In recent years arts and crafts seem to have made a comeback, and a big part of this resurgence is a newfound interest in knitting and crocheting.
But what are the differences between the two, and which of these crafts should you pick up?
Both knitting and crocheting involve creating pieces from wool or yarn, and both use similar techniques and tools.
However, the biggest difference between the two is that knitted items are created using stitches, whereas crocheted items are used to create loops.
Although both techniques create beautiful pieces of art and clothing, it can be difficult to choose which method you should choose as a beginner.
In this guide, we’ll look at which craft is easier for beginners, look at the pros and cons of both crafts, and different projects that you can make by either crocheting or knitting. Let’s begin.
What Is The Difference Between Knitting And Crocheting?
Whilst these two crafts have many similarities, they also differ in a lot of other ways.
When it comes to researching patterns, there is not a single garment, accessory, toy, or household item that you will not be able to produce with either craft.
So, when it comes to choosing between knitting or crocheting, it’s important to understand that neither of these crafts will limit your creativity.
What will differ between the two is the fabric you use, and the ease at which you’ll be able to complete a certain project.
Let’s look at the differences between the two in more detail.
Tools And Techniques
To knit you need to use two needles, and both of your hands. In knitting, you are essentially using one of the needles to hold the loops, and the other to create new loops.
At first, this will require a lot of dexterity and muscle memory, especially as it can be easy for your stitches to unravel or fall off of your needles.
This also means that knitting patterns can be a lot more complicated, and often requires additional tools for picking up or putting stitches on hold, and shaping fabric.
Because of this, it can be very hard to make dimensional objects like knitted plushies with knitting needles.
On the other hand, crocheting only uses one needle and one main hand. Whilst both knitting and crocheting require pulling yarn or wool through loops, this is something that the crochet needle helps facilitate.
On top of that, as the loops don’t need a second needle to hang on to, the stitches are more stable as there is only one active stitch that may unravel at any one time.
It’s also easier to fix mistakes, as fixing knitting mistakes usually requires a crochet needle.
It may come as a surprise, but most commercially made garments in retail stores are knitted, even if it doesn’t look like they are.
Sweaters, socks, underwear, and t-shirts are all commonly made from jersey material, which is a fine machine-knit fabric.
Knitting is most commonly associated with making clothes, especially sweaters.
And as the fabric is constructed using loops on needles, knitting patterns tend to take a very logical form.
This means that it’s very easy to create uniform designs, with intricate colorwork. However, it is quite difficult to knit more elaborate structures.
In crochet, however, new stitches are formed by piercing through previous rows. This normally results in a thick fabric, which has far more texture to it.
In comparison to knitting, crochet also uses far more yarn, and the finished piece is a lot less stretchy.
When it comes to creative projects, most people associate crochet with more “whimsical” designs like bralettes, tote bags, and even old-fashioned dolls.
But because the fabric is denser, it means that it’s a lot easier to create 3D designs.
Which Is Better For Beginners: Knitting Or Crocheting?
Many people believe that crocheting is a much easier skill for beginners to pick up, especially as it’s a lot easier to fix mistakes, and requires a lot less coordination only having one live stitch at a time.
In addition, crocheting usually requires fewer basic materials to get started with, which also makes it a cheaper craft.
But that’s only one of the many reasons why crochet is considered easier for beginners.
It’s Easier To Fix Crochet Mistakes
The biggest reason why crocheting is often considered easier than knitting is that it’s a lot easier to undo your crochet work.
Also known as frogging, fixing crochet mistakes is as simple as pulling the yarn away a little, and then starting the stitch again.
In knitting, undoing your work (also called tinking) is far more difficult, and can often result in beginners having to restart their entire project.
Being able to easily and quickly redo mistakes is vital for beginners, as when starting a new project it’s inevitable that you’re going to make mistakes.
With crocheting, each time you skip a stitch or work a stitch incorrectly, it’s a simple fix.
With knitting, on the other hand, it can be difficult to know how to undo a knitting mistake without restarting your project.
