Knitting Vs Crochet: What Makes Them Different?

Creating your own stuff is an amazing experience. From making your own scrunchie to a cushion cover with a zipper. Learning a new craft is always an exciting thing, especially when it comes to knitting or crocheting and dreaming about all those inspiring projects you can create yourself, like knitting a scarf. You may favour one technique over the other, or you may appreciate both. Both techniques produce beautiful pieces that we can display in our homes or store in our wardrobes.

Woman enjoy knitting at home in winter

The beauty of both is that you can really connect with the yarn and pattern for the project, and the ultimate result is truly a one-of-a-kind work of art. The question is, which one should you start with as a beginner: knitting or crocheting? And what makes them different? This article will offer an in-depth analysis of either one so that you can pick the right option for a given project. 

What is knitting?

Knitting is the practice of continuously interlinking or knotting a succession of yarn loops with needles. The preceding loop structure is intertwined with these subsequent loops.

As a result, the new stitch secures the loop structure by latching the previously hung stitches, eventually forming a sheet of material. This sheet is a two-dimensional cloth, just like in weaving. 

The distinction is that in woven fabric, the threads run straight or parallel. Whereas, in knit fabric, the yarns follow a meandering course. The symmetric looping of yarn results in a fabric that is elastic and stretchy, the desired quality that makes knitwear a winter wardrobe essential.

Woman knitting with beige wool thread

Knitting uses both knit stitches and purl stitches and can be done by hand or with the help of machines. Fabric is knitted by hand using flat knitting or circular knitting techniques. Flat knitting is done with two straight needles, while circular knitting is done using sets of double-pointed needles or circular needles.

Circular knitting makes tubular-shaped fabrics, and flat knitting produces two-dimensional flat fabrics. Casting on, or creating knitting stitches with the needle, is the first step in the process.

Distinct casting procedures provide different effects in the finished fabric. Different stitches can be done and desired knitting patterns in the cloth can be formed by altering the insertion of the needle into the preceding thread in different ways.

What is crocheting?

Crochet is a centuries-old technique named after the French term crochet, which means “hook.” It requires the use of a hook, which can be found in a variety of sizes.

To make key stitches like a single, or double crochet stitch, you make loops with the hook. A slip knot is used to start the loop, which is then followed by a chain. Crochet stitches, unlike knitting, resemble a chain of little knots. 

You can make multiple slip knots and chains, but you should attempt to maintain an even tension as you work through each stitch. You choose the hook size based on the size of the stitch marker you’ll be making, and it’s also a good idea to think about the weight of the yarn you’ll be using for a project.

Hands crocheting

A little hook will struggle to work with a heavier yarn. When dealing with super fine yarn weights to make delicate items like infant clothing, for example, you should use a B/1 to E/4 sized hook. 

Most crochet projects can be completed with just one basic set of hooks. Crocheters can work on various projects that all require the same hook without worrying about project size or retaining stitches.

There is no transferring of stitches from one tool to another in crochet because the threads are simply looped onto the material.

Knitting needles and stitches: How do they differ?

Knitting needles are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and materials, making it difficult to know how or which to use. The gauge of your knitting is determined by the diameter or size of your needles. 

They also come in various lengths, which impacts the size of the project you work on with the needles, such as cowl scarves vs hats. Knitting needles are divided into five categories, with some overlap:

  • Straight needles
  • Circular knitting needles
  • Interchangeable needles
  • Double-pointed needles
  • Cable needles

The points of the needles, regardless of the type you use, can make a great difference. Sharp tips make it simpler to work with the stitches precisely, especially when working with fine yarn. 

Bulky yarn requires needles with a larger rounded point, which are safer for children. Sometimes you’ll need a specific needle, and other times it’ll just be a matter of personal preference.

You’ll need to keep multiple active yarn loops on the needles when knitting. The stitch supports each stitch beneath it. If knitters dropped stitches, it might unravel the entire column below it. When using conventional stitches, however, there is usually only one active yarn loop that needs attention. 

Multiple loops are required in some complex crochet projects and specialities, such as broomstick lace. That one active loop is what keeps your project together and prevents it from falling apart.

