Monday, January 16, 2017

Converting Knitting Patterns to Crochet, is it Possible?

I've been asked if it's possible to convert knitting patterns to crochet on occasion. Often it's a question coming from someone who wants to buy one of my patterns and make the conversion. Oddly, I've had two emails in the last two weeks asking this question about specific patterns. I've had to respond that since I don't crochet, I don't feel comfortable or competent answering this question. After I responded to this morning's query I thought it might be interesting to see what the Internet thinks. 

I started with Ravelry and found this thread right away by searching on convert knit to crochet in all forums. The answers were pretty much what I expected, one poster pointed out that the fabric created would be very different. Another suggested some patterns which looked similar to what the original poster was looking for. 

The Original:

The suggestion:

I did find this website which has some basic directions. When I read through, the person converting is basically redesigning the item using the original item as a pattern template. It does advise looking for a similar fabric type and to know the yarn required will increase. There was also a reference to a book on the topic.

When I clicked over to Amazon, it also suggested two more books on the same topic. Have any of you ever done this?


  1. I have two sets of twin patterns, a sweater and a hat.

    Xandy Peters has some lovely knitted shawls that look crocheted

    I used worsted yarn for the knit hat, but sport for the crochet hat, even so the crochet one is heavier. (the crochet one got lots of requests for re-makes and dibs on the photography sample, but the knit pattern sells better. Both help our library.) The crochet sweater is popular, the knit one has never sold a copy. The crochet one is free though...

    I kept the sketch and schematic the same for both projects, but I used different construction methods. The knit hat is brim up, the crochet on is top down. The crochet sweater body is knit sideways with seams up the arms and center back and front, the yoke is separate. The knit sweater is a standard in the round bottom up construction. It helped to decide what aspects of the project to keep, and which ones to let be dictated by the different crafts.

    Crochet fabric takes much more yarn, and doesn't drape at all like knitted fabric, so that's one challenge. Knitted lace and surface decoration can't make as many shapes as crochet can, so that's the other. I used a lot of ribbed crochet fabrics, and in knitting, garter stitch, extended loop stitches, and patterns that needed lots of casting on and binding off interior to the stitch. I haven't yet used back loop hdc ribs, but it's so solid and pretty I want to, and I haven't used linked dc yet either, but it's good on yarn use and solidity.

    It was a fun challenge, searching pattern books for stitches, or parts of stitches, that could look like the other craft, and come up with a twin. Some of the tricky proportion decisions had already been made, so that was easier. I think it's helpful though to find commonalities in fabric before designing both projects, so you aren't looking for shapes knit won't do or drapes crochet can't un-stiff-en to. It's possible to torture both crafts trying to make them do what the other is best at. I wrote about how crazy I was to try and make the knit sweater on my blog. I think I learned from it - but since it has never sold, maybe that was an expensive class ;-)

    1. Thanks for such a detailed response! it's very interesting to hear about your experimentation.

    2. I too thank you for the detailed response. To be honest, converting knitting to crochet for a specific pattern is not something that I have ever considered as I do very little crochet.