Crocheting and knitting are commonly thought of as similar art forms, but they are not historically related. People were knitting in ancient Egypt while crochet is much younger, dating back to the 1800s. In fact, they differ enough for there to be quizzes to help you determine “which craft suits your character”. No matter which you decide to try, you will find that becoming a fiber artist is a great way to de-stress while creating something new.
Most yarn craft websites agree that crochet is easier for children and people with limited dexterity, but it is not inferior to knitting. Crochet is slightly cheaper than knitting because it requires one hook compared to two needles, however neither craft is expensive until you start purchasing more specialized tools and yarn. If you don’t want to spend money on hooks or needles, you could try hand crochet or hand knitting.
Both crafts are a great way to unwind and flex your creativity. The products you can make through crochet or knitting are limitless—scarves, handbags, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, pants and even house plants.
The library has online resources that allow you to take beginners classes and will walk you through fun designs. In addition, we have dozens of print books with patterns available in our collection. Use websites like Ravelry and Etsy to find cheap or free patterns.
Learn Knit Stitches for Crochet on Creativebug* – When we talk about knitting and crocheting, we often focus on how different they are, but those skilled in crochet can learn how to create knit stitches through this class. Tian Connaughton is a highly experienced knit and crochet designer and technical editor. In this class, she demonstrates how to easily translate five popular knitting stitches—stockinette, seed stitch, ribbing, two-color mosaic and a cable stitch—into crochet. With just chains, single crochet stitches, and half double crochet stitches, you’ll make practice swatches in order to incorporate them into your own crocheted designs.
Knitting and Crocheting – Leave it to the “For Dummies” series to bring together these two crafts. This is actually seven of their books combined into one volume and provides not only basic instructions but patterns as well.
Cats in Hats – There aren’t many combination knit and crochet pattern books, but devoted cat parents will go above and beyond for their felines. With The Punk Mohawk for edgier cats, The Unicorn for cats who are having identity issues, and The Cat in the Hat for any cat that loves great literature, there is a pattern in this book for every feline friend in your home. Complete with a breakdown of skill level and method of working (knit or crochet), suggestions for yarns, and written patterns and charts where necessary, you'll be able to whip up amazing headwear that your cat won’t want to wear.
Sweaters for Dogs – There is a stereotype that "cat people" also knit or crochet, but dog lovers do too. These sweater patterns can be adjusted to fit dogs of all sizes and will make your pooch proud to wear such a fine creation. Supposedly, the blanket patterns in this book are for dogs only, but try telling a cat that.
How to Crochet on Creativebug* – Learn the basics of crochet with hook-and-needle expert, Carla Scott. In part one, Carla will teach you everything you need to know to get started, from fundamental stitches to the importance of understanding gauge. Then, in part two, Carla will walk you through more advanced techniques, like changing colors, decreasing and increasing. You’ll learn how to read basic crochet patterns, so you can take these skills and follow any beginner pattern you'd like. These techniques are all endorsed and used by the Craft Yarn Council to educate new crocheters, making it a great course for newbies or anyone who needs a refresher.
Crochet to Calm – Two of the best reasons to crochet is to de-stress and make cute things. This book was specifically created to provide you with simple patterns that let you relax while making items you can actually use. Need slipper boots or arm warmers? This title has you covered! Maybe you want to update the furniture in your living room—try making a Zinnia Pillow or Papillon Pouf.
Crochet A Rag Rug on Creativebug* – Learn how to make a traditional crocheted rag rug with Cal Patch. Rag rugs are a great opportunity to use up recycled fabrics like old bed sheets and t-shirts. In this class, Cal shares expert tips on how to shred the fabric into strips and connect them to make one continuous “yarn” for crocheting. Once you’ve learned the chain stitch and single crochet stitch, you’ll work in spirals to create a round or oval rug. This class is marked as “intermediate” but is a great way to upcycle your old clothes or sheets.
