Author Archives: JJCrochet

Crochet vs. Knitting Differences

If you’ve found yourself inexplicably drawn to the yarn section of craft stores, you may be looking to learn the differences between crocheting vs. knitting.

crochet vs knitting

Some crocheters also knit and knitters have been known to crochet. There’s a benefit to being able to do both, though some crafters prefer to just do one. I’ve been crocheting for 18 years and knitting for 14. Over the years, I’ve found benefits for each.

Knitting and crocheting are different, though are the same at their core: You’re creating something from yarn and a needle or hooks by following a pattern. Learning both will allow you to choose which is better for your particular project whether you’re making a dog sweater or a tea cozy.

The table below outlines basic differences I’ve found between knitting and crocheting. You may have found the opposite, this is what I’ve experienced over the years. Review to learn if you’d make a coordinated crocheter or knowledgeable knitter.

Crochet vs. Knitting: A Comparison
ToolsOne Hook & YarnTwo Needles & Yarn
Basic Stitch MotionLoops & KnotsLoops
Active Stitches at Any Time1All
Number of Basic Stitches102
Fabric TextureCoarse & Thick Smooth & Flat
Construction MethodSpacial: Turns or Irregular ShapesLinear:Limited by Loops on Needles
Correcting MistakesEasy: Rip Out StitchesMedium: Unknit without Dropping Stitches
Flexibility in PatternsHigh: Easy to Free-FormMedium: Harder to Free-Form
Average Project TimeMedium: Stitches are Bigger & Projects Work up FasterHigh
Yarn NeededMore: Crocheting Takes 1/3 more Yarn Less
Availability of PatternsMediumHigh
Best Used ForWearable Accessories (Hats or Scarves) & AfghansSweaters & Wearables
Ease of LearningDepends on you!Depends on you!

Leave a comment of what you think. What have you found to be better for your crafting: knitting or crocheting?

The Fourth & Final Afghan

If you’ve been keeping tabs, I finished the third of my afghans–the crochet granny square flower–last spring. Since then, I’ve been busy working on the fourth and final installment of the afghans.

It’s with great pride I present the Solid Squared Afghan!


This guy differs from its three sibling since its squares are solid colors, not comprised of four to six different colors. The squares themselves are working up quicker (no time joining colors) and can I just tell you how infinitely excited I am to have 75% LESS ends to weave in.

My fellow crocheters, can I get an ‘amen’?!

This afghan was designed to be 12 x 12 squares, yet I found it too small. Each square measures just under four inches, forming an afghan 48 by 48 inches. I figured why stop there? I had enough yarn and plan to keep working until it runs out.

Project Details:

  • Size 3.5mm (E 4) crochet hook
  • Over 15 different colors of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmireno
  • Five rows of granny squares, using the join-as-you-go method

This is also a great project to use up yarn scraps. Pick complimenting threads or random colors and join, join, join until you have yourself an afghan. It becomes almost mindless work–great while watching episodes of Arrested Develpment or Mad Men or nothing. :) Enjoy!

A Trip to Asia: Vietnam, Thailand & a Little Shanghai

My last post was about making last-minute Christmas presents. How embarrassing! What’s even more dismal is that I’ve not had much time to crochet in the past weeks. I’ve been traveling and planning the trip hasn’t left much free time. I promise, there will be new projects soon!


For this vacation, I met up with friends who are living in Shanghai and we took a two week trip to Vietnam (Hoi An and Saigon/Ho Chi Mihn City) and Thailand (Koh Lanta and Phi-Phi Island). It was magical! It was my first time in Southeast Asia. I probably knew only 10% of all I saw, tasted and experienced before I went on this trip. I even got to spend 3 days in Shanghai which was fantastic as well.






