Friday Open Discussion: Crochet Snobbery

by Kathryn on February 17, 2012 · 22 comments

in Crochet Discussion

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Today we’re going to talk about being a crochet / yarn / craft snob. Are you one? In what ways? Have you been hurt by snobbery? Remember that these weekly open discussions are to generate conversation in the crochet community because your voice matters here. Feel free to say what you want to say on this topic. That said, please be respectful, especially when responding to others thoughts and comments on the blog.

Today’s Topic: Crochet/ Yarn/ Craft Snobbery

Here are some of the ways that I’ve seen snobbery as it relates to crochet:

  • Yarn stores that are rude to crocheters (I haven’t experienced this myself but read @lindamade’s great crochet blog post about it).
  • Multi-craftual snobs looking down on single-craft crocheters
  • Snobbery in the type of yarn you use (I’m probably guilty of this one at times)
  • Snobbery about where you buy your yarn (indie vs. chain, for example)
  • Nose-in-the-air about making and buying handmade towards others who don’t
  • Snobbery about perfect stitches, blocking and gauging when others don’t, etc.
Dig deep and get honest and tell us what you’re a snob about.
Or … do you feel bad about anything related to your crochet because of how snobby others may be? Have you been hurt in the past by craft snobbery?

Is it bad to be a snob? What are the most negative things about it? What are some positive things about being a snob?

Discuss in the comments below! (I’ll be adding in my two cents in response as the day goes on.)

 

 

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21 comments
pammiekate
pammiekate

I'm an environmental snob, I guess, because I choose natural fibers because they are made from sustainable resources, not a finite resource like petroleum, which is what acrylic yarn is made from. The processing of acrylic yarn produces toxins that harm the environment. I have felt acrylic yarn that is soft, but most of it feels too hot and scratchy. Plus it doesn't have the fire retardant or antibacterial properties of natural wool.

Anastacia Knits
Anastacia Knits

The snobbery I encounter the most, & frustrates me the most, is the difference between what crochet designers get paid, or can charge, for their patterns, verses similiar knit designs. A pair of crochet socks? you are lucky if you can charge $2.99 & get anyone to pay for said socks (assuming uniqueness / well written / well photograhed / tech edited & tested, etc) a same well written, photographed, edited knit pattern, can easily fetch twice that - and with twice the sales as well. The same is true when submitting patterns to magazines - why is this? Yes, crochet is faster in many cases, but it's just as much a skilled art as knitting.

laurindar3
laurindar3

Just this week I realized that I have become a total crochet snob when I found myself being rather rude to one of my few friends (who I haven't converted) who admitted that she did not plan to crochet much more and only wants to knit. I think it began in defensiveness of all the knitting snobs I encounter in LYSs and especially at Sock Summit. I usually tell people I CAN knit, but I PREFER to crochet. But most knitters will usually agree when I explain that as a mother of small children who are apt to pull out my hooks and needles it is simply easier to stick the hook back in and pick the project right back up than it would be to find all those sts in knitting.

As for yarn, having spent many years working and teaching at Michaels stores I have always gone for the inexpensive stuff because that is what I had access to and could afford. I also do a lot of charity crochet, so I will continue to use some easy care acrylics. But I have to admit that since I started designing and have had the opportunity to work with pricier yarns including hand dyed and organic cotton/wool... I may never go back.

pasmonauta
pasmonauta

When I suggested starting a crocheting club for the young boys in our school, the Textiles teacher laughed! I was hurt at this, as I was one of those who helped her get the job to teach textiles to the boys in the first place. I almost regretted that instantly. How insensitive!

bentonsa
bentonsa

I think my only snobbery about crocheting is that I don't like using weird yarn or tricks to create a look. A friend made me a scarf using "special" yarn that makes it fuzzy and to me it is just a trapping. If you make a great product you don't need to hide it with loops or fuzz or other gimmicky yarn. That probably sounds terrible. I find I am pretty traditional in my crocheting, most of my pattern books are 15 years old and I update the look through the use of color. I love looking at new patterns and I have tried some new ones in the last year I have really liked. But I like that crocheting is a traditional craft. I can appreciate the updated look of some of the items out there but I like to see the creativity shown through the stitches and use of color not weird yarn.

