Knitting vs. Crochet – What’s the Difference?

The argument of knitting vs. crochet, which is better, always comes up from time to time, and as a beginner or someone interested in starting either craft, this can be confusing.

Every knitter and crocheter will give you a response based on their preference and experience. So, what’s the main difference between knitting and crochet?

Woman Knitting

The Main Difference Between Knitting and Crochet

Knitting and crochet are both crafts that form a fabric using yarn or other material by looping using a stick called a needle for knitting and a hook for crochet.

The result would be fabric or a complete item such as a sweater or blanket. You can also create fabric pieces joined together to create a garment or product. 

Both crochet and knitting are handcrafts. However, knitting can also be done by a machine, while no machine can imitate crochet. The crochet slip stitch is also similar to knitting and can easily be confused by untrained eyes.

Crochet and knitting will achieve the same goal, but they are completely different in tools and techniques. 

When it comes to knitting vs. crochet, the other differences between crochet and knitting are listed below.

  • Knitting has two main stitches, which are the knit and purl which can be combined to form other stitches. Crochet has four main stitches, namely single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet, which when combined form other stitches. 
  • When knitting, each stitch supports the stitch that is parallel above, while crochet stitches are supported by other stitches on either side. 
  • When knitting, you work from left to right, while when crocheting, you work from right to left.
  • Knitting has five styles which have to do with how one holds the needles and handles the yarn. These are continental, English, Lever, Portuguese, and Shetland. In essence, there are three methods, Eastern, Western, and a combination. 

Crochet has eight variations which are more to do with the technique as well as the final finished look of the item. 

The crochet variations are Irish, tapestry, Tunisian, broomstick lace, hairpin lace, double-ended, beaded, free form, and surface crochet. The Tunisian crochet is similar to knitting as you work with multiple stitches in the hook simultaneously. 

  • Knit vs. crochet terminology, symbols, and diagrams are different. Thus you can have a similar pattern in knitting and crochet but written differently.
  • While both knitting and crocheting use yarn, chunky yarns yield better results when crocheted than knitted. There is also crochet thread only used for crocheting lace items. 
  • Crochet fabric provides a much more firm and textured, and rough finished look than knitting, making it suitable for items like amigurumi.

Is Knitting or Crocheting Easier?

As a crochet or knitting beginner, you would want to know if it is easier to crochet or knit. The answer is per individual preference; there is no right or wrong answer. 

Knitting, which has only two main stitches, may seem easier theoretically, but it’s hard to learn how to coordinate the two, in some cases, three or five needles and yarn at the same time. This coordination must be done while ensuring the stitches stay on the needle at all times and that you don’t drop any stitches.

On the other hand, basic crochet, even though it has much more stitches and more variations, requires less hand coordination. This is because you only deal with one hook and one stitch at a time, enabling you to gain muscle memory faster. 

Therefore, is knitting hard, or is crocheting hard?

When you just start learning, either craft will be difficult as you will need to learn and get comfortable with the tools and techniques. But with time, it will get easier, and you will gain speed and confidence. 

Female hands knitting

Pros and Cons –Knitting vs. Crochet

If you are still wondering, is it easier to knit or crochet? Here are the pros and cons of knitting vs. crochet to help you decide: 

Knitting Pros

  • Hand knitting looks the same as machine knitting, which means with experience and time, one can knit products that are similar to machine-made products. 
  • Knitted items are light and stretch, resulting in a beautiful drape, making them perfect for delicate and soft yarns. 
  • Knitted stitches provide more coverage as the stitches are denser and close together.
  • Knitting generally uses less yarn, making the production cost more economical.

Knitting Cons

  • Knitting can be cumbersome and easily unravel by mistake, as stitches drop more often, especially when using double-pointed needles or bigger projects.
  • Knitting is slow, requires time and patience, and can be time-consuming.
  • When knitting, the needles make a clicking sound which some might find annoying.
  • You need various needles depending on the finished look. For example, while you can use circular needles to work in a flat but you can’t use single-pointed needles to work in a circle. Another example would be needing the same size needle but with a longer or shorter cord.
  • It is much harder to fix a stitch you have lost and is most likely to unravel your work.

Crochet Pros

  • Crocheting can help you create much more intricate and beautiful patterns that are unique. 
  • Using one hook instead of two or more makes it easier to keep track of the stitches and makes it unlikely to lose stitches. 
  • Crochet is faster because there is only one stitch that one has to work with at a time. In addition, crochet stitches are much taller than knitted stitches.
  • The project is less likely to unravel by mistake because each stitch is complete before you move on to the next stitch.
  • Crochet products will usually have a stiffer finish making them suitable for products that need rigidity, such as bags, mats, amigurumi, wall hangings, and blankets.
  • It is easier to fix mistakes made while crocheting.

Crochet Cons

  • Crochet uses more yarn compared to knitting. 
  • Crochet has more stitches and variations, which can make it seem like it’s harder to learn. 

The Technique & Tools

Is crocheting or knitting easier is a question best answered by the technique and tools used. 

Basic knitting needles have a pointed end on one end and a closure on the other to prevent the stitches from slipping off, which are used for working flat projects. 

Sometimes the needles are joined together with a cord for knitting round or tubular items known as circular needles. 

Circular needles can also be used for large projects, where the cord holds the stitches so they do not slip off. 

There are also double-pointed needles that are pointed on both sides and used for making smaller circular projects such as socks, and you need to work with three to five needles at the same time. 

When knitting, you have multiple stitches on one needle, which you work in loops and transfer onto the other needle. The stitch is, therefore, only completed on the next row. This creates a connection of rows turning the yarn into fabric. 

Crochet requires the use of a hook which is typically a stick with a hook at the end, used with yarn to form loops that stack up in rows turning it into the fabric. 

With crochet, you work with one loop and do not have multiple stitches on the hook simultaneously, meaning each stitch is complete before you start working on the next stitch. 

There is an exception, though, when working Tunisian and broomstick lace crochet which keeps multiple stitches on the hook at the same time but still uses one hook. 

Knitting needles are generally longer than a crochet hook, except for Tunisian hooks, and they all come in varying thicknesses. The choice depends on the yarn and the desired results the crocheter or knitter wants to achieve.

The most common material for needles and hooks is aluminum. It’s smoother, and it makes it easy to slide the yarn. Other materials used to manufacture needles or hooks are plastic, wood, and bamboo.

Which Should You Choose to Learn? 

The choice will depend on the project that you would like to make. Knitters and crocheters are always biased towards what they prefer.

We suggest you start with whichever one piques your interest. Start by searching for a pattern available on YouTube, Pinterest, and Google. 

There are also platforms such as Ravelry, Lovecrafts, and Allfreecrochet, where you can find patterns to get you started. Most yarn manufacturers will also have free patterns on their websites.

Knitting clothes

Parting Thoughts

Whether you choose to knit or crochet, both crafts are relaxing and can result in you making beautiful items. 

Our recommendation would be to start with crocheting but if you can’t ultimately decide, find two patterns that are small and simple, like a scarf, dishcloth, or headband, one in knit and the other in crochet.

Work both of them, see which one you enjoy the most, and take it from there. At the end of the day, both of them require practice to perfect them. 

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