For beginners, it can take several attempts, or even several months, to finish a project.
Crocheting Requires Fewer Basic Materials
When starting with crocheting, you’ll only need around two to three hooks for most beginner projects. For beginners, we recommend starting with 4.0mm, 5.0mm, and 6.0mm sized hooks.
On average, the starting cost for crochet is around $20. For bigger, or more advanced projects you may need additional hooks, which would add the cost of around $50, (but as a beginner you won’t need to worry about that yet).
However, when starting with knitting you’ll need significantly more needles.
Depending on your project you’ll need a range of short and long circular needles, and to be able to make a wide range of projects you’ll need a full set of interchangeable needles, double-pointed needles, and short circular needles.
On average, the starting cost of knitting is around $30. Although it doesn’t seem like much more in comparison, the additional cost later on (if you want to get a set of interchangeable needles that you’ll need for most knitting patterns) can be upwards of $250.
Crocheting Only Focuses On One Loop At A Time
Crocheting is considered easier for beginners to learn as it involves using a hook to create one loop at a time.
With knitting, you need two needles that hold the loops that you are working on for every row or round. It’s also a lot easier for loops that you are working on to slip off the needles.
As you only need one hook, and you’re only focusing on one loop at a time, it requires far less coordination to work on the stitches and hold the hook.
With knitting, juggling two needles and multiple loops at a time can be confusing for beginners.
Is Knitting Or Crocheting Easier?
As mentioned, crocheting is considered easier than knitting as it involves only one hook and one live stitch at a time.
As you have to work with two needles and multiple live stitches at a time for knitting, it requires a lot more coordination and leaves more room for mistakes.
Correcting crocheting mistakes is also much simpler, and it’s a cheaper craft to pick up.
Is Knitting Or Crocheting Faster?
The number of needles and stitches that you work with for both crafts plays a significant factor in how quickly you can finish a project.
For instance, crocheting is considered “faster” than knitting as the stitches are much bigger.
It also means that you can create a much larger project with crocheting in the same amount of time that you would be able to create a knitting project.
Pros And Cons Of Knitting Vs Crochet
To help simplify the pros and cons of knitting vs crocheting, we’ve constructed a table to help you consider different factors besides cost, difficulty level, and speed.
|Starting Costs||Average of $30 to start||Average of $20 to start|
|Advanced Costs||Upwards of $250 later for a full set of needles (and yarn)||Around $50 for additional hooks (and yarn)|
|Time Taken To Complete a Project||Slower initially as stitches are much smaller||Faster initially as basic stitches are bigger|
|Amount of Materials Needed||Requires a lot less yarn to complete a project||Uses on average 30% more yarn than knitting, as each stitch is a knot rather than a loop|
|How Easy Mistakes are to Fix||Can be difficult for beginners as it requires an advanced technique||Very intuitive for beginners to correct mistakes|
|Common Projects||Scarfs, hats, socks, shawls, cardigans, sweaters||Hats, shawls, cardigans, sweaters, tote bags, pillows, toys|
|Amount of Patterns Available||Considerably large library of knitting patterns||Smaller library of crochet patterns, but still plentiful|
|Projects That Are Difficult In One Craft Compared to the Other||Toys, as working in 3D for knitting is virtually impossible||Colorwork or lace are possible, but can be less even and delicate in comparison to knitted work|
|Elements that Are Easier in One Craft Compared to the Other||Colorwork, fair isle colorwork, lace, i-cord, socks, cables||Circular elements, granny squares, amigurumi, 3D work|
|Density of Fabric||Think and drapey – ideal for garments||Thicker fabric, with a more solid structure|
|Seaming||Intermediate projects tend to require a lot of seaming, however, it allows for a more precise fitting||Most crochet projects are seamless.|
Both knitting and crochet are very similar in a lot of different aspects, which can make it hard for you to choose one crafting skill over the other.
However, the choice is largely up to your own personal preference, and what kind of projects you are more drawn towards creating.
