Knitting Vs Crochet
Knitting vs Crochet, what is the difference? I am so excited to walk you through an explanation of the differences between knitting and crochet. These are similar, in that you can make similar projects with your finished results, but the process of going about making them is quite different. Let’s explore!
As you might or might not have guessed, both knitting and crocheting are types of yarn crafts. Whether you enjoy a self-taught hobby, looking for a new craft to learn, or are just seeking to understand the difference between these two yarn crafts, they are both fun ways you can go about making homemade projects from various types of yarn.
Both knitting and crocheting will help to improve your hand-eye coordination, and you may experience a bit of a learning curve with each of these yarn crafts.
What is Knitting?
Knitting is a type of yarn craft, made with two knitting needles, one held in each hand. The yarn is wrapped around the needles, in different methods to create different kinds of stitches.
The active yarn loops on each needle are wrapped in interlocking loops, and worked from one needle to the other needle, as the project is created.
There are many types of projects that can be created with knitting. Some of the most common types of projects are blankets, scarves, and sweaters.
What is Crochet?
Crocheting is another type of yarn craft, made with a single hook. This hook is made with a long handle so that you can hold it in your hand, and there is a small hook on the end to help guide and catch the yarn.
Crochet stitches are made by wrapping new loops of yarn around the hook and working through the existing project, to add on to it. Crochet projects are made by working one stitch at a time, usually working in rows or rounds.
Projects that can be made with a crochet hook are also very versatile. They range from a crocheted blanket, to baby booties, hats, pillows, mittens, sweaters, etc. There are so many different things you can make with crocheting.
Knitting Needle Vs Crochet Hook
Knitting is made by using two knitting needles. These usually have one end that is slightly pointed, and the other end has a cap on it with the size. Knitting needles can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are attached to form a circle; others have two ends that are pointed. They also come in a variety of sizes in diameter as well.
Crochet hooks are pretty basic. They each have a handle to hold in your hand, and a hook to hook the yarn and grab it. Crochet hooks come in a variety of sizes, that range from very small around, two very large in diameter.
The Main Difference
Before jumping into the nitty-gritty differences between crocheting and knitting, let’s look at some of the fundamental differences between something that is knit, compared to crochet.
The fundamental difference between something that is crocheted, compared to something that is knit, is how the actual item is made.
Crocheting uses a single hook, called a crocheted hook, whereas knitting uses two large needles, called knitting needles, to make their projects.
Both knitting and crocheting use yarn, but the types of stitches used to make the yarn projects are different between these two methods.
These are the fundamental differences between knitting and crocheting. Now let’s jump into the details, exploring the differences in depth.
Tools of the Trade
As mentioned above, knitting uses two large needles that are pointed on one end, and are called knitting needles. Now, as you will learn below there are several other methods you can use to knit as well, but this is the most common.
For crocheting, only a single hook is used, this is called a crochet hook. These hooks can come in many different sizes and styles, but they are all crochet hooks.
There are other tools that should be nearby when you are making a crocheted or knitted project. Both projects use stitch markers, yarn, and scissors. These are great items to have on hand so that you can make your project.
Crocheting Tool: Crochet Hook
When making a crocheted project, you only need to use a single crocheted hook. This is a single hook shaped instrument, that has a long handle to hold onto, with a small hook shape at the end to catch the yarn and allow you to create the crocheted project.
Crocheted hooks come in many different sizes and varieties. Most commonly, crocheted hooks come in plastic, aluminum, wood, or even in an ergonomic version. They can come in sizes from a very small hook to super large hooks. The size of the hook you use all depends on what type of yarn you’re using and what you are making.
Usually, you hold the hook in one hand and guide the yarn, and project with the other hand. For example, I am right-handed, so I hold my crochet hook in my right hand, then with my left hand, I guide the yarn and the crochet project that I am making.
For most crocheted projects, you are working with only one loop on the hook, there may be more loops on your hook while you were making specific stitches, but usually, only one loop is carried to the next stitch.
Knitting Tool: Knitting Needles
The most common type of tool used to make a knitted project is to use two knitting needles. Knitting needles can come in many shapes and sizes as well. They can range from super long, to short, and very small around, to very large around.
