The “joys and concerns” section of choir practice last night began in the usual way with sick kids and people travelling and the miraculous growth of the soprano section, but then someone mentioned taxes and Suwanna brought up the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and it all just got out of hand.

I almost mentioned #1 daughter’s having found a suitable dress for the Sub Ball. Isn’t that a great name for a social event? It is filled with mystery. The dress I know all about: it is long, black, and slinky, with an underdress and a beaded overdress and spaghetti straps and a rose motif travelling up the length of it. But the ball itself is not so clear to me. Will they actually be on a submarine? Is it a ball for all the submariners? Will they serve sub sandwiches? No, no — I understand that there is a great deal of beading and straplessness involved in this affair, so it cannot be about sub sandwiches. I hope it is on a submarine, though. Slinking around a submarine, dancing to whale songs, would be a whole new chapter in romance.

Blisskitty and Dweezy are discussing the merits of crochet versus knitting. The business community has been poised for some time for a crochet revival to mirror the knitting revival, and I think it will happen. Crochet has some image problems to overcome, though. For one thing, it is often thought to be sort of an easier form of knitting. This is not true, but it has contributed to its other problems.

The second trouble is the Rule of Nostalgia: namely, the things that were trendy in your parents’ day (your own childhood) are unutterably ugly, while the things from the previous generation are charming. Those of us who actually remember the 1970s, when crochet was last in style, tend to think of it in terms of hideous granny square hot pants and stuff like this sweater. Having seen Poor Boy sweaters and platform shoes come back into style, I am ready for younger readers to say they love this look, but to me it is truly ugly.

The third problem with crochet, I think, is that the belief that it was easier than knitting led to folks’ using it for things that it wasn’t suited to. Artificial knitting, in fact. Crochet made to look a little like Aran knitting was one horrible idea. Crochet will make a good, firm fabric, or it will make lace. It really won’t make decent cables, or a soft drapey opaque fabric. It is very good for three-dimensional stuff, too, since you can change your direction as you go along, instead of having to calculate the way you do with knitting. So it is very good for bowls and baskets and rugs, but not good at all for pullovers or socks.

My mother uses crochet to make pictures and toys. I use it for lace, afghans, and finishing. In fact, traditional knitters always know how to crochet, since it is an important finishing technique. It may be that neo-knitters don’t usually know how, and I think crocheters do not usually know how to knit. But the combination of the two techniques can make some very nice results.

This is an unblocked motif from my current crochet project. I can’t call it a WIP (work in progress), because it is so long since I have worked on it. It has to be a UFO (unfinished object). Someday it will return to the land of the WIP and be finished, but right now it looks like this:

 

The T-shirt has had no further progress, either, because I have been going to appointments and rehearsals and stuff. Here is the pattern if you haven’t started yet. If you wanted to incorporate crochet into this pattern, you could. A crocheted edging would be very pretty, I think. A crocheted motif in place of the graphic, either appliqued on or added by leaving an opening and crocheting it in later, would also be nice. You could even make the whole thing in Irish Crochet and wear it over a tank.

But don’t make this top out of single crochet or something, because then it would be a piece of stiff nasty fake-knitting instead of some lovely crochet.