Turning a knitting pattern into a crochet pattern
August 13, 2016 6:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm mainly a knitter and I'd like make my friend's son a child's afghan (35"x60"). I'd like to be done sometime around late fall. Originally I planned on knitting this, and my friend loves the pattern. It is simple (no cables) but I tried knitting it, and it will take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to make. After ripping it out for the second time, I'm wondering if crochet might be a better idea, for time's sake (and my sanity!) My question is: what are the best crochet stitches that mimic knit and purl stitches? Is this even a thing?

I've heard of Tunisian crochet but I have no idea what it entails. I'm not sure how "true" to knitting it will be, which is important to retain the look of the pattern.

So far, I've looked at the following websites: converting patterns, crochet that looks like knitting, turning hdc into "knit" stitches, and crocheting the Tunisian purl stitch (I'm not sure if this is what I want to do).
posted by onecircleaday to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Afghan stitch, often called knitted crochet. It's like knitting on a long crochet hook.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 6:48 PM on August 13, 2016

I've made a blanket very much like the one in your pattern. I wouldn't turn it into a crochet pattern, but if you did, the little square that pops out could be done with a front post double crochet. Then I'd do the parts around the square with a back post double crochet (same idea, only backwards). And double crochet for the rest.

The problem of course is that it won't have the same strength as it would knitted - crochet leaves more holes. If you did single crochet, it would look nicer, but it would take WAY longer.

My advice, honestly, would be to go ahead and make mistakes in the knitted blanket. My first one looks AWFUL to me, but no one else could tell the difference. You are most likely being a lot harder on yourself than needed.
posted by guster4lovers at 7:00 PM on August 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Could you do something like a basic granny square, but use popcorn stitches for the outside rows so it has a similar texture to the knitted one?

I would not convert, I'd look for something similar.
posted by jrobin276 at 7:24 PM on August 13, 2016

Size 7 needles and worsted weight yarn makes for small stitches. What about knitting it with thicker yarn and bigger needles leaving out a few of the repeats side to side and top to bottom so it's a similar size to the original?
posted by cecic at 7:34 PM on August 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

There is a Basket Weave Baby Blanket that has a similar look, and could possibly be adapted further (granny squares with flat centres and basket weave edges?). This would be similar to what guster4lovers is describing using front post double crochet. Not all crochet leaves lots of holes, and it is plenty strong.
posted by jrobin276 at 7:34 PM on August 13, 2016

Speaking as someone who was a longtime crocheter, somewhat recently turned knitter... knitting is way faster than crocheting, and uses less yarn to get the same size piece (IMO). I only use crocheting now where I'm looking to do specific things like amigurumi or crazy hats. I have also done a lot of afghan (Tunisian) style crocheting, and it is also fairly slow - because you go over a row twice to get one complete row.

I recommend you knit it with bigger gauge needles if you want it to go faster.
posted by lizbunny at 7:34 PM on August 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've knit this blanket, and I'm wondering what about it is making you feel it's going particularly slowly? I found the pattern a bit odd at first but after the first couple of repeats it was easy to memorize. Not trying to brag, just genuinely curious what's challenging you on it so I can try to offer a solution.

One idea is if the long rows are bumming you out, you could break the pattern down into 4 smaller squares, knit individually, then sewed together.
posted by turtlegirl at 7:34 PM on August 13, 2016

Response by poster: I've knit this blanket, and I'm wondering what about it is making you feel it's going particularly slowly?
Good question! It's the biggest thing I've ever knitted, by far. I usually knit baby blankets and smaller items. You are right in that it does go faster once you get the hang of it, but two things messed me up: 1.) I started knitting it in a somewhat social setting (big mistake) and messed up the first few rows, which meant that in order to make it even, I decided to omit the 10th row and just start the pattern from rows 11-20, which is where the repeats occur, so I didn't think it would be an issue since they are just repeats. Which brings me to 2.) I didn't consider the fact that I was starting the pattern repeats on the wrong side, not the right side. Once it came time to do the repeat, of course the purls and the knits didn't line up. That's when I realized my (rookie) mistake. I was so upset at having to rip it out that I thought if I just crocheted it, it would go faster, since crochet seems (to me, at least) to go much faster.

I found the pattern a bit odd at first
Yeah, me too, and it frustrated me because of the sheer size of it. Not to mention the fact that I also messed up converting it from a tiny size to a large size, so I didn't get the stitch count right when I cast it on. I know the gauge with this yarn, too, I've knitted a similar blanket with it before. I don't know how I messed that up (bad at math?), but I did.

I thought crochet would be easier/faster, but based on these answers it sounds like I just need to suck it up and start over.

And.... pay attention.
posted by onecircleaday at 7:50 PM on August 13, 2016

Aah, yeah. I've done similar "adaptations" on projects before and had them come back to bite me, so I empathize. If you decide to go with the knit-rectangles-and-sew-together method I'd omit the border, then pick up stitches and knit that on at the end after the 4 pieces are sewn together. Breaking the blanket down into 4 pieces might help make it feel faster, and would certainly make it more comfortable to knit in hot weather or on-the-go without having to haul around a lap-sized object. Good luck!
posted by turtlegirl at 8:00 PM on August 13, 2016

Tunisian crochet is easier than regular crochet. It was how I started crocheting, after sitting next to a woman at a singing event who was doing it, and who said it was what she brought along when she needed to be able to work without looking at her hook. The challenge with an afghan is that you'll need a circular hook to manage the width of it, because your stitches all go onto the hook and then come off again. Of course, you can always do strips which you then stitch or crochet together. I've done a few things like this and enjoyed them.

I'd start by looking for patterns you like at ravelry. Rather than trying to replicate a specific knitting pattern, you might find it better to see if there's anything in the tunisian crochet that grabs your eyes.
posted by not that girl at 8:35 PM on August 13, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! Sounds like I can't really replicate it, or at least not without some time/effort/inevitable messing up. For time and sanity, I think I'll just try to start over with the knitting pattern.
posted by onecircleaday at 8:38 PM on August 13, 2016

I've made that basket weave crocheted blanket linked above (or not the exact same pattern, but the same stitch pattern) and it took FOR EV ER. Like I made it through four or five seasons of Gilmore Girls making it. Which has 25ish 45-50 minute episodes per season. Obviously you might go faster, but lord. I started it in the spring and it became a Christmas present.
posted by MadamM at 9:07 PM on August 13, 2016

Given your update, I think you're right; start it over. Sorry there's not a better answer!
posted by guster4lovers at 5:11 PM on August 14, 2016

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