Like with the crocheted hooks, the size, and style of knitting needles you use will depend on what you are making, and what type of yarn you are using. Knitting needles are usually pointed on one end, and long, usually with a cap, stating the size on the other end. Some knitting needles can be double-pointed needles, depending on what you are making.
Knitting needles resemble a very large style of straight needles, except they are not sharp enough, to poke through your skin usually.
In addition to regular straight needles used for knitting, sometimes circular knitting needles are used as well. These circular needles are most commonly used for round projects, or very large projects like a blanket.
There are other tools you can use to create knitted projects as well. Knitting machines can be used to make knitted projects. Any machines are gadgets that help to speed up the process. Knitting looms can also be used for specific types of projects.
Another key difference between knitting and crochet is that crochet only works with one, or a few loops of active yarn at the same time while knitting projects have many loops of yarn on the needles at the same time.
When you knit, you want to have one active yarn loop on the needle for every stitch in your project. This means if you’re making a very large project, you may have a lot of loops on the needle at one time.
Type of Yarn: Crochet vs Knitting
We have already mentioned that knitting and crochet projects both use yarn. There are many different types of yarn available for purchase. You might wonder if there are different yarns that should be used for knitting projects compared to crocheting projects.
The answer is that most basic yarns can be used interchangeably between knitting and crocheted projects. Usually, light or medium-weight yarns are used for both knitting and crocheting, one of the most common and versatile types of yarn is worsted-weight yarn, which can be used in both knitting and crochet projects.
There are some specific types of yarn that may be better suited to knitting or crocheting, depending on what you are making. For example, a small thread, known as crochet thread, is best suited for fine projects made with a crochet hook. These projects are usually small and lacy like crochet doilies.
It is also my personal preference to use chunky yarn for knitted projects. Keep in mind you will want to use larger needles when working with chunky yarn. It’s entirely a matter of your personal preference as to whether you use chunky yarn for knitting projects, or if you want to try crocheting chunky yarn.
The Basic Stitches
The main differences between knitting and crocheted projects are the different ways the stitches are made. Let’s look at some of the names of the main stitches used for both crocheting and knitting.
Basic knit stitches work with more than one loop of yarn, held on the knitting needles at a time. One of the biggest problems with knitting is when you encounter a dropped stitch.
A dropped stitch is when a loop of yarn that is supposed to be on the needle, known as a stitch, is accidentally dropped from the needle. This can result in a hole in your project and have some pretty major consequences.
Let’s look at the names of some basic knit stitches that are used, as the basis of knitting. These are a single stitch, that all other types of knitting stitches are built on.
Cast on is the terminology used for putting the beginning stitches onto the knitting needles. There is a specific method to “cast on” so that your knitted project functions properly.
A knit stitch, form knitting is one of the basic stitches used to create a project. After all of the loops are cast onto your needle, a knit stitch is made by holding the needle with all of the loops in your left hand, then taking the free needle in your right hand.
Insert the needle through the loop of yarn into the back of the first loop on your other needle, wrapping new yarn around the right-handed needle, and pulling the new yarn loop through the old yarn loop to create a knit stitch.
A pearl stitch is another type of knitting stitch, very similar to the knit stitch. To make a pearl stitch, you also hold in your left hand, the knitting needle containing your active loops for the project.
In your right hand, take the free knitting needle, and insert it into the front of the first loop on the left-handed needle. Wrap the yarn around, then release the old loop from the left-handed needle, onto the new loop and transfer it to the right-handed needle. This creates a pearl stitch.
When you cast off a knitted project, this is when you finish out the project by removing it from both knitting needles, in a way that finishes off the project, so that it does not unravel. This step is needed for every knitted project in order to finish it properly.
Like knitting, crocheting has several basic stitches that are used throughout all different types of crochet projects. Let’s look at some of the basic crochet stitches that are commonly used.
A slip knot is a basis for starting a chain or other crocheted project. A slip knot is important because it is a knot, that creates your starting loop, it is adjustable to create a larger or smaller sized loop.
A chain is created off of the first slipknot, it is created by moving the yarn over the hook and pulling the new yarn through the old loop on the hook. A chain stitch is a common base used to start many different crocheted projects.