Crochet Kaleidoscope – Granny square afghans are a staple of television shows everywhere, as explained in this book. What television fans might not realize is that crochet motifs come in many shapes and colors. This title contains 100 patterns for eye-catching “squares” that can be used to make afghans, clothing, pillows, coasters and more.
Crochet Lace – Crochet literally saved lives during the Great Potato Famine in Ireland. Women and children used crocheted lace to earn money when their families faced starvation due to crop failure. While crochet lace might seem old fashioned compared to the other resources listed here, without it, crochet would not have become such a popular craft. And who knows, macramé came back into fashion, maybe lace tablecloths will too!
Amigurume Eats – The world gained the adorable art form of amigurumi when crochet reached Japan. You can make nearly anything into amigurumi, as shown in this book. This irresistible collection of 40 food-themed amigurumi makes a delicious treat for crafters. Perfect for beginners, it offers a menu of charming projects, including a plate of pancakes served with strips of bacon, a sandwich (with your filling of choice), and a full dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, a freshly crocheted salad and a slice of pie. There are even patterns for kitchen accessories, from a lunch box that opens and closes to a miniature pot with a removable lid. Plus, it shows you how to make your creation smell like the real thing too.
How to Knit on Creativebug* – Learn the basics of knitting with Carla Scott, the editor of Knit Simple magazine. Carla will teach all of the essential skills a beginner needs to know, from casting on to binding off and troubleshooting mistakes. Best of all, you’ll learn how to read knitting patterns, so you can take the information you’ve learned and try it out on any beginners project you choose. Everything included in this information-packed class is used by the Craft Yarn Council to educate new knitters, providing a perfect foundation for anyone who wants to learn how to knit, or simply needs a refresher.
Arm Knitting: Make a Cowl on Creativebug* – There’s no better gift than a handmade cozy, oversized cowl. In this class, Anne Weil shows how to make a simple arm-knit cowl using nothing more than super-bulky yarn and your arms. She even shares a fun variation, perfect for the holidays—a bulky scarf with festive pompom adornments. In about an hour, you can whip up this luxe accessory for the ultimate handmade gift.
Fixing Knitting Mistakes on Creativebug* – As knitters, everyone makes mistakes. As beginners, fixing mistakes is intimidating. In this class, knitting pro Debbie Stoller teaches you easy ways to fix the most common culprits. You'll learn how to unknit a few stitches, rip out whole rows, turn knits into purls (and vice versa), and how to pick up dropped stitches with a crochet hook. Once you know how to fix your mistakes, you can move on with your knitting like nothing ever happened.
Beginner's Guide to Colorwork Knitting – This book was created specifically to help new knitters learn how to use colorwork techniques and match colors. The patterns include socks, mitts, blankets and kitchen accessories.
Knits for Kitties – If you’re the proud (or exasperated) parent of a cat who refuses to wear a homemade hat, this is the book for you. From dragonflies to rolling dice, crazy caterpillars and raccoon tails, your cat will be on the prowl again, looking for fun in all the right places. The skill requirements range from beginner to advanced.
Outlander Knitting – Season seven of the hit television show Outlander is coming in 2023. Get ready for the new episodes by knitting items such as “Mrs. Fitz’s Armwarmers,” “Jamie’s Waistcoat” and “Mo Chridhe Baby Blanket”. Each pattern comes with a description of how the item relates to the show and tips for the pattern. This is truly a work of love for the fans.
Fictional Fiber Artists
If you can’t get enough of these hobbies, you might want to read some fictional titles that revolve around them.
If Hooks Could Kill – Bookstore owner + crochet + cozy mystery = perfection. CPL has access to all of the titles in this series as audiobooks on hoopla, but you can also request a physical copy through MeL interloan.
Double Knit Murders – A big city girl moves back to northern Colorado and uses knitting to relieve stress. Unfortunately, her knitting group keeps dragging her into murder investigations.
The Friday Night Knitting Club – If you want less murder with your knitting, Kate Jacobs is the author for you. Her books focus on the relationships between women and family in addition to a love of knitting.
*Creativebug links require a Canton Public Library card to access.