The Relationship between Knitting and Crochet: Horizontal vs. Vertical Construction

Knitting and crochet tend to be very segregated techniques despite the fact that they really aren’t that different fundamentally. One element that knitters and crocheters are both acquainted with is the V. This is, of course, the visible shape made by interconnected loops of yarn. For knitters the V is the tell-tale marker of the knit stitch, an attractive slip stitch selvedge, the braided look of a simple cast off, and of course a V on the back of the work means a purl stitch on the front.  For crocheters the V is the front of a starting chain and the loops through which most crochet stitches are made. The biggest difference is that knitting makes Vs one at a time horizontally across several columns, holding live stitches on the needles when not being worked. Crochet, when thought about from a knitter’s prospective, instead makes one V at a time vertically, completing one column at a time before moving on to the next. There are only a few live stitches at a time (generally one through three for slip stitch through treble crochet) which are all worked together before moving on to the next V, which is why there is no need for another needle. Interestingly enough, if a knitter sits down and slip-stitch crochets a flat piece of work through the back loop, after a few rows he might notice a striking resemblance between the fabric made and 1×1 rib knitting…rotated 90 degrees. The same can be said for a seasoned crocheter who sits down to knit 1×1 ribbing. That is of course if you can manage to wrestle their preferred fiber art out of their hands first.


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