While some crocheters stick to their craft and learn everything there is to learn, others try out different techniques. There are many – knitting, knocking, punch needle, embroidery… and each one of them allows you to showcase your creativity in a new way. Let’s see which is better – crocheting vs knitting!
In this article, you will find the crochet pros and cons, knitting pros and cons, and much more. We’ll look at traditional crochet, crochet tools, and the way you create stitches. On the other hand, we’ll look into the way a knitting project works, how knit stitches are made, and why would one prefer knitting over crochet. If you’re ready for knitting versus crochet battle, read on!
Knitting vs Crochet
Crocheting and knitting are the two most popular ways of creating garments, accessories, home decor, and toys. Although many crocheters knit and many knitters crochet, there often is a subjective bias toward one of these crafts.
Determining which one of them is easier is very subjective and varies greatly from one person to another. We have to take into consideration such factors as preferences, prior experience, learning style, and manual abilities.
Which is better for beginners – crochet or knitting?
Before we dive deep into the differences between these two crafts, let’s see which one is easier for beginners.
Generally, crochet is considered easier to learn than knitting. Firstly, working with one crochet hook requires less coordination than working with two knitting needles. Maneuvering the yarn between the needles and keeping the yarn at the same time can be challenging. This in turn may lead to problems with tension, which happen less often in crocheting.
While the basic knit and purl stitches are the foundation of most knitting projects, mastering them is a must. Similarly to basic crochet stitches, such as single crochet or double crochet, once understood, they make the craft much more intuitive and enjoyable.
One main difference between these two crafts is the way the stitches are created – and it favors crocheting. Crochet stitches are created one by one, with only one loop active at a time. In comparison, the whole row of knitting stitches has active loops, which makes it much more difficult to correct mistakes or modify patterns.
While instructions for both of these yarn craft types may seem complex for a beginner, getting familiar with basic stitches and techniques will make it much easier. Counting stitches and rows appears in both knitting patterns and crochet patterns.
Once one learns basic stitches, both of these yarn crafts may have a soothing effect, as they are rhythmic and repetitive in nature.
That said, the definition of “easy” is different for everyone. Some people will learn knitting more quickly than crochet, while others may find crochet more enjoyable. Hand-eye coordination, prior experience, and preferences are all important factors.
Both knitting and crochet require time and patience to develop skills, but it’s not uncommon for knitting beginners to try crochet and vice versa. Familiarity with one craft greatly affects how easy it is to pick up the other, as they both require working with yarn, understanding the tension, and stitch formation.
Knitting vs. Crochet: Understanding the Differences
Tools: Needles vs. Hooks
The tools used for knitting and crocheting differ greatly and create a fundamental difference between the two. As I’ve mentioned before, knitting requires two knitting needles, whereas in crochet we use a single crochet hook. Both knitting needles and crochet hooks come in various sizes, materials, and types, and must be paired with the right yarn to produce desired results.
Knitting needles come in three basic types: circular, double-pointed needles, and straight needles. Knitted garments often require the use of different tools in one project, which may be frustrating for beginners. With the help of interchangeable knitting needles, you can easily change them without moving the work from one tool to the next.
Crochet hooks, however, differ mainly in size and material. You can use hook sizes as small as 0,75 mm in diameter to create intricate lace patterns, or 10 mm for working with chunky yarn. That said, the Tunisian crochet technique requires a different tool whatsoever – a special crochet hook with a long tail.
The specificity of the knitting needles requires them to look and be held in a certain way, while crochet hooks can accommodate those crafters who have problems with joint pains. There are crochet hooks with ergonomic handles, which are not possible to add to the knitting needles.
In both knitting projects and crochet patterns the choice of tools has a great impact on the final result.
The Ease of Learning
This knitting vs crochet aspect has no simple answer, as opinions may vary greatly. Working with a crochet hook may be easier to learn than working with knitting needles, but crochet requires more focus on stitch placement. In knitting, you can always see the stitches you work on because they remain active on the knitting needles. In crochet, you have to find the right stitch by yourself, which may be hard when working with dark-colored or furry yarn.
Once you’re familiar with the tools and can keep the uniform tension throughout, the basic stitches will be enough to move forward. In knitting you’ll have to master knit stitches and purl stitches, while in crochet you’ll learn single crochet stitches and double crochet stitches.
As I’ve mentioned, correcting mistakes is easier in crochet, but it’s also easier to try the pieces on. To try on a knitted garment you most probably will have to put some stitches on stitch holders. It’s not necessary in crochet, and this technique allows for more versatility and experiments in stitch placement.
Fabric Structure and Versatility
One thing we learn while comparing knitting and crochet is the difference in “the feel”. Crochet projects often are much denser than knitting projects, no matter the type of yarn used. That’s why this craft is most often used for home decor, crochet blankets, rugs, toys, and more. In contrast, knitting produces more delicate fabric, which works great for garments and accessories.
If you’re into crochet toys, crochet is a way to go – more specifically, amigurumi. These crochet projects use almost solely single crochet stitches to create intricate three-dimensional shapes. Tapestry crochet allows you to create colorful designs, similar to fair isle knitting.
