Why the crochet hook is a knitter’s best friend
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What?! A CROCHET HOOK is a Knitter’s best friend? Has she gone mad?
Well, I may be a bit mad, can’t argue with that…:) but, as a matter of fact, a crochet hook is a super useful tool for us knitters.
Stay with me and I will tell you why you totally need these travel crochet hooks in your knitting bag.
Crochet hooks are useful in knitting for:
- Picking up dropped stitches
- Fixing mistakes without having to unravel several rows
- Casting on / adding stitches in the middle of a project
- Binding off / Casting off
- Picking up stitches along an edge
- Adding a fringe
- Adding an edge
Need to pick up a dropped stitch? No problem, use your crochet hook
When you drop a stitch, there’s no need to rip back, even if the stitch has run down several rows.
You just need to get your crochet hook, insert the hook into the dropped stitch and work your way up again. Hook the ladder step above and pull it through the stitch on your hook. Repeat until you can add the stitch to your needle again.
Fixing mistakes in your knitting
If you have done a mistake a couple of rows down you can use the same technique as for a dropped stitch to fix it.
Knit to the column of stitches where the error is and let the stitch slip down to were you need to do your correction. Then use your hook to catch the stitch and work your way up the ladder again.
Crochet cast on for knitting
You can also use the crochet hook when casting on a new project. This is called a crocheted cast on.
If you’re familiar with the most common crochet stitches this is basically crocheting slip stitches around the needle.
Why should you use a crochet hook for your cast on?
The crochet cast on creates a nice and clean edge to the knitting that’s matching the bind off edge.
It’s easy to do and perfect if you need to add stitches in the middle of a project.
It can also be done with a scrap yarn that you remove later, to pick up the stitches and knit in the opposite direction. This is called a provisional cast on and can be used for the neckline on top down sweaters, for example.
How to work a crochet cast on
You should choose a crochet hook that’s one or two sizes larger than your needles. This ensures your cast on edge is not to tight, but still firm enough.
- Make a slip knot and place it around your crochet hook
- Hold the hook in your right hand and one of your knitting needles in your left hand. Hold the needle and yarn as if you were going to knit continental.
- Bring the yarn around your needle, from under and up behind the needle
- Pick the yarn with the hook from above the needle and pull it through the slip knot. This places the first stitch on your needle
- Repeat these steps until you’ve cast on enough stitches
Crochet bind off for knitting
Binding off your knitting using a crochet hook instead of the right-hand needle is faster.
It’s also easier to maintain an even tension when using a hook for the bind off.
How to bind off with a crochet hook
- Insert your hook into the first stitch. Knitwise for a knit bind off or purlwise for a purl bind off.
- Pick up the yarn as you would have done with a needle and pull it through the stitch. Now you have a loop on your needle.
- Insert the hook in the next stitch (knitwise or purlwise depending on your pattern)
- Pick up the yarn and pull through as you did for the first stitch, but now you pull the yarn through the loop on the hook to.
- Slip the stitch off the needle.
- Repeat this for all your stitches.
- When all stitches are bound off, cut the thread leaving a few inches / ten centimeters and pull the thread through the loop to finish it off. Weave in the ends.
Use the hook to pick up stitches along an edge
When your pattern calls for picking up stitches for a button band, neckline or heel this is easily done with a crochet hook.
Instead of trying to pick up the yarn through a stitch with a straight and sleek knitting needle, try using your crochet hook!
Slip the hook through the stitch, pick up the yarn strand and pull it through and add the new stitch to your needle.
––> More Knitting Hacks! My Best Knitting Tips for Beginners
Use your crochet hook to add fringes to a knitting project
Some fringes can add an extra bit of flair to your project!
Use a crochet hook to thread and knot strands of yarn through the edge of your knitting to add fringes.
How to add a crochet edge to a knitting project
Adding a crochet edge to your knitted piece have several benefits. A crocheted edge can add stability and flatten curling edges. Adding crochet edging can also make your project look more elaborate and adds a pretty detail.
An edge can also create a more uniform look for a garment, or add a splash of color!
Maybe that sweater you knitted looks is a bit short? Or maybe you just want to give it some new life? Add some crochet to make longer it or give it a contrasting lace border at the bottom.
––> More ways to Prevent Curling edges! Prevent Curling edges in Stockinette Stitch
How to combine crochet and knitting
When adding a crochet border to a knitted garment, it’s important to remember that there is a difference in tension between these crafts.
A rule of thumb is that if you knit and crochet with the same yarn and use a hook and needles in the same sizes the crochet will be thicker and stiffer. This can be great, or a problem depending on your project.
There are three ways to make the crochet loser:
- Use a larger crochet hook
- Try a different stitch pattern that’s more open
- Add more crochet stitches than knit stitches
When you knit an edge onto existing knitting you add a new stitch for every stitch. When you ad crochet to a knitting project, this often isn’t a good idea.
You just have to give it a few tries and see what looks good.
The best is of course if you have knitted a swatch for your project. Then you can practice on that until you have found out how many stitches to add and what hook and stitch pattern you want to use!