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Crochet vs Knit – The Key Differences – Which Is Truly Easier and Better?

The age-old debate, as old as the crafts themselves, crochet vs knitting, which is the superior craft?

I have an incredible notion of putting forward in the argument, what if crocheting and knitting are equally excellent?

I hear gasps of shock, horror, and denial, but what if it were true? 

Here are the differences, similarities, and all the information you need to know on the comparison of crocheting or knitting.

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Table Of Contents

What Makes Them Similar?

  • They both use yarn! They’re some of the most popular fiber art.
  • You work from patterns, divided into steps that use a whole host of abbreviations. Some mean the same for both crafts. Reading a knitting or crochet pattern is almost like knowing how to read a secret language!
  • You learn and develop excellent skills like hand-eye coordination, memory, color theory, logic, and improve your maths! When you learn to knit or crochet, it challenges your brain and keeps it flexible.
  • They both have many health benefits. Research shows your brain creates new neural pathways when knitting. Crochet can too. They’re good for you.
  • Not for the easily bored or distracted, be ready to invest a considerable amount of time.
  • You can create almost anything of any project size.

What Is The Difference Between Crochet And Knit?

The Method Of The Craft

To crochet, you’ll need a crochet hook and work around in a square, rectangular or circular pattern. You only have one working or live stitch at one time. The finished stitches look more like knots than anything else.

There is one basic stitch, the chain stitch, which you can start with to create different methods. There are four others. They’re single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and slip stitch crochet.

Suppose you are from the UK or Australia. Single crochet is known as double crochet, half double crochet is known as half treble, and double crochet is known as Treble.

To knit, you’ll need two needles, and the number of stitches hangs off one of the two needles at all times, rather like a shower curtain. The stitches look like loops.

There are three main needles, circular needles, straight needles, double point needles. Also, there are interchangeable circular needles.

There are two basic stitches, the purl stitch, and the knit stitch. The purl stitch has the bump, and the knit stitch looks a bit like little Vs.

Knit and purl stitches make up many of the different stitch patterns.

You cast on with a slip knot or a slip stitch, and you half-knit the stitch to create as many as you need. 

The Way Crochet Projects Turn Out

Crochet has a bulkier and more hard-wearing feel. Knitting is generally softly textured and smoother to touch.

Stitches

Crochet has far more stitches than the other, and it’s not just building on what you already know. Tt’s often learning something completely new. 

Most knitting is done with the knit and purl stitch. Others combine and expand upon techniques you already learned, such as the stockinette stitch, one row knit one row purl.

Tools Used

Crochet uses crochet hooks, and knitting uses knitting needles. They’re aptly named as knitting needles have a pointy end, and crochet hooks have a handle with a slightly curved end.

Some people say crochet is easier because there’s only one tool to keep track of. Fun fact, crochet hooks are very useful for fixing mistakes or adding tassels, so knitters use them too.

Also, no-one has figured out how to make a machine that crochets! Every item that’s crocheted is handmade. In contrast, knitting can be done on looms and knitting machines.

Here’s a list of popular and useful items used for each craft.

Crochet 

  • A crochet hook, of course! (Size H is an excellent size for beginners)
  • Yarn or crochet thread 
  • Scissors
  • Gauge Swatches
  • Row/Stitch Counters
  • Stitch Holders
  • A Locking Stitch Marker Or Two
  • A Yarn Needle

Knitting Supplies

  • Knitting Needles
  • Yarn (The best yarn for beginners to start with is worsted weight yarn.)
  • Stitch Counters
  • Stitch Markers
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle Stoppers
  • Yarn Needles

Projects Best Suited For

Crochet – For projects where thicker, heavier fabric is needed –

  • Afghans
  • Amigurumi
  • Baby Blankets
  • Bags/Purses
  • Cowls
  • Cozies
  • Dishcloths/Scrubbies
  • Dog Sweaters
  • Flowers/Motifs
  • Gloves/Mittens
  • Hats
  • Home Decor
  • Pouches
  • Ponchos
  • Scarves/Shawls
  • Socks/Slippers
  • Rugs

Knitting – You can make almost anything, but here are some popular knitting projects ideas.