A Crochet hook makes it easy to create circular and three-dimensional designs, which gives a lot more room for experimentation. It also allows you to work on very small and very big crochet projects, if you choose the right size of crochet hook. You can even freestyle a pattern because there are no interlocking loops – you can change the direction and placement of the stitches as you go.
Crocheting vs Knitting – which craft is more popular?
Knitting has a long-standing tradition and is a craft that has been practiced for centuries all over the world. The variety of knitting techniques and patterns is proof of its popularity. It has traditionally been used to create garments, accessories, and home decor, making the knitted fabric a staple in every home. People would learn knitting from their elders and pass the knowledge on to younger generations.
That said, recent years brought a significant spike in the popularity of crochet. Modern designs, their versatility, and unique textures inspire crafters all around the world. The new ways of manufacturing yarn and the stunning palette of colors available played a role in the popularization of crochet, while the rise of amigurumi has attracted a new generation of crocheters.
Both knitting and crochet have fantastic communities, with lots of resources and platforms to support knitters and crocheters. It’s especially visible online, where crafters share patterns, tips, and inspiration.
Are there more crochet patterns or knitting patterns?
There’s no one answer to this question, as the popularity and availability of patterns fluctuate over time. It’s influenced by the trends and seasons, as well as the preferences of the crafting community.
The long-standing tradition of knitting resulted in old knitting patterns being more prevalent. Books and magazines dedicated to knitting were full of knitted sweater and knitted socks patterns. Nowadays, however, the difference isn’t as visible – mostly because the patterns moved to the online world.
A growing interest in crochet patterns brought new techniques and modern designs to the light but also rejuvenated the feelings for classic motifs. Granny square blanket patterns, handmade garments, and accessories, all have a great comeback. On the other hand, modern designs use classic patterns, such as granny squares, in new and exciting ways.
Numerous crochet pattern designers share their crochet projects online, offering both free and paid patterns. The versatility and adaptability of crochet make it a popular choice for many crafters.
For the fans of working with two needles, there are also many designs online – free or paid knitting patterns are available on blogs, as PDF files, or in beautifully edited knitting books.
The availability of knitting and crochet patterns depends on specific regions and languages. While it is sometimes possible to present a pattern in the form of a diagram or a chart, it’s not always the case. That leads to certain communities having a much stronger presence in the crochet world.
Overall, both knitting and crochet have a big number of patterns available online but don’t forget to explore other sources. Pattern books, websites, magazines – your next project may be hidden there.
Pros and Cons of Crochet
- It’s portable – traveling or waiting in line will never be boring again.
- Versatility – explore the range of possibilities, from amigurumi to home decor, garments, and accessories. Creativity and personalization are easy with crochet.
- Easy and quick projects – working with a crochet hook is easier and quicker, so choose it if you like completing projects in a short amount of time.
- Fixing mistakes – it’s generally easier to fix mistakes in crochet than in knitting, where correcting affects the entire project.
- Interesting stitch patterns – crochet offers much more than granny squares. Explore the world of textures, lacy designs, and other visual effects in your projects.
- It’s not that stretchy – crocheted fabric is dense and less stretchy in comparison to the knitted fabric.
- Yarn consumption – this craft generally requires more yarn because the stitches are thicker.
- Complexity – the patterns can get very complex, featuring multiple techniques or crochet stitch types in one project. It may be intimidating and requires a lot of focus.
- Tension – it may be harder to achieve consistent tension in crochet than in knitting.
- Hook sizes – using the wrong hook size or material will greatly affect the outcome of a project.
Pros and Cons of Knitting
- Stretchiness – knitted fabric is much more stretchy and elastic compared to crochet fabric. The other craft has much less drape and is denser, which makes it less conforming to the human body.
- Versatility – This craft allows you to create garments, accessories, home decor, and toys. It allows for creativity and personalization.
- Visible stitches – you always know where your stitches are (on the needle!).
- Fine details – knitting allows for intricate patterns and details. It’s perfect for colorwork and textures.
- Relaxing and meditative – rhythmic work soothes the nerves and helps to relax.
- Time-consuming – knitting projects often take longer to complete in comparison to crochet.
- Less portable – bigger knitting needles, longer rows, and more knitted fabric make many projects less portable compared to crochet.
- Fixing mistakes – it’s more challenging to fix a mistake in knitting because the stitches are all interlocked. This, in turn, requires more focus and careful attention.
- Less texture – you will find many intricate knitting patterns, but they are less textural than crochet stitches.
- Complexity – knitting may involve complex techniques which require a lot of practice, for example, cable knitting, colorwork, or lace.
In conclusion, it’s very hard to determine which craft is easier – crocheting vs knitting. Both crafts require time and focus to learn, as well as practice basic stitches. While some may find crochet patterns easier to read and follow, others will find fun and relaxation in working with knitting patterns.
Generally, working with two needles may be harder, while creating a crochet fabric with a hook is both easier and faster. The best approach is to try both of these techniques and come up with your own knitting vs crochet conclusion. Learn basic crochet stitches, spend some time mastering purl stitch and knit stitch, and only then decide if you like this or the other craft better.
With practice, guidance and the willingness to hone your skills, both knitting and crochet can be fantastic hobbies.