A single crochet stitch is a smaller crocheted stitch, that is made by inserting the hook into the desired stitch, wrapping the yarn around the hook, looping it from back to front, and pulling up a loop through the space. You then loop the yarn around the hook once more, called a yarn over, and pull it through both loops on the hook. This is a small stitch, which is referred to in most crochet patterns as an “sc” or single crochet stitch.
Half Double Crochet
A half-double crochet stitch is a stitch that is slightly larger than a single crochet, but smaller than a double crochet. This stitch is also commonly used in a lot of different crochet patterns. In the written patterns it can be referred to as an “hd”, or “hdc”.
To make a half double crochet stitch, insert the hook into the desired stitch, yarn over and pull up the loop, yarn over once more and pull through all three loops on the hook. This is how a half-double crochet stitch is made.
A double crochet is a very common crochet stitch that is used. This is a taller stitch than a single crochet and is arguably a faster way to make larger projects. In crochet patterns, this stitch is referred to as double crochet, or “dc”.
This stitch is made by yarning over, and inserting the hook into the stitch indicated, yarn over, and pull up the loop. There are now three loops on the hook. Yarn over once more and pull through the first two loops on the hook. Yarn over a second time and pull through the last two loops on the hook. This is how a double crochet stitch is made.
Making a treble crochet stitch is less common than a single crochet, half double, or double crochet stitch, but it is sometimes used. A triple crochet stitch is like a double crochet stitch, but with one more section added.
In crocheted patterns, a treble crochet stitch is referred to as “tr”. The stitch is more often used in more complicated patterns.
To make a treble crochet stitch, you will first want to yarn over two times, then insert the hook into the stitch indicated, yarn over and pull up the loop so that there are no four active loops on the hook. Yarn over and pull through the first two loops on the hook. Yarn over a second time and pull through what is now the first two loops on the hook. Yarn over once more and pull through the remaining two loops on the hook. This is how you make a treble crochet stitch.
A slip stitch is a handy crochet stitch, that is used to join stitches together or to get you from one place to another, without creating obvious stitches.
A slip stitch is when you insert a hook into the indicated stitch, yarn over, and pull through everything on your hook.
Now that you have a general idea of what the differences are between knitting and crochet, you might be wondering if there are any specific projects that you can make with knitting. Some common knitting projects are a knit blanket, knit sweater, or even knit mittens.
Knit patterns range in a variety from a simple knitting pattern to a very advanced knitting pattern, depending on the different styles of projects you wish to make.
There are a wide variety of projects you can make with crocheting. Some common projects are crocheted granny squares or even crocheted sweaters. You can make crocheted blankets or even crocheted stuffed animals. Pretty much the sky is the limit.
Fabric Types Created
When a knitted fabric is created, it’s often quite stretchy, and often has different textures to it. You can create heavy projects, or lightweight projects depending on what type of yarn and stitches are used.
Crocheted fabric, which is made by crocheting yarn together, often creates a textured material, that is not usually as stretchy as knitted projects end up being. Like knitting though, crocheting often makes a variety of weighted projects, ranging from lightweight lace and doilies to heavier textures like blankets.
Knitting Patterns and Crochet Patterns
Back when I was learning to knit and crochet, you had to pick up a pattern book at your local craft store, then read it to teach yourself how to make the specific crocheted or knitted project.
Today there are so many different patterns available, often for free, or very little cost online. You can also find tutorial videos on YouTube, or even some specific blogs for instructions on how to make different projects.
It entirely depends on what you hope to make, as to where the best source of knit or crochet patterns is located.
Knitting vs Crocheting: Pros and Cons
There are some pros and cons of knitting and crocheting. Here are a few that come to mind right off:
Hard to Correct Mistakes. As a general rule, if you make a mistake, knitting can often be harder to fix. Dropping a stitch can be difficult to fix, and cause major problems in your needed project.
Takes Time. Knitting often takes a while to make a single project, unless you are very fast at knitting.
Coordination. It sometimes requires more hand-eye coordination to manage two needles at the same time.
More Supplies. Knitters often need more types and styles of knitting needles in order to complete each project appropriately.
Repetitive. Typically, knitting is very repetitive, so if you like a methodical project where you don’t have to focus a lot, then knitting is a great option.
