Knitting vs Crochet. What’s the difference?

KnittingvsCrochet Horiz scaled

Similar, yet different. What are the differences between knitting and crochet? Here we will provide you with a brief introduction to both and jump into their similarities and differences.

What is knitting?

mom teaches daughter knitting
beautiful Asian mom teaches her daughter how to knitting for the autumn sweater for cold season is coming in the living room at home

Knitting, is a method or means, of creating a woven fabric, usually done by hand using two long needles, called knitting needles. It can, however, also be done by machine.

Knitting machine

A knitting machine uses many steel needles mounted on a frame called a needle bar. The machine simply mechanizes the process of pulling threads through loops to create stitches. Machines can be round or horizontal. They can be small an inexpensive such as this home knitting machine or large machines that take up an entire room.

Home Knitting Machine
Home knitting machine.

Hand knitting

Hand knitting is usually done using two needles called knitting needles and a string, called yarn. The rest of this article deals with hand knitting only.

hand knitting
Woman hands knitting with knitting needles and yellow soft wool yarn. Needlework concept.

There are as many variations in knitting as their are knitters. That said, for hand knitting, it always comes down to needles and yarn. When hand knitting you always use knitting needles.

The fabric created by knitting tends to be loose and stretchy.

What is Crochet?

What is crochet
Crochet double stitching with teal yarn

Crochet is a process of creating textiles by using a crochet hook to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials. The name is derived from the French term crochet, meaning ‘small hook’. Hooks can be made from a variety of materials, such as metal, wood, bamboo, or plastic.

Like knitting, crochet uses a long, continuous length of string called yarn. But when you crochet you use a single hook to create the various stitches.

So what is the difference?

knitting and crochet
Knitting on the left, crochet on the right

If you said, using two needles vs one hook, you would be correct, but there is a bit more to it than that. Yes, the tools used are different, but, so are the stitches. That means that you create different patterns in the fabric depending on the technique used (knitting vs crochet) and the stitch used.

Knitting Stitches

Knitting has two basic techniques that are used to create textile:

  • The knit stitch – usually made with the yarn at the back of the work by inserting the right needle into the front part of a loop on the left needle from the left side, catching the yarn with the point of the right needle, and bringing it through the first loop to form a new loop.
  • The purl stitch – a knitting stitch usually made with the yarn at the front of the work by inserting the right needle into the front of a loop on the left needle from the right, catching the yarn with the right needle, and bringing it through to form a new loop.

From these two techniques comes thousands of stitch combinations.

Crochet Stitches

In crochet there are six basic stitches:

Stitch Abbreviation
Chain Stitch ch
Slip Stitch sl st
Single Crochet Stitch sc
Half Double Crochet hdc
Double Crochet Stitch dc
Treble Crochet Stitch tr

These basic stitches form the foundation of crochet. From here you can branch out into many stitch combinations.

So, which is best?

As with most things in life, the answer is, it depends. Below are some of my observations on using each technique.

CrochetKnitting
ProsTextiles are thicker, stronger, more durableKnitted projects are soft, stretchy and light
Only one live stitch at a timeThere are fewer stitches to learn
Can use a hook on more than one project at a timeThere are more resources available for knitting
Easier to fix a mistakeGood for clothing
More versitle than knitting
Does not use more yarn than knitting
CrochetKnitting
ConsClothing is more difficult to make and is less flatteringYou have more “live” stitches to keep track of
Less crochet realted materials Harder to make toys, home décor, etc..
Can’t use your needles on more than one project at a time

Can I use the same yarn for knitting and crochet?

This is an easy one. Yes, you use the same yarns. The results will vary by technique and stitch chosen. When starting out I recommend using the yarn recommend by the pattern you following. When you gain more experience you can branch out and use any yard you choose as long as you understand how the change in yarn size will affect the gauge, and thus the size and shape of your project.

Knitting with size 10 crochet thread
Knitting with size 10 linen crochet thread

In the example above I am knitting with size 10 crochet thread. This is a perfect example of using a material primarily used for crochet in knitting.

Benefits of both

Relaxing while knitting
Relaxing while knitting

When I first arrived in the US, I was bored and home sick, specially when my husband was at work. Crocheting helped me relieve the boredom, homesickness and general anxiety of being away from my familiar surroundings.

It also helped me over come the feeling of being isolated. I was able to use social media to connect with others who shared my passion for the hobby and eventually this lead to the creation of Lyn’s Crafts.

Does it matter that I choose crochet first? Not a all. Both provide hours of relaxation. I have recently started knitting and find it as enjoyable as crochet. So, from that perspective, it does not matter which you choose.

I hope this article gives you a general idea as to the differences between kitting and crochet. Please check back often as we are always uploading new content to our site.

Thanks for stopping by.

Lyn

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