Crochet stitches and wool threads on wooden table

 

Which is the right option for each project?

Both are methods of stitching yarn together, although they are done in distinct ways. The stitches in knitting make a “V” shape. Crochet stitches are more akin to knots. 

Crochet hooks the loops together directly on the piece with a single hook. It is significantly easier to work with than knitting because of this difference. That is why it is a good choice for novices who want convenience and variety.

The tools and processes are simplified, making them more accessible. As a self-taught activity, it’s incredibly simple to pick up. Knitting is a good option for individuals who want to learn how to use a variety of equipment. It has the advantage of supporting sophisticated designs and free patterns in mid to advanced levels.

Some projects mix both techniques, which you may want to try. Tunisian crochet, for instance, is a combination of both knitting and crochet. No matter which option you choose, make sure to follow a tutorial if you’re a beginner!

The pros and cons of knitting

Pros

  1. It is more versatile than crocheting. Knitted items can be seen in a variety of places, from department stores to fashion runways.
  2. There’s a lot to choose from. Almost anything can be knitted. Even what you can crochet, you can also knit. Knitting is also an excellent choice for delicate clothes.
  3. It does not require a great deal of talent. You don’t need to know a lot of stitches or techniques, unlike crocheting.
  4. The fabric is always adaptable. Knitting, as opposed to crocheting, produces a fabric that is stretchy and flexible.

White ball of yarn with two blue knitting needles

Cons

  1. Errors are difficult to correct. To correct a minor error, you will need to remove a large number of stitches, which can be a frustrating chore for beginners.
  2. It takes a lot more time than crocheting.
  3. A greater number of tools are available. As previously stated, you have too many options to choose from, which can be really complicated.
  4. It can be perplexing at times. If you quit your knitting projects in the middle without making good notes on what you need to accomplish next, you will be confused.
  5. Knitting causes bodily discomfort and can worsen arthritis. You might find yourself in the middle of a four-hour knitting session and your fingers aching from clutching tiny needles. 

The pros and cons of crocheting

Pros

  1. It takes less time than knitting. A typical project can simply be finished in one sitting.
  2. It just requires one needle rather than two. Having fewer instruments means having fewer complications. When a single crochet hook can achieve so much, there’s no need to squirm between two needles.
  3. Crochet uses are enormous. You can easily make items such as washcloths, granny squares, amigurumi, baby blankets or mittens, and you can experiment with a variety of shapes and beginner crochet patterns that are a lot of fun to work with. 
  4. Crochet is more forgiving, and mistakes are easier to correct. Its rough surface hides faults, which is especially useful when working in the round. So if you make a mistake every now and then, you can usually forget about it and resume.
  5. In the worst-case scenario, ripping back crochet is far easier than ripping back knitting. Because there is only one active stitch, you can simply tear it back as far as you need to.
  6. There’s no possibility of any basic stitches being lost in the procedure. Crochet is also faster than knitting, so you’ll be back to where you were in no time.

Female hands crocheting with wool thread

Cons

  1. Crocheting takes a greater amount of yarn than knitting. To some, this may seem like a blessing because one can simply run out of yarn without wasting any. However, more yarn means more investment.
  2. You only have a few possibilities. Crocheting produces a thicker and heavier finished cloth than knitting. When compared to knitting, you can only do a few yarn crafts using crochet.
  3. Shaping is more challenging to do. It’s all about maximising your curve and getting the item to match your lines, whether sewing or knitting. Crochet does not lend itself well to this. Crochet is sometimes best used as an ornament on finished knitted fabric.
  4. It’s sometimes more difficult to do than knitting. Once you get started and think that the first row is difficult, the second row will be even more difficult to ensure you’ve placed your stitches correctly and aren’t twisting the chain stitches.

Knitting needles and green balls of yarn

Some people love to create new things. Some others tend to use these two to relieve their stress! Well, you can always make a stress ball on your own but knitting and crocheting are really cool too! We hope this guide has helped you better understand this endless knit vs crochet debate. At the end of the day, you cannot possibly go wrong either way. It all comes down to how much time you are willing to devote! 

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