Debunking Crochet Myths

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 36 Comments

Since I started crocheting, I have heard a few things about crochet that have made my eyebrows raise. There are many misconceptions about crochet out there! Have you heard them? Well, if we hear a crochet myths, it’s up to us to set people straight in a friendly and informed manner. Our beloved craft has always been popular, but lately it has become more and more prominent in popular culture and fashion. Hooray! Let’s build upon that momentum and make sure that everyone knows the truth about crochet!

1. Crochet is knitting. This is the number one myth, because we hear it all the time! How many times have you been crocheting and someone asks you about your “knitting?” Knitting is great and crochet is great, but they are different crafts. They’re closely related, like sisters, but different, like sisters!

2. Crochet can be machine made. We crocheters know what actual crochet looks like. I can spot it at a distance most times, but sometimes, I need to look closely to ascertain whether something is crocheted, or if it is a knitted or embroidered imitation. Confusingly, many clothiers will call their machine made knitted or embroidered garments “crochet” when in fact they are not. My sister even found a youtube video of a “crochet machine!” Sorry! There is NO real crochet machine. The only way to produce real crochet is by hand!

3. Crochet is not good for garments, because it’s hard to shape crochet. Fortunately over the past years, this myth is becoming less and less common. However, there are still holdouts who think that crochet should be exclusively used for stiff, acrylic blankets and 1970s home decor. To them I say, “Get with the program!” Look to the runways and in the crochet pattern books and magazines. We’re crocheting gorgeous, drapey, flattering, beautiful garments! We even have a clothing section here on Crochet Spot!

4. Crochet is tacky. Umm… I am not going to say I’ve never seen tacky crochet, but let’s be reasonable! Crochet, like anything, can be tacky. The taste level is left up to the individual crocheter! There are thousands of crochet designs in every category that are elegant and very tasteful!

5. Crocheters are old ladies. First of all, I’d like to applaud all of the old ladies who crochet, like Amazing Mazie! Without you, our grandmothers and community members, we wouldn’t have as much crocheted love in this world! HOWEVER, I’d like to point out that MEN crochet, and young people do, too! People of all ages and all genders are picking up the hook and making crochet happen. The best way to debunk that myth is by crocheting in public, no matter what age or gender you are!

Have you ever heard any of these crochet myths? What did you do or say? Which other crochet myths have you heard? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below! 🙂

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  1. carol scott says:

    If crocheting is for old ladies, then I’ve been an old lady since I was 8 years old.

  2. Bailey says:

    I think many result from the fact lots of people haven’t been exposed to traditional crafts. Many people don’t know the difference between needlepoint and embroidery when they are showing me stuff their grandparents made.

    I grew up knowing the difference because all the Barbie clothes I wanted my Mom to make were crocheted and she could only knit. 🙂 It was rather frustrating.

    As far as the rest go the myths don’t really bother me. If people are interested in the craft they will look at the patterns and discover what they really can make.

  3. Susan says:

    I may be an old lady now but I can’t say I was 50 years ago when I began my journey, I love the process and love the finished item whether life size or miniature. Show a non-crocheter a miniature Pooh Bear and they’re “hooked” 😉

  4. I was once asked why I go on crocheting when machines can do that for me. 😐

    Also, some people seem to think that only doilies can be made from crochet! It’s sad, but true. Everything else is knitted. Haha. Some people have reacted to my projects with something like, “Wow, I’ve never seen crochet like this before. You can use thicker yarn?” Maybe because the only crocheted things they have around the house are doilies?

  5. Sarah says:

    I have heard 3 out of 5 of those myths (1, 4 and 5).
    I get number 1 all of the time, I always tell people when they ask “What’s the difference?” in an offhand I-don’t-really-care tone of voice that crocheting involves one HOOK and knitting involves 2 NEEDLES. Simple explanation for those simple minded non crafters. (Sorry if that comes across as mean).

    I also get called an old lady by people my age, until I show them all of the cool things I can make and several of them are by people MY AGE.

    I will also be the first to admit that a good portion of my crochet is tacky, but I think that is because I am still in the “making all of the ugly” stage. There’s a saying that you have to make all of the ugly before you can make the pretty stuff. That is true for me.

  6. Tina says:

    I,too, have heard the # 1, alot.
    The one I hear alot,too, is that crochet ( and knitting) causes…brace yourselves: carpal tunnel syndrome.
    Been hering that for the last 20 years.
    TBH, I was suprised that it did not make your list.
    *snickers that crochet can he machine-made* yeah, riiiight…

    • I hadn’t heard that about Carpal Tunnel…

      • valchera says:

        I hear that all the time about Carpal tunnel syndrome……plus all the other misconceptions. They don’t worry me at all. I love what I do and what all the really talented people show us on the net sites. Crochet must be a good thing as there are sooooo many sites dedicated to it!

  7. Tina says:

    I,too, have heard the # 1, alot.
    The one I hear alot,too, is that crochet ( and knitting) causes…brace yourselves: carpal tunnel syndrome.
    Been hering that for the last 20 years.
    TBH, I was suprised that it did not make your list.
    *snickers that crochet can be machine-made* yeah, riiiight…

  8. gatyamgal says:

    Did anyone catch the knitted Yoga Balls last fall? They were actually recycled crocheted afghans placed on a yoga ball. Check out the terrible job they did on making the seams. I thought no one would pay $440 for one of these. I contacted the person that sold them and they told me they had sold 10 out of the 12 that they had!