Different Stitches and Textures. You can easily add dimensional aspects to your knitted projects by inserting stitches like cables, etc. These are gorgeous when incorporated into a knitted project.
Easy Transport. Knitting can easily be transported, and work done in addition to something else. Knitting while watching a TV show, or even while visiting with friends is a fun way to keep your hands occupied.
Practice makes Perfect. If you are just starting out, it can sometimes take practice before you consistently have nice even stitches.
Learning Curve. There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to figuring out where exactly to put your hook, and how to make the next stitch.
More Precise Size. For wearable projects, it’s important to get the size accurate, because in general crochet stitches are more solid, and don’t stretch as much as knitted projects do.
Amount of Yarn. In general, crochet projects typically require more yarn to make an item, than knitted projects do. This is because of the way crochet stitches are made, and because they are not as stretchy, or loose as knitted items are.
Easy to Transport. Crochet projects are very easy to take with you wherever you go.
Easy to Correct Mistakes. In general, crochet projects are much easier to fix a mistake in than knitted projects.
Versatile. You can make anything you want with crocheting, especially once you learn the basic stitches!
Not As Many Tools. To make a crochet project, you will likely only need some yarn, and your crochet hook. Depending on what you are making, you may need a few other items, but this will cover you for most things. Your hooks are also easy to use from one project to the next. You don’t have to worry about having the specific style of needles you do for knitting.
Not as Overwhelming. When crocheting, you are usually only working with a few loops at a time, to make a particular stitch. After the loops are off your hook, they are not going to unravel accidentally. Because of this, crochet projects are often much easier to manage.
Easy 3D. With basic crocheting stitches, you can easily make things like amigurumi stuffed animals. This is a fun project, that is much more difficult to make with knitting.
Freedom. It could be a matter of personal preference, but I personally believe that there is much more freedom with crocheting than there is with knitting. Crocheting seems to be more forgiving, and much more versatile, without being very difficult.
The Major Difference
The major difference between knitting and crochet is that knitting uses two needles, called knitting needles, and crochet uses a single hook. Both of these projects use yarn and involve a variety of ways that yarn is wrapped around the specific tool.
In most knitting and crochet, there are different styles of knitting and crochet differences with different stitches used to make various projects.
Of course, the written instructions that should be followed for different projects, are written differently as well. But when it comes right down to it, the major difference is the style of knitting needles, or crochet hooks needed to make each type of yarn craft.
Knitting vs Crochet which is easier?
There are pros and cons to both knitting and crocheting when it comes to determining which one is easier. Knitting is often very repetitive, so once you get the hang of it, you simply repeat the same steps over and over again. Crocheting takes a little bit more to learn initially but is much more forgiving when a mistake is made.
Is one faster to make?
On the surface, it seems that crocheting is slightly faster because the stitches are much larger. However, when you consider that knitting is repetitive, some people that have gotten the hang of it can whip something out very quickly. It can simply be a matter of how comfortable you are making the stitches, and how quickly you move to make the stitches to determine if knitting or crocheting is faster.
Does one cost less money?
Both knitting and crocheting use tools to make the stitches and require yarn to make your projects. On average crocheting uses slightly more yarn than knitting does, so that probably requires more cost in that manner. Although knitting may not require as much yarn, it often requires different types and styles of knitting needles which also cost a significant amount.
To determine if one costs more than the other, it’s very difficult. Likely they both end up costing about the same amount in the long run.
Which is Better: Knitting vs Crochet
As I have talked to individuals over the years who both knit and crochet, they likely have a preference as to which yarn craft they prefer over the other. There are positives and negatives associated with both knitting and crochet.
I am convinced that it boils down to what your personal preference is, what you enjoy making, and how comfortable you are with either knitting or crocheting.
There is no right or wrong answer, that one is better than the other. They are both a lot of fun and can be used to make different types of crafts using yarn.
Key Differences Between Knitting and Crocheting
Whether you are looking for a new hobby to start, or simply trying to understand the differences between knitting vs crochet, I hope I have helped you to understand some of the major differences, as well as getting down to the nitty-gritty differences between these two yarn crafts. Now, let’s start making a project!
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