Hey, corporate world! Knitters exist!

December 3, 2006 at 3:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For those who do their shopping for knitting supplies pruely at local yarn stores, or at online specialty stores, this doesn’t really apply. Those things cater to knitters, not general crafters. But after a visit to Michael’s last night, I realised that the corporate fibre world, at least in terms of big-name things, seems to be biased against knitters.

Take, for example, the sheets of free patterns that Michael’s offers in their yarn section. For every one knitting pattern you will find, there’ll be about five crochet patterns. In the books section, there are a lot of books about how to crochet incredible lace, and detailed afghans. For knitting, you’re primarily looking at dishcloths, and quit knits with bulky yarn on huge needles. There were affordable booklets with tons of crochet stiches to mess around with. I had to search high and low to find the equivalent in knitting stitches, and when I found it, it was shoved behind some other crochet books, and offered less stitch patterns than the same kind of crochet book. There were way more “Learn to Crochet” books than “Learn to Knit” books.

In terms of supplies, you can find crochet hooks so tiny that I could swear I’ve seen sewing needles thicker than them. Not so in knitting needles, though. I went in there looking for the thinnest needles I could find for a project, and the thinnest they carried was 3.5 mm. In crochet hooks, I’m pretty sure I saw a 1 mm hook there.

So what’s with the bias against knitters? Are they trying to make knitting obsolete, and bring crochet into the forefront? Do they make more money off crochet supplies than knitting supplies, and thus keep very small stocks of knitting stuff in the hopes that some novice fibre artist is going to come in, look for knitting stuff to get started, and see nothing but crochet supplies and so decide to switch their major? Or do they expect that just about every knitter already knows what they’re doing and doesn’t need any sort of serious instruction guide or set of patterns?¬†Seriously, what is it with all the crochet?

Not that I have anything against crochet. Just because I can’t do it doesn’t mean I think the rest of the world shouldn’t? But the leaning towards crochet in Michael’s bugs the hell out of me. Occasionally I go in there looking for some new free pattern, or some nice yarn, or new knitting needles, or heck, a really nice stitch dictionary. (The last one’s a frigging pipe dream. Nowhere carries stitch dictionaries anymore, it seems. Not even Cricket Cove.) But when I see everything geared towards the crocheter, I feel the urge to leave rather than to buy. Short of buying some semi-cheap acrylic yarn (which I can get much cheaper by just going to Value Village and buying some sweaters to take apart), there’s very little for me there.

*sigh* It just seems to me that in terms of coolness, knitting is out and crocheting is in. And maybe it’s the fact that I’m a knitter rather than a crocheter, but I don’t understand this. Both crafts are equally as valid. They both produce pretty things from string and a piece of metal or two. So why does crochet get the attention while knitting has to lie in the dust?

Knitting. And by the looks of the new big-name stores that don’t cater much to it, it really is your grandmother’s craft.

(Good thing I really love my grandmother and want to be like her, isn’t it?)


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