And I think I am a bit annoyed that there is a big trend to make crochet look like knitting. If I wanted to knit an item I would learn how to knit. It seems almost like it is condescending for a company to push constantly to have customers learn to "knit" using a hook. If you want to knit then knit, but don't bastardize our craft and imply it is not as good in the process. Wow, guess I had some strong feelings about that...

DGITCrochet
DGITCrochet

I have been called a yarn snob...I can't help it I am addicted to beautiful handspun hand dyed yarn my absolute favorite is neighborhoodfiberco. If I am really honest (kind of scared to put this out there) I am a crochet snob too. It is the only craft I do it is the only one I want to do...I have no desire to learn to knit, sew, or any other DIY craft. My Great Aunt taught me how to crochet and for some reason I feel like I have to protect that...I really dislike when people mis identify knit as being crochet and vice versa...I also don't like that people dislike crochet being associated with "grandma" it is something to be said about a craft that has been passed down from generation to generation...my Aunt crocheted out of necessity and now I get to do it simply because I enjoy the art and the beauty of it...I do it in rememberance of her and so yes I will start a project over again and again and again if I feel like the stitches are not just right. I actually feel kind of better now that I have said that...thanks for this open forum and if I have projected my crochet snobbery on anyone at anytime and it has offended or hurt you please forgive me!

pasmonauta
pasmonauta

@bentonsa I agree. I've tried knitting, but couldn't get on with it and didn't enjoy it as much as crocheting, so I'm sticking with what I know and love best! Thank you for this post.

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@bentonsa So glad that you felt comfortable sharing your strong feelings! I definitely want to do a conversation in the future specifically about the spectrum between crochet and knitting with Tunisian crochet, Knooking, double-end hook crochet, etc. It's an interesting topic that I bet people have lots of opinions on.

Interesting point about the novelty yarns. I have a bunch in my stash because I thought I'd like to play with them but the more that I use them the more that I find myself leaning towards more traditional yarns. I like the novelty stuff for fringe and embellishments on things. And there are a few exceptions - like there are some ribbon yarns that I really love for working Solomon's Knots.

pasmonauta
pasmonauta

@DGITCrochet I started to crochet when I was 10 years old because my best friend at the time (same age) used to do it with her mum and I asked them to teach me. I've never forgotten them for that kindness. I was never close enough geographically to my grand mothers and I don't know if they crocheted at all.

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@DGITCrochet Thanks so much for your openness. Believe me, I was a little nervous to put my own snobbery out there. I, too, am a yarn snob to an extent and am probably snobby about the fact that I buy from small indie stores and not large chains. I try not to come off as snobby to others because I genuinely believe that everyone should enjoy crafting in whatever way makes sense for them but if I get right down to the heart of it then I know that there are thought processes in me that definitely have a snobby tinge to them.

I think you make a great point about the whole idea that "this isn't your grandma's crochet". I LOVE that there are fresh new styles of crochet fashion and art that generations before us would never have thought of but I do think it's really important to acknowledge that this was still a craft developed by others and passed down to us and to honor those other women. I have noticed, though, that more and more people are saying "this IS your grandma's crochet". I think there was a big backlash necessary to get crochet out of that "fuddy duddy" space it had in people's minds and now that that's been mostly achieved there's more and more people reversing it a little and acknowledging the past.

Anastacia Knits
Anastacia Knits

@CrochetBlogger I have no idea why it is, if I did, I'd be able to work towards changing things, instead of just griping about it. It is one of those things that you have NO idea about until you start actively designing, reading submissions, hearing from other designers, etc. I know it won't change overnight, but it's definitely something that I am trying to change, one slow step at a time.

laurindar3
laurindar3

@CrochetBlogger@bentonsa I used to make fuzzy booties for babies, so I would pick up fuzzy yarns where ever I could find them, especially if it was on sale. But since I do not make them much any more I have no idea what to do with a couple boxes of fun fur, etc..

bentonsa
bentonsa

@CrochetBlogger The only thing about appealing to kids that would bother me is that these yarns are much, much harder to use which could be frustrating and really keep kids away.

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