn't allowed to take centre stage. In the bin with that!
5. Crochet can be machine made
Not true. Crochet can only be done by hand. Machinery would help justify the criminally low wages that the crocheters who make your high street clothing are paid but it doesn't exist. Those people sit there all day and make a top that might end up in landfill a few months later. Knitwear can be made using a machine but crochet cannot.
People will try and tell you that crochet machines exist but you're going to go on Google and search for a 'crochet machine' and find several results for rocking horse poo first. I'll wait...
6. Crochet is tacky.
This is based on opinion. While some crochet is tacky I'm not going to piss on somebody else's chips. What might not appeal to me will appeal to someone else. Nicole Scherzinger was doing a little dance on Tiktok wearing a bikini and cute granny square skirt. I thought it was quite nice but there were plenty of comments saying "My Nan has this on her couch". I can only think that those ladies were jealous of either Nicole or the crochet... or both.
We have to keep it real here. Not all crochet is appealing to everybody. It is purely subjective. Don't force people to agree with you based on your crochet ideals. Just be happy for the tacky and be thankful that it's not in your living room, ok?
7. Crochet is harder than knitting.
This is another common misconception about crochet. It is not harder it's different. Knitters will approach crochet and forget that it takes weeks, months or years to get good at it. If you were a level 7 in Piano, would you start learning guitar and expect to enter at a grade 6? Hopefully not. It's the same principle in crochet. Although they both work with identical yarns, knitting and crochet are cousins, not twins.
I always think to myself 'if young Irish girls could learn it using only a basic steel 1.5mm hook and thread, how hard can it be?' I don't know how they could do that as I can barely see a 2mm but they did, somehow. There's a knack and you have to find it. Some of you may have the knack for Irish crochet and others, like me, will not. That's ok. Try another form of crochet instead. If you're of Irish descent, like me, you may have wanted to honour your fore mothers (or great grandmother in my case) and try and keep the tradition going but sometimes it's not possible.
Crochet can be hard but that's not always the crochet's fault. Try changing up your hooks, expectations, yarns, patterns and skill set. Maybe you need to stick with pot holders for a while longer. That's ok. These things take time.
You have to be patient with yourself. You're learning a new skill. You went to school for years to learn to read and write to a good standard, didn't you? Why should crochet be any different?