>In my recent article “Gauge Crashers” for Interweave Crochet magazine, I admitted to being a “lifter”. It was my intention to offer a sidebar to that article, the better to explore this concept, but the words didn’t make the cut. Let’s fill in the blanks here and now.
On the subject of Lifters vs Riders vs Yankers
I first heard these terms while I was doing a demonstration for the Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club, a chapter of CGOA in Connecticut. Dee Stanziano is co-founder of the chapter and wearer of many hats; among them are CGOA answer lady and CYCA certified crochet teacher. Oh, and provider of mighty fine wine when the occasion warrants. Dee hovered behind me, watching as I crocheted, and after a few moments she leaned over to whisper in my ear, “Doris, you are a lifter”. Recognizing a teachable moment when presented with it, she went on to explain what this meant. I dutifully pass on to you the eye-opening concept I learned.
Lifter, Rider and Yanker are non-technical, non-judgmental and yet wonderfully descriptive terms for how crocheters manage their stitches. Lifters tend to pull up on loops, raising them off the working row, higher than the diameter of the hook. Riders keep their stitches closer to the working row, with loop allowances about the same as the diameter of the hook. Yankers take back yarn by snugging up certain steps of their stitches.
Lifters’ stitches are taller, creating an elongated row gauge. Riders’ tall stitches may be squatter. Yankers’ rows may be both squatter and narrower, particularly if there are yanked chain spaces. This concept goes a long way to explaining why it’s not your fault if you can’t match the gauge in a pattern since it’s impossible to know which style crocheter set the gauge.
Although lifting, riding and yanking can be correlated to how loosely or tightly you tension the feeder yarn, that’s not always the case. It is possible to crochet in a combination of styles. For example, I don’t wrap my feeder yarn around my fingers; I simply hold it in place with a little pressure, so my tension is extremely relaxed. It is no surprise that I am a lifter of tall stitches, but inexplicably I am also an occasional yanker of chains!