  • Beanies/Hats
  • Baby Blanket
  • Cardigans
  • Clothing
  • Dishcloths
  • Hand Towels
  • Hats
  • Potholders
  • Shawls/Wraps
  • Scarves
  • Scrubbies
  • Shrugs
  • Socks
  • Sweaters
  • Tote Bags

Common Motifs Of Each Craft

There are many different techniques, but here are some of the most instantly recognizable.

Crochet

  • Circular Creations – Cloths, potholders, rugs, and others.
  • Granny Squares – Very versatile, can be used to create so many different things!
  • Lacework Or Patterns With Holes In Them

Knitting

  • Cables – Very common in sweaters and cardigans
  • Fair Isle Knitting – A style of knitting from Scotland, characterized by intricate, colorful stitchwork.
  • Ribbing – A method to make the knitting stretchy but still hold its shape.
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Which One Is Best For You?

Knitting Is Best For You If –

  • You’re patient. Knitting takes time, dedication, and a lot of patience! The stitches are often more complicated, taking a lot longer than you might expect.
  • Want to be swamped in inspiration and ideas? There are many knitting patterns and places to be inspired!
  • You want to save money because you don’t usually have to buy as much yarn as for a crochet project. Plus, yarn advertised as knitting yarn is generally more affordable.
  • You’re logical. Reading and creating knitting patterns requires a bit of math.

Crochet Is Best For You If –

  • You make mistakes frequently or constantly have to redo your work, much easier to fix them in this craft.
  • You don’t mind working in irregular or random ways.
  • If you like quick to do crochet projects, bulkier items can be done in no time at all.
  • You like working through many projects quickly.
  • You’re creative – the limited crochet patterns mean you often have to modify to suit your preference.

Pros And Cons Of Crocheting Vs Knitting

Crocheting

Pros

  • Easy to go back and fix mistakes. Very quick and simple to unravel. You just pull the knots loose until you reach the place where you made a mistake.
  • Fabric produced with this craft is generally lighter.
  • Generally quicker than knitting, but speeds vary from person to person.
  • Slightly easier because there’s only one tool.
  • All sorts of fun shapes and geometric patterns to try. Crochet is very flexible in that regard.
  • Since you only work with one stitch, there is no need to worry about multiple stitches at once!

Cons

  • Not as well catered to as knitting in terms of supplies, yarn, and notions, there aren’t many dedicated crochet companies. However, KnitPicks recently launched a fabulous site called WeCrochet. Expect the same quality, range, and excellence in their products, only just for crochet!
  • Not as much information or visibility, as from NickyKnacks talks about here. I agree with her, which is why I created the Top 100 Crochet Bloggers to help others find wonderful, talented crocheters.
  • If you’re planning to make complicated, tiny, or delicate patterns or stitches, knitting is better for that.
  • Not as easy to do lots of color changes.
  • Crocheted clothing tends to be less flattering than knitwear.

Knitting

Pros

  • Arguably, knitting is more popular. Knitwear has taken the fashion world by storm and is quite trendy.
  • Related to the above, if you knit, you’re in good company — the most well-known of the fiber arts.
  • There’s a reason for high-end fashion using knitting to create garments because they’re suited to delicate stitchwork with fine details.
  • The best craft for complicated colorwork or lots of color changes.
  • Stretchy, flexible fabric and creates wonderful drape.
  • Not so many stitches and techniques are needed in your repertoire to get a real hand on the craft. 

Cons

  • Not as easy as crochet to fix mistakes. You need to pull out the stitches and transfer them to the other knitting needle. It can be quite demanding and frustrating for a beginner.
  • More materials for learning how to use before you can start.
  • You can’t take the needles out halfway through a project to finish something off and come back to the original.
  • Not as fast as crocheting, usually.
  • It can be confusing as there are lots of stitches to keep track of.
  • Difficult to create household items, and they won’t be as tough or long-lasting.
  • Not recommended for toys as you don’t get the same feel and hard-wearing quality.
  • More risk of knitting needles being confiscated at airports from your carry on luggage.
  • The fabric you create with hand knitting is usually heavier.
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Crochet Myths – Busted!

Crochet Uses More Yarn Than Knitting

Sometimes this is true, but it’s not true universally because it depends on many different factors. However, the nature of some types of crochet stitches means it does use more yarn, but not always. 

Verdict – Not True!

You Shouldn’t Crochet Sweaters

Another ‘rule’ in the crafting world is just advice to avoid heartaches, confusion, or too much of a challenge. Yes, it’s usually better to knit sweaters, as it’s easier and creates a stretchier, more flexible fabric.

But who is to say you can’t? Crochet sweaters are lovely! They’re suited to both knitting and crochet but have a different feeling and texture.

Verdict – Not True

Combining The Two Crafts – Yes, It’s Possible!

It’s hard to tell the difference between knitting and crochet when it’s in a finished project. Even experts and crafts enthusiasts alike struggle, so no-one’s going to bat an eye if you combine the two ways in one project.

Techniques in crochet such as Tunisian crochet and “knooking” produce crochet that looks like knitting stitches or cables. You still crochet, but it looks like knitting.

A common way to combine them in knitting is to complete a project with a crocheted edge and vice versa.

Regardless of where you stand on the knitting vs crochet debate, melding the two together can be satisfying, rewarding, and learning many different ideas.

Your Questions Answered

Which Is Easier To Learn Knitting Or Crocheting?

Neither! Each is a wonderful, fabulous craft with its own skill sets, challenges, techniques, and ideas. Try out both to see which suits you best, or learn both! The more, the merrier.

Both require a bit of a learning curve, but with practice comes mastery.

Is Knitting Better Than Crochet?

That’s for you to make up your mind! It’s very subjective, and opinions vary greatly. But, if you prefer logical, mathematical thinking, then knitting might be better for you.

Is Crocheting Hard?

It depends on your experience. For some, it’s very difficult. For others, not so much. If you decide to learn to crochet, have hope, it’s one of the most rewarding yarn crafts. If you don’t like it, try knitting instead.

In all honesty, this debate has probably existed since the birth of these crafts. It’s an unsolvable debate, as there’s no universal answer.

Like most questions in life, you have to research both sides, which we’ve done for you, and make up your mind.

If you can’t decide, you can always pick both! After all, they go hand in hand.

Now the imposing question, do you like one over the other? Or perhaps you’ve learned both. If so, what’s your crafting journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Crochet Penguin. (Yes, I’m real :) )

Thanks for being here. I started Crochet Penguin to show 1,000,000 people the joys of crochet & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

Please say hello!

2 thoughts on “Crochet vs Knit – The Key Differences – Which Is Truly Easier and Better?”

  1. I’ve been both knitting and crocheting for over 40 years (which means I’m middle-aged — started when I was a kid). The whole knit vs crochet “debate” is just silly — funny it always comes down to knit vs crochet and not, say, knit vs macrame.

    Choose what you want to make. Think about what kind of finished item you want. Then plan accordingly.

    A few things about the points in the post: while crochet can be easier to deal with if a mistake requires ripping out entirely, knitting lets you deliberately drop stretches and rework them to fix localized problems. And crochet was invented to imitate older firms of lace-making — it does a wonderful job on fine, dedicate items if you use thread and a small hook (okay, you can knit doilies too but the point stands). The household items point was so vague as to be silly — which household items? To what specs? For which functions? Either craft will fit the bill for most things. It’s all in how you work the item. For example, I have both knit and crochet trivets of the same thickness and sturdiness. Ditto for dishcloths. It’s just about what design caught my eye the day I decided I needed to throw out the worn out ones and replace them.

    The one true pro vs com I’ve noticed, at least in my area, is cultural. It’s the hardcore crocheters who started the knit vs crochet “debate” — generally speaking, knitters don’t care. It’s far more common around where I am to find knitters who later learned crochet than the other way around.

    Expand your skill set (if it isn’t already), be comfortable in both, and then you are empowered to make every item in the best way possible. Nothing to debate.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts on this topic Kit. You’ve given me a real insight to the advantages of both crafts. Thanks for your constructive criticism. I off now to have another look through my post to make improvements for the point about household items. Cheers Jodie

      Reply

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