  • Scootering around the Thai and Vietnamese countrysides on motorbikes
  • Snorkeling with sharks in Phi Phi
  • Eating like kings for about $4/meal (favorites were Bahn Mi, dumplings, Korean BBQ, baracuda tar-tar, pho, multiple curries, Thai pancakes and fresh mango smoothies)
  • A Thai cooking class where I learned that unlike American cuisine that keeps most flavors separate, Thai food seeks to feature all four flavors in one dish (sweet, salty, sour and savory)
  • Surviving nine flights, one of which was on Air Asia
  • Watching multiple sun sets over the Adaman Sea/Indian Ocean
  • Touring the My Son ruins in Vietnam
  • Crawling through the Cu Chi tunnels the Viet Cong used to hide in during the Vietnam War
  • Dining in the dark – the entire meal is served in total blackness and you have to use your sense of smell and taste to identify your food. All servers are blind
  • Ringing in the Chinese New Year on a rooftop bar
  • Traditional Thai massages (painful!)
  • Beating Escape rooms (twice!)
  • Releasing lanterns on the beaches of Thailand and floating rives of Hoi An
  • Sipping caipirinas on the beach



shanghai skyline


It was such a nice break from the freezing temperatures we’ve been having in Pittsburgh (went from 0 degrees to 95 degrees Farenheit!) and the responsibilities of life. Who doesn’t love vacation? Can’t wait to go back!


Crochet Christmas Gifts & Last Minute Projects

It’s nearly Christmas. Months ago, when the sun was still shining and tan lines were your largest concern, you had grand plans of hand-crocheting presents for everyone on your list. Was it ambitious? Sure, but you’d have a plan and plenty of time to stitch.


And yet, here we are.

We’re days away from the big day and you need projects–completed projects. We’ve all been there and there’s still hope! Here are some of my favorite crocheted Christmas gifts.

They’re quick, they’re customizable and they’re easy for beginners. Most will take an hour or less to work up. So grab your hooks, go through your stash and cross off that Christmas gift list!

For the Friend

For the Coworker

For the Sister-In-Law

For the New Mom

For Anyone

Striped Crochet Baby Blanket


A former coworker commissioned a blanket for his nephew. After asking if he had a design in mind, he replied in typical guy fashion: “It’s for a baby. Can you make it blue and gray?”. Sure can, Sam, sure can.

I chose four skeins of yarn for this blanket–I was picturing stripes.


We had’ light blue, dark blue, soft baby blue and a variegated black/white/gray to tie it together. I’ haven’t fully embraced bold hues for baby blankets (you can’t deny there’s something cuddly about cloud blue yarn), although I do like mixing saturated colors with the typical baby palette.

It’s my way of blending compliance with creativity.

Once the yarn was selected, I got to work. I’ll tell you a secret, though: sometimes having no direction is the hardest task–all I have is yards of string to make a blanket.

After a few designs, nothing was coming out quite right so I revisited old instructions–a soft wave pattern I used for a rainbow ripple blanket a few years ago. It turned out great! The yarn creates a cozy design when striped together and I love the soft border of baby blue yarn.

Project Details: 

  • Free Pattern: Crochet Ripple Afghan from Attic24
  • Yarn: About 600 yards varying weight
  • Hook: Size I crochet hook

The finished blanket measures 35 inches wide by 42 inches long, should be just the right size for the newborn. Afghan was packaged and mailed off today. I hope it brings many warm nights with it. Thanks for the project Sam–hope your nephew enjoys!



Finished Project: Crochet Baby Dress

When coworkers are pregnant, I crochet.


I found this beautiful crochet baby dress pattern from Bev’s Country Cottage (on Ravelry) and knew it’d be perfect for the soon-to-be little girl. I used sport weight tan yarn and accented the dress with pink baby cashmerino flowers.

The crochet baby shoes (Dainty Mary Janes from Ravelry) worked up in no time and they’re so tiny! Just look at how cute they are.


I followed the dress pattern as written, but made it a few rows longer. I’m hoping it’s 0-3 months, though it might be larger. Not having a real baby handy, I’m unsure of the sizing. Hoping all this fits, but figured she can always grow into it. Also made a small little headband in the same pattern.



crochetbabyheadbandI highly recommend the crochet baby dress and shoes patterns. They work up quickly and only use a little bit of yarn. If you’re looking for a last minute baby shower gift, whip up the booties, dress, or both and they’ll be sure to get plenty of “awwws”. The best news is both patterns are free. Enjoy!