Friday, March 18, 2011

Hooker Frustration

I'm a crocheter. I am not a knitter. Knitting makes me want to scream and throw things. I love yarn. I love making things out of yarn. But I'm getting really really tired of feeling like the afterthought red-headed stepchild of the fiber world. Hey, guess what? I have money to spend on yarn and patterns, just like knitters! I have skill and talent and can make things that are pretty, useful, and not just granny squares. So why do I always feel like a second-class citizen in yarn stores?

I know they don't mean it. And my LYS is so crochet-friendly I could live there forever. But despite all the hooks they carry, the carefulness to call it "Open Craft Night" instead of "Open Knit Night", the willingness of the owners to hold crochet classes.... I'm still the only consistent crocheter there. I'm surrounded by knitters. The regulars know me and admire my work. But newcomers will sometimes express disbelief in what I'm making, and how I'm making it.

I don't want to start a knit vs. crochet debate and if one is better than the other, but I have frustration and I need to vent it.

I'm a crocheter and I'm damn proud of it. If you can knit it, I can hook it. So why the hell is it so hard for me to feel accepted? Because, honestly, it's lonely being a crocheter in a sea of knitters. I've never run into the blatant craftism that other crocheters sometimes do -- thankfully, or I may have started screaming at the snobby knitter -- but I still sense that crochet is less accepted, less mainstream, less visible. When people think "crochet", they have visions of granny squares dancing through their head (not that I'm knocking the granny square; I've made gorgeous afghans out of them). So the fact that people are astounded that I'm making sweaters, socks, dresses, skirts, etc. makes me want to beat my head against a wall, sometimes.

I've been thinking of ways to make crochet more prominent in my area. Start a crochet-centric meetup? Get a group together and descend upon a LYS en masse? A Wear Crochet to Work Day? Camp out in front of the hyperbolic crochet coral reef and hold a hook-in? Wear a "Proud to be a Hooker" button?