  9. Kitty says:

    I was told more than once that I crochet only because I couldn’t learn to knit. Excuse me? I chuckled and asked one acqaintance if she both knitted and crocheted. She did neither! When I learned to crochet nearly 50 yrs. ago (dang, I am old!), I must admit there was an abundance of knitted patterns and I entertained the idea of learning to knit. Glad I didn’t … you can knit on a machine, but crochet is truly handwork and I am always proud to say “I made that.”

  10. Brenda says:

    I’ve heard them all but the crochet machine. How nice that our craft can ONLY be done by, hand made. The one about only old lady’s crochet. I tell them about that NFL football player who was on the cover of a crochet magazine . His name is Rosey Grier. Yes a big time manly NFL football player! Go crochet!

  11. Karla says:

    I’ve had people ask if there are patterns for crochet (right after they ask me if I’m knitting). I do sometimes feel that crochet gets a bum wrap (no pun intended). It seems (again no pun) like there are 20 knit patterns to every crochet pattern. I too am proud to know a craft that cannot be duplicated by a machine.

  12. Stephie dragon kitty says:

    Amen sister! 35 now, learned when I was just about 8…so not old by any stretch…although I do give complete respect to both mom and grandma that taught me. 🙂
    I have friends that ask me if I’ll teach them as they had no clue the beautiful stuff you could make…right after they tell me they love my knitting. Sei la vie.
    What gets me are the ‘yarn’ shops where they look at you all cross eyed when you ask them if they have anything crochet related…a little crazy cult I tell you!

  13. Jessica says:

    I had a habit last school year of taking my current crochet project into class… it was always fun to hear what fellow high school students had to say about the craft, be it saying they know it themselves, them getting corrected that it was NOT in fact knitting, and that yes, I could make the WHOLE stuffed bunny. There was one time a teacher walked up and started conversation with me about crocheting from my embroidery thread choker project. I have finally got my mom to tell the difference between my knitting needles and my crochet hooks. Working with yarn is a lovely habit and I will admit that several “grannie” nicknames have come about because of different things I will say, but I would much rather be called a “grannie” than not know how to work the yarn in such ways.

  14. Missy Lou says:

    when asked, ” What are you knitting?” my response is. “I’m not a knitter. I’m a hooker!” Usually shuts the questioner down very quickly!! Or makes them curious enough for more questions and more less smart alec answers.

    • Colleen Smith says:

      I always educate anyone who asks me about my knitting when I am crocheting. I tell them to look how many sticks they have in their hands. One, with a hook, is crochet and 2 pointed sticks is knitting. They then have an aha moment.

  15. Mimi S says:

    I have done both knitting and crocheting but gave up the needles to concentrate on the hook. I love crochet and the beauty and variety it offers. My mother and grandmother did the most exquisite work in thread and I have tablecloths from both of them which I treasure ( as they are both passed on). I take my crochet just about everywhere I go trying to steal a few minutes here and there to work on it. Recently, my physician encouraged me to continue doing so as it would benefit the arthritis in my hands. Even though it hurts sometimes to work the yarn and hook, I love creating things and giving the gifts. I have saved hundreds of dollars through the years making gifts. Much thought and love go into each project. My grandchildren are always asking me to make different items for them. I recently branched out into thread projects which were a challenge due to the small hook sizes required (arthritis made it difficult) but am very proud of the gorgeous lace bridal wrap that I made for my new DIL’s wedding day. She could feel the love in every single stitch. I never hesitate to talk to folks about crochet, answer questions, correct misunderstandings. And recently I made a break through with a gal who has Asberger’s syndrome. She was interested in the many things I make and loved a crochet flower pin I made for her so she started to give it a try. I am encouraging her every step of the way and she is so enthusiastic that every time she sees me she talks to me about her project. Because she has such difficulty relating to people, I feel it a great honor that we have found this basis for a relationship and it is bringing her out of her shell after so many years of being withdrawn. Thanks to crochet, a life is blossoming! (she is in her mid 40s). Crochet changes lives.

  16. Heather says:

    My 12-year old daughter and I enjoy crocheting together, maybe we’re old souls. When I taught myself how to crochet 15 years ago or so, I had scratchy-yarn granny-square afghans and a few tacky “projects” as the only examples of crocheting. Still, I wanted to learn and I did. Now I’m more in love with the craft than ever because it’s SO MUCH MORE than doll skirts hiding toilet paper (which I’ve never made, nor ever will) and rough yarn. I love the soft types of yarn running through my fingers as I make something to wear or wrap around me.

    And, yeah, I get the “What are you knitting?” question all the time.

  17. Jodiebodie says:

    Agree that crochet is good exercise for arthritic hands – I use it to keep mine mobile.

    My crochet myth that I want to dispel is:

    “Crochet is more than granny squares and tablecloth edgings!”

    One of my local yarn companies is doing a promotion of a new crochet pattern book. To this end, they have put crochet features in a national magazine twice in the past two years now. In both instances (including this month’s issue) the focus is all on granny squares which is very disappointing when there are so many exciting things happening in the modern crochet scene.

    • pldrake says:

      I enjoy afghan squares (grannies and other patterns) as well as the next person, but we still need to open eyes in the industry. When I went to a national crochet conference in NC a few years ago, I learned that crocheters spend twice as much on yarn as knitters do (upwards of $4 billion a year vs. $2B). You’d think they’d understand our craft better and not treat us in some cases like second class citizens (especially in upscale yarn stores).

  18. mary says:

    One I hear most often is” Crochet takes 3 times more yarn (than knitting)”. No, it doesn’t, some stitches use about same amount as knitting, some use about 1/3 more yarn. 1/3 more is nowhere near as much yarn as 3 times!

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