Knitting vs crochet – which is the hobby you would like to pursue? What are the differences between them, and what are the similarities? Both crafts can be used to make sweaters, scarves, shawls, blankets, gloves/mittens, toys, home décor, and just about anything else you can think of! Here is a discussion of the pros and cons of knitting vs crochet to help you decide.
Differences Knitting vs Crochet
1. Knitting vs Crochet Appearances
This is the most obvious difference between the two crafts. Each craft has its own distinctive ‘look’ to the fabric it creates.
You may decide that you prefer the smoother look of knitting or the more textured look of crochet. Both can be adapted slightly, but they will always have a different appearance. Knitting tends to drape more easily, crochet fabric is more solid.
Knitting is more often associated with garments and socks. It is easy to create rectangles or tubes with knitting, and it is easier to create patterns with colorwork with knitting.
Crochet creates a thicker and bumpier fabric than knitting, but it is easier to create decorative fabric with lacy holes in it with crochet. Crochet is not as elastic as knitting, that is, not as stretchy, it creates a denser fabric, probably more suitable for toys or home décor.
2. Tools And Techniques
Both use strands of yarn interlocked in various ways to create a solid fabric.
Knitting is done with two knitting needles and two hands. It requires some muscle memory and agility of the fingers. The tension of knitting is easier to control.
Crochet is done with one hand and one crochet hook. You do also need muscle memory and agility to make your fingers move in the correct way, so again, dexterity is important. The most difficult thing about crochet (well it was for me when I learned to crochet) is keeping the tension on your working yarn correct so that your stitches are not too loose.
Tools that crochet and knitting have in common are:
- Stitch markers
- Measuring Tape
Does Knitting or Crochet Cost More
For beginner knitters and crocheters, the cost of tools required is very similar. As you get more involved in knitting, the cost of knitting tools may increase because there are different types of needles needed. With crochet, a hook and yarn are all you need! However, crochet does use more yarn than knitting for a similar size of the fabric. As a general rule, crochet uses 33% more yarn than knitting does to create a similar project.
3. Knitting vs Crochet Patterns
Knitting has a huge variety of patterns available to make absolutely anything. Crochet has fewer patterns, but there is still a large selection. As an example, take Ravelry, which is a free site that is a rich database of both patterns and yarns. They offer both free patterns, and patterns for sale. A quick search on Ravelry for a cardigan pattern brought up 66,446 patterns for knitting and 9258 patterns for crochet. Your local yarn crafts store will most likely be the same- the file of knitting patterns will be a lot thicker than the file for crochet patterns. There are still many, many crochet patterns available, though!
Knitting is popular for garments including sweaters and wraps. It can also be used to make home decor, simple pillow covers and headbands.
4. Which is Faster Knitting vs Crochet
Knitting is generally slower than crochet because it is finer. Crochet stitches are usually quite big, so the fabric is created more quickly. So if you have a last-minute gift to make in a hurry, choose crochet! Of course, the thickness of the yarn and needles or hook will also play a part in speed.
5. Fixing Mistakes
It is more difficult to fix mistakes in knitting, as you are working with multiple stitches at a time. It is possible, once you know the techniques, but it takes much longer than fixing crochet mistakes. Crochet mistakes are easy to fix because you only have one active loop at a time, which is easily pulled out without dropping any stitches. So when it comes to knitting vs crochet, mistakes are easier to fix in crochet.
6. Cables And Fair Isle Work
Basic cables can be created with crochet, but they are not as effective or crisp and clear as knitted cables. Knitted cables can also be more intricate.
The same applies to colorwork or ‘Fair Isle’. The term Fair Isle really only applies to knitting, because it is in fact a traditional knitting technique named after Fair Isle, one of the Shetland Islands. Many pattern designers have now started to call colorwork in crochet Fair Isle as well. You can definitely create multicolored designs with both crafts, but the knitted ones tend to stand out more clearly.
These were both made using exactly the same pattern.
7. Lace Work
It is far easier to create lacy designs in crochet than in knitting. In crochet, you would just make a chain stitch and skip a stitch to make a lacy hole. In knitting, you need to knit stitches together and then make up that stitch by winding the yarn around the needle.
8. Knitting vs Crochet Blankets
Both crafts can create beautiful blankets. Crochet is well known for its blankets using granny squares which are almost impossible to replicate in knitting. You can, of course, make blankets out of knitted squares, but they require a lot of seaming, whereas crochet blankets can just be crocheted together!
Even all-in-one blankets are easier to crochet than to knit. If making one with crochet, you still only work with one stitch at a time, whereas if you are knitting an all-in-one blanket, you will need a huge amount of stitches on your needles at once which is very difficult to manage! (Although it can give amazing results!)
9. Popularity of Knitting vs Crochet
Knitting seems to be the more popular craft, although crochet has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. Crochet is seen to be a ‘hip and cool’ craft lately, and it has come a long way since the old-fashioned doilies and hippie tops it used to be associated with! Recently, more modern and useful patterns have been developed to make crochet more appealing. If you look at Reddit, the main knitting subreddit has 50% more members than the crochet subreddit.
10. Is Knitting or Crochet Warmer
Knit fabric is softer and more flexible and has smaller holes in it, so it would probably be warmer than a crochet garment made with the same yarn. It is, however very much dependent on the type and thickness of yarn you use. A thicker yarn will generally give you a warmer garment than a thin yarn, whichever skill you choose.
11. Which is Easier to Learn Knitting vs Crochet
So when it comes to knitting vs crochet, which is easier to learn? The general consensus seems to be that crochet is easier to learn than knitting. This is because you are using only one hook, it doesn’t require the movement of stitches between needles, you are less likely to drop stitches and, as mentioned above, it works up quickly. Crochet does have 5 basic stitches though, and knitting only has 2. Many people do find knitting easier to learn than crochet, but this is definitely individual. Learn how to knit and how to crochet for beginners. Both knitting and crochet start with a slip knot.
Similarities of Knitting vs Crochet
What do these crafts have in common? Both use yarn to create items, and you can experiment with so many wonderful yarns with either craft.
Both are relaxing and calming (once you have figured out the steps necessary to work either one!) Serotonin is released with repetitive movement, which improves mood and calmness. Both can also reduce blood levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
A lot of research has been done into the benefits of both crafts to your brain and your state of mind. Both enable you to create fabulous garments, home accessories, toys, anything at all, which can express your personal style and preferences.
Knitting vs Crochet – In Conclusion
I recently read an article that said that crochet is the better craft because if something is crocheted, it has to be handmade, whereas knitting can easily be reproduced on machines or looms. Of course, this depends on your personal taste – you may want your garments to look lovingly handcrafted, or you may prefer the slick, smooth look of knitting!
Basically, this whole discussion of knitting vs crochet comes down to personal preference. Which look do you prefer, and which activity is easier and more fluent for you? It also depends on what type of items you wish to make, as some are more suited to crochet and some give better results when knitted.
In the end, you have to decide which craft is better for you, personally. The best plan is to learn both, then you can choose which one to use for each specific project. You can also combine the two – for example, you can use crochet skills to add embellishments or edgings to your knitting, or you can crochet up your seams instead of sewing them.
Knitting and crochet are both worthwhile, enjoyable hobbies, and once you have mastered the skills required for either or both, you will be so glad you did!