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Knitting vs. Crochet: What's the Difference?

To some knitting and crochet might seem very similar, but to those who practice yarn crafts, they're worlds apart.

By: Toby Kuhnke, Editor, FaveCrafts.com
Knitting vs Crochet

The feud between knitters and crocheters has existed probably as long as the crafts themselves. While this rivalry is lighthearted, there are some big differences between the two crafts that some might not realize.

The various stitches used by the two crafts, for instance, really make the biggest difference in the final product. But there are other factors, too.

Crocheters often brag that crocheting is faster (which it usually is). They also like that crochet often makes lighter, more draping fabric than knitting does. Crochet is also a little bit more flexible in terms of the types of wool, yarn, and thread you can use.

Knitters, on the other hand, like the feel of knitted fabric, especially for sweaters, scarves, and cowls. Plus, knitting is trendier (no offense, crocheters).

Knit Stitches vs. Crochet Stitches

In knitting, you basically have two types of stitches: knitting and purling. These stitches can be mixed and matched in different ways to create a diverse set of stitches and patterns. These stitches are formed in rows, with the active stitches held in place by the knitting needle itself.

With crochet, on the other hand, there are a wide variety of stitches that you can use, and the stitches are formed one at a time, eliminating the need to hold the active needles on the crochet hook. Crochet stitches are (for the most part) more intricate than stitches used in knitting, but despite this crochet is much faster than knitting.

Needles vs. Hooks

The most noticeable difference between knitting and crochet are the utensils used. Knitters use knitting needles and crocheters use crochet hooks.

Knitting needles come in many different sizes, lengths, and materials. Most knitting needles are straight with one pointed end; however, there are other styles of knitting needles, like circular needles and double pointed needles.

Crochet hooks, on the other hand, have a hook at the end that is helpful for pulling the yarn and creating stitches.

Needles vs. Hooks

Knitting Supplies vs. Crochet Supplies

Supplies and accessories for knitting and crochet are another area where these two crafts differ quite a bit. There's no doubt that the number of possible accessories for both knitting and crochet is high. (And they make some great Christmas gifts for your crafty friends, hint hint!)

For knitting, common knitting accessories include:

  1. A variety of knitting needles
  2. Crochet hooks (you read that right)
  3. Stitch markers
  4. Scissors
  5. Point protectors
  6. Measuring tape

For crochet, common supplies include

  1. A variety of crochet hooks
  2. Gauge swatches
  3. A row/stitch counter
  4. Finishing needles
  5. Scissors

Knitting Yarn vs. Crochet Yarn

This is one of the few areas where knitting and crochet are pretty similar. For the most part, any yarn that can be used with knitting can be used with crochet and vice versa.

One exception is knitting with thread. Because of the nature of knitting needles and crochet hooks, knitting with thread is very difficult (if not impossible) and should be left to the crocheters.

Knitting Yarn vs. Crochet Yarn

The Great Debate

Which one is easier?
This is the great crafting debate that no one will ever agree on! There are plenty of good arguments on both sides, but really it just comes down to what feels more natural in your hands. Usually, whichever craft you learned first is the one you find to be easier.

Does crochet really use more yarn than knitting?
Yes and no. The nature of crochet stitches does sometimes lead to more yarn being used; however, this is not always the case. In fact, there are plenty of knitting stitches that use way more yarn than similar crochet counterparts.

The likely origin of this myth has to do with how much faster crochet is than knitting. Crochet uses up yarn faster than knitting, which gives the illusion that you're using more yarn.

Are you #teamknitting or #teamcrochet?
Let us know in the comments!

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I would say I am "Team Knitting". Though I like crochet, I simply love the look and feel of knitting better. I learned to crochet in the U.S. when I was 10 and made afghans. Then I learned knitting in Germany when I was about 19. I assume I am doing continental knitting since it was an old German woman who taught me how to knit socks and sweaters and I was hooked after that. It seemed so easy and I was fascinated with all the possibilities of stitch combinations, too. Since then I have knitted many things. A couple of years ago, I rediscovered crochet and have made a couple of things. Thanks to the websites, All Free Crochet and Fave Crafts, I have found many lovely ideas that I may consider making in the future, too.

Team Crochet - only because I haven't learned to knit yet!

I am on team Knitting all the way

This is one of the best questions I have been asked in a long time. I taught myself to knit and crochet years ago. I was never really good at knitting but on the other hand crocheting came much easier for me. For knitting I always ended up with way to many stitches then I started out with? I never could figure that one out, so I went to crocheting and have been doing that. I love learning new stitches and even the ones that make crochet work look like it's knitted.

I only crochet. I never could get the hang of using 2 needles and staying in the right amount of tension. I do love though some of the sweaters that are knitted I find it more versatile than crocheting. Maybe someday I'll really learn how to knit.

I learned to knit continental first. Then I taught myself how to crochet. I like crochet for it'so speed and versatility. It is easier to "wing it" with crochet. Which I do depends on my mood.

Ijtaught myself to do continental knitting so that I could do 2 colors of knitting holding one color in one hand and the other in the other. So much easier. My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet when I was 5-6 yers old, so I'm an old hand at 93. I have been named a "Master" of both and taught both for years... still am teaching and turning out new patterns still. I did a lot of patterns for Woman' Day Magazine in the 60s. A male friend once said, "Watch out for her... she'll still be knitting on the way to her grave... and poke you with her needle, too." I prefer knitting, but love doing the old Irish crochet patterns that you don't see so often anymore. My grandmother loved doing crochet lace and made me learn. She turned me into a perfectionist to a point where my sister told me to please made a mistake in the next sweater for her, as they all looked too perfect to be handmade. I always make a mistake now.

I do both, but I am much faster at crochet.

I do both knitting and crochet. Learned them both over 50 years ago. I tend to alternate on my faves but it also depends if I have a specific project in mind.

I love both knitting and crochet. I use mostly knitting for items to be worn against the skin or for babies (it's softer), and it depends on the function for everything else. Crochet for the items that need to be durable, and knit for things that need to drape nicely. BTW, I speed knit (Continental style), so knitting is nearly as fast as crochet for me.

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