Knit to Crochet
© 2012 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com
This is a very complicated subject and I can only begin to touch the surface of it. I have to say right up front though I’m familiar with knitting, I don’t consider myself a knitter. I have completed exactly two knitted squares in my lifetime and one was many years ago. However, I’ve been crocheting a very long time and I have a daughter who is a knitter. One of my passions is the Tom Baker Doctor Who scarf. This scarf is knitted so I’ve had to get into some timey-wimey stuff to get a lookalike scarf using my crochet skills.
If you are interested in getting into the topic of translating knitting to crochet more deeply, you might consider investing in a book such as From Needles to Hook Complete Guide to Converting Knit Patterns to Crochet by Donna Scott, The Needlecraft Shop or joining the Annie’s Attic Hook and Needle Kit Club where you will get both a knit and crochet pattern for the same project. You choose the craft in which you want to work and make the item. If you want to make the same item in both, you have the pattern and just need to buy more supplies. They will look SIMILAR but not exactly the same. However, having both patterns you might be inspired to knit or at the least compare the instructions.
It is not possible, in my opinion, to make an item that looks exactly the same in knitting and crochet. You can make an item that looks very similar in both crafts. For example, you can make two purses, one knitted and one crocheted, using the same material and the same basic design. They will look similar, but they will not look THE SAME.
As I said above, one of the things I enjoy making is Doctor Who scarves. The original scarves are knitted, but I don’t knit so I had to come up with a crocheted version of the scarves based on knitting patterns. There are several sites available with info on knitting these scarves, but I could find none that talked about crocheting them. I could find some crocheted scarves to buy, but that was not what I wanted to do. With some trial and error, I came to the conclusion that if I used an I hook and worked 1 single crochet crochet row to 2 knitted rows, I would get approximately the same result in width and length as the knitted scarves. Will they look exactly the same? No. They will not. But it was (and is) a reasonable facsimile.
At the time I began making the scarves, this was good enough for me. Then I investigated further and found that Ehow agreed with my procedure - but they did it first. :-) According to Ehow.com (shared with permission) one row of knit and one row of purl equals one row of sc. Three rows of knitting (k, p, k) equals one row of hdc. Four rows of K, P, K, P would be one row of dc. Six rows of stockinette stitch equals one row of tr. Now this works for something like a scarf, but might not work well for say a sweater because that type of item needs a very exact measurement. For my purposes, I’m just going to fudge on that and say knitting to crochet 2:1 ratio. Don’t take that as exact. It’s just close enough for me.
2 rows knit = one row single crochet
3 rows of knit = 1 row half double crochet
4 rows of knit = 1 row of double crochet
6 rows of knit = 1 row of triple (or treble) crochet
Because these scarves use some colors in only one "stripe", I opted for single crochet. In this particular project, I had other considerations, but the knit to crochet was one big issue.
Another method of getting a look similar to a knitted piece is to use Tunisian crochet. Not "regular" Tunisian crochet where you get the little squares, but a variation of that. Kim Guzman is the Queen of Tunisian in my opinion. :-) Get one of her books or look at her videos online and you will learn all you need to know about Tunisian Crochet, which goes by many names.
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