Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Eenie, Meenie...

So check this out:

I've been swatching for the as-yet-unnamed blanket for Older Son's room. The swatch on the left, obviously, is knitted. The swatch on the right is crocheted. The knitted swatch on size 10.5 needles gives me a gauge of 13 stitches and 20 rows to four inches. The crocheted swatch on a size L hook gives me a gauge of 10 stitches and 12 rows to four inches. And therein lies the dilemma.

I may be a tad spoiled after Blue Skies. I really enjoyed crocheting a generous afghan in the time it normally takes me to knit a sleeve. Say what you will about crochet, this sort of speed is heady stuff. For Blue Skies, the fact that it was crochet was not especially important, since the boucle yarn completely hid the stitch definition anyway. But in this case, the yarn is soft and smooth and wonderful. This is Malabrigo, people. And crochet...well, crochet does not make the most of soft, smooth, wonderful yarn.

There are certain advantages to crochet, beyond the speed. It makes a thicker, warmer fabric. It is easier to work large projects because you don't have to keep the entire project on the needles while you're working it. With hand-dyed yarn, like this, is breaks up the colors differently than knitting, which may or may not be an advantage. And then, there's the speed...

But, to be honest, I like the look and feel of the knitted swatch better. The fabric is softer and smoother, I like the little stripey effect, and the v's...I'm a sucker for the little v's.

So what do you think? Knit or crochet? The fate of the universe hangs in the balance!

19 comments:

janet said...

You could combine crocheting and knitting. That way you could pick-up some speed (on the crochet rows) and feel like you might finish the project this year.
I've seen patterns that call for both techniques so I know it can be done. Maybe even use a different color for the crochet rows so that you save the Malabrigo - which I have got to see because every knitter in blogland writes of this yarn as if it has magical properties.

Angelika said...

For me, the last crochet baby blanket seemed to take forever. Plus I seem to knit faster, since I don't have to look at it when it's stockinette. How about knitting it, but on bigger needles, to speed it up?

stitchywitch said...

I like the crochet swatch better, but I think that's because the thought of how long it would take to knit a blanket makes my hands ache. I do like the fact that crocheted blankets are warmer. But you should do whatever will make you happiest - after all, you're the one who will have to stare at it for hours and hours!

Sarah said...

Yikes, that's a tough call! Both look really pretty. Do you think that it would pill less if it were crocheted? You might want to take that into account. Does your son have a preference?

Kristin said...

I'm a sucker for the little v's too. Needless to say I would knit and not only b/c I don't know how to crochet.

MelissaKnits said...

What really matters here is what YOU the fiber art-eest want. Ultimately, it's your game, you get to make all the rules!!

Tammy said...

Knit. You must knit. Malabrigo does not negotiate.

knottykitty said...

I like the knit swatch on this one...

Romi said...

The knit swatch looks better. Sorry. I do feel your pain! :/

And, btw, have I ever mentioned what a huge fan of yours I am? 'Cause I am. I *so* love reading your comments on my Monday posts. It's always a giant treat. I'll bet you are one of those people with whom people want to talk until the wee hours of the morning. Admit it. You are, aren't you? :)

sophanne said...

Priorities- is it an aesthetic or utilitarian piece?

In this case IMHO knit for aesthetics, crochet for utility- but how much "extra" warm does one need to suck out of malabrigo?

i say knit possibly some basketweave squares of some kind to avoid tedium.

Faith! said...

I agree that the knitting looks better. But- I think a crocheted blanket would last much longer, and of course, the speed is appealing. Basically, ditto Sophane's comment! I'm excited to see what you eventually decide!

patrice said...

How patient is your son? Will the enjoyment of his new room distract him from how long the knitted blanket is taking to finish? Or will he want it to appear as fast as his brother's did? I personally love the look of the knitted swatch too, but even at your fantastical knitting speed, it will take longer than the crochet. But really, how warm do we need that blanket to be in San Diego?
Viva the V's!!

knitwitmama said...

no question here. Knit. the colors come through so much better. I love the room makeover.

Senja said...

I vote knit. Crocheting just won't do it justice I think. Sorry I know it will take longer.

Viktoria said...

Knit! It shows off the yarn a lot better...

Donna said...

Why don't you try an even bigger crochet hook? Go really big and see how much softer the swatch will be (and of course how much faster the project will go).

brunhilda said...

Apparently I'm in the minority when I say that I think the crocheted swatch looks better. Seeing as I can't touch yarn through the computer screen I can't attest to it's softness, that that was not a factor in my decision.

kmkat said...

I am not chiming in here with an opinion since I'm coming in late to the discussion. Instead I am quickly clicking on to your next post(s) to see what happens to the universe...

Life's a Stitch said...

How about a crochet blanket with a looser, more open stitch? I like the way the colours mix.