The general rule of thumb is that knitting is better suited to making garments, as the smaller stitches makes the fabric thinner, gives it more of a drape, and it’s easier to do intricate lace or colorwork patterns.
For crocheting, it’s easier to create home decor projects like pillows, baskets, and toys. 3D work is considerably easier to do whilst crocheting.
Knitting Vs Crocheting Project Showdown
Now it’s time for the fun part! Let’s take a look at various different projects and what you can do with them using either craft.
Hopefully, this project comparison should give you more of an idea of what you can make with each, and which craft you are more drawn to.
Sweaters are a pretty popular form of clothing, so why shouldn’t you have a go at making your own! However, knitting vs crocheting sweaters has very different effects so let’s take a look at what you can do in more detail.
Knitted sweaters tend to be much thinner, which is what gives the garment a better drape. This means that it can be a lot easier to get a better fit when creating a knit sweater.
In addition, it’s far easier to do intricate colorwork details and designs. It’s also a lot easier to do fair isle colorwork, which is a great project to undertake if you’re after the perfect winter sweater.
Crochet sweaters on the other hand tend to be a lot thicker and denser. This is because the stitches are knotted, rather than looped.
Most crochet sweater projects are constructed using granny squares or other shapes to help create interest.
Blankets are the perfect cozy home accessory, so creating your blanket can be the perfect home project.
Knitted blankets are often thinner and tend to have more drape – just like sweaters. With knitted blankets, you can achieve both cables and ribbing, and can also make intricate colorwork designs.
Crochet blankets tend to be thicker and heavier, and like knitted blankets, can also have cables and ribbing.
However, you can form unique chevron patterns with crocheted blankets and can use both granny square or hexagon motifs.
When it comes to crocheting blankets, there is far more versatility, and you can also recreate the classic quilted blanket look.
Knitted or crocheted bags are very on-trend right now, so why not have a go at making your own?
Because of the thinness of the material, knitted bags tend to be less sturdy, and often take on the appearance of a tote, given the restrictions of knit stitches.
With that being said, you can create some really delicate and intricate knitted bags that are perfect for when you only have a few items that you need to carry around.
As it’s much easier to create 3D designs whilst crocheting, there is a lot more versatility when it comes to choosing a bag design.
Not only can you make tote bags, but you can also make bucket bags, canteen bags, and even backpacks.
As crochet designs are sturdier, we definitely prefer using crochet to create unique, handcrafted bags.
It’s actually pretty easy to create some unique home decor items by either knitting and crocheting them, and as there are a multitude of patterns to choose from, you’ll never run out of ideas of things to make.
From cushions and pillows, to baskets and plant pots, there is truly an endless amount of decor items that you make with either craft.
As knitted fabric is thinner, it’s far less sturdy and makes it difficult to create 3D designs which are often necessary for home decor.
However, you can still create some nice pieces such as cushions, or slouchy baskets.
Thanks to the density of crochet fabric, crochet lends itself perfectly to create a variety of different home decorations. You can create pillows, baskets, dishcloths, and even coasters!
Amigurumi toys are crocheted or knitted stuffed toys. There are an endless number of designs, from cute little pandas to your favorite movie characters – you can truly make anything into an amigurumi toy.
Knitted amigurumi toys can be a lot more difficult to make, purely because it can be difficult to create rounded edges whilst knitted.
With that being said, the smaller stitches create a more polished look, and there are still thousands of knitting patterns that you can choose from.
Objectively, crocheted amigurumi toys are a lot easier to make, and are far more durable.
They’re also a lot more accessible to beginners, as crochet projects tend to be a lot simpler to create.
As crocheted amigurumi toys have more defined stitches, there is a much larger catalog of designs and patterns to choose from.
All in all, crocheted amigurumi toys are pretty easy projects for beginner crocheters to complete.
Similarities Between Knitting And Crocheting
We’ve spent a lot of this article discussing the differences between knitting and crocheting, but there are also a lot of factors that make these two crafts pretty similar.
For instance, a lot of knitting techniques require a crochet hook, which is used to pick up dropped stitches.
So, whichever craft you decided to pick up, it can benefit you a lot by dabbling in the other too.
In addition, both of these hobbies are incredibly relaxing, and they’re both often compared to meditation for the calmness and peace that it can bring you.
Both crafts are incredibly restorative, not to mention the pride that you feel once you complete a project.
No matter whether you choose to crochet or knit, both crafts can be a way in which you express your individualism and personal taste.
In addition, by creating your garments or home decor items you can be more sustainable, and less wasteful.
Is Knitting For You?
Knitting is the perfect craft for you if you:
- Have a lot of patience: Knitting projects can take a lot of time as the stitches are a lot smaller, and the designs tend to be more detailed
- Want to save money on yarn: As each crochet project can use a third more yarn than knitting, if you want to save money on yarn, then knitting is the craft fro you
- Prefer simple, logical directions
- Want a more extensive library of patterns projects: As knitting patterns are often more popular, they are far more readily available in comparison to crochet patterns
Is Crochet For You?
Crochet is the perfect craft for you if you:
- Want quick projects: As crochet uses bigger stitches, you can complete projects faster
- Want to easily fix mistakes: If you’re not afraid of making mistakes then it’s far easier to correct yourself when crocheting
- You’re creative and like challenges: Although harder to find, crochet patterns are more versatile, and can often encourage you to create your own, unique designs
- Your mind works spatially: If you’re not into rigid patterns or order, crochet tends to have you working up, down, around, and over
So, there you have it, everything you need to know about knitting and crocheting and how the two compare to one another.
As mentioned, crochet is often regarded as being the easier of the two skills to pick up, which can make it more accessible to beginners.
But no matter how many differences both of these crafts have, they’re also pretty similar, and you can always benefit from skills that you develop from both.
However, if you want to only pick up one of these crafts, it’s worth considering what type of projects you’d like to complete.
For instance, knitting is preferred when creating garments like sweaters or cardigans, as there’s more drape in the material, and you can complete more complex colorwork designs.
However, if you prefer to make home decorations, 3D toys, or even accessories, then crochet may be the preferred option for you.
Whichever skill you choose to develop, we hope you have fun creating your own projects!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Knitting Or Crocheting Use More Yarn?
When trying to figure out which craft uses more yarn, there are a lot of variables to consider.
For instance, needle and hook size, the scale of project, and even the crafter’s tension can all affect how much yarn is used.
However, the general rule is that crochet uses around one third more yarn than knitting does. This is because instead of loops, crochet is essentially created loops over and over again,
which are far bigger than knitting loops.
Is It Easier To Teach A Child To Knit Or To Crochet?
Like adults, children can learn how to knit or crochet, however, as crochet is considered a much easier craft to learn, it might be easier to start by teaching your child(ren) how to crochet first.
In terms of what age a child can start to crochet, they can learn the basics at around 5 years old.
After some practice (and patience), it won’t belong before your child(ren) will be able to follow basic crochet patterns.
Is Knitting And Crocheting Good For Your Brain?
It may come as a surprise, but knitting and crocheting are really good hobbies that can actually help with anxiety. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which these crafts can help.
The precise, coordinated hand movements needed for knitting or crochet can be a lot of hard work for the brain.
Because of this, it means that we are less able to focus or pay attention to other issues or concerns when we are focused on these crafts.
Also, knitting and crochet uses a lot of repetitive movements.
These rhythmic movements can be used to replace pacing, tapping, rocking, hair pulling, and picking, which people often do to calm themselves down when they’re feeling stressed or anxious.
When knitting or crocheting, we often use an array of beautiful colors and textures (soft, smooth, bumpy, bristly). These provide pleasing visual or tactile signals that are fed back to our brains.
With repetitive movements, more serotonin is released in our brains which can help improve our moods, and bring about a sense of calmness.
Knitting and crochet can be used as means to reduce cortisol levels (also known as the stress hormone) in your blood.