Knitting and Crochet — What’s the Difference?
Unless you’re a knitter or crocheter yourself, knowing which of these crafts are which can be difficult. And, when you’re just starting to decide what to learn first, it’s good to know what you’re letting yourself in for when you either learn knitting or crochet first!
What is the difference between knitting and crochet?
The main difference between knitting and crochet lies in the tools that each used to create a finished project. Knitting uses two or four knitting needles, a loom (for loom knitting) or a knitting machine, while crochet uses a single crochet hook.
Knitting also uses only two main stitches — knit and purl — to create a variety of different stitch patterns. Other stitches, like those used for lace knitting, include yarn over and slip slip knit.
Crochet, on the other hand, uses more than two main stitches — chain, slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet — to create a multitude of different patterns. Crochet also uses stitches that build on the double crochet (for example treble and double treble).
For most crochet stitches and patterns (unless it’s Tunisian crochet), there is only one active stitch that is held on the crochet hook.
When it comes to knitting, you have many active stitches that is kept on the needles and moved from one needle to the other as rows are knitted.
Which is easier to learn — knitting or crochet?
If you ask ten people this question, you’ll probably get ten different reasons why knitting or crochet is easier to learn than the other!
The basics of both knitting and crochet is easy to learn, although with knitting you can go a lot further only knowing the knit and purl stitches than if you only know two crochet stitches.
It is, however, easier to learn one of these at a time rather than trying to learn both at the same time and then getting frustrated. You’ll also soon see which of the two you prefer doing (or if you love them both equally and only stop knitting to crochet and vice versa).
Which is faster — knitting or crochet?
Crochet is usually the faster craft if you’re using the same weight of yarn for both knitting and crochet. This is always good to know when you have a last-minute gift you need to get done!
Of course, machine knitting and even loom knitting can be done faster than knitting by hand. Crochet, on the other hand, is always produced by hand and not by machines like some knitted fabrics are.
Knitting and crochet supplies – needles and hooks
For sock knitting, double-pointed needles (DPNs) can also be used. The DPNs are sold in sets of four or five, which are usually used together to knit in the round.
Knitting needles can be made from metal, bamboo, wood or plastic. Some knitters swear by one brand of needles, but it’s worthwhile to do your homework and before you invest in some knitting needles.
Loom knitting requires one to have special looms of different sizes to make a specific fabric; very much like French knitting. While French knitting makes a thin and round piece of fabric much like an i-cord, the looms used for loom knitting can be large enough to make afghans.
To crochet you need at least one crochet hook that is suitable for the weight of yarn you’re using for your project. It’s always a good idea to rather get an ergonomic crochet hook (that is to say, a crochet hook with a thicker handle) as this is more comfortable and helps to prevent repetitive strain injuries.
Knitting and crochet supplies — yarn and thread
One of the great things about knitting and crochet is that the supplies you need are almost the same!
While you either need knitting needles in different sizes or crochet hooks in different sizes, you can use the same yarn for both knitting and crochet. This also means that you can use KnitPal yarn for any team spirit pattern you want to, without worrying if it’s a crochet or knitting pattern!
Thread, however, are for the greater part used only for crochet and nothing thinner than a lace weight is used for knitting. You can even crochet with sewing thread if you use a tiny 0.6 mm crochet hook! This is usually called “micro crochet”.
The most common sizes for crochet thread, however, is 5 and 10. These threads are then also used to crochet doilies, tablecloths, Christening gowns and even bedspreads.
The finest knitting, on the other hand, is surely the knitted ring shawls — Shetland lace knitting where the entire shawl can be pulled through a wedding ring! (These are knitted in special 1-ply Shetland wool.)
On the other hand, both “arm knitting” and “arm crochet” is possible and uses extremely bulky yarn to create over-sized stitches to form blankets, throws, and even scatter cushion covers.
Knitting and crochet supplies — stitch markers, cutting tools, and blocking mats
When it comes to other supplies you may need for your knitting and crochet projects, most of them can be used for both types of craft.
- Stitch markers — If you’re using this type of stitch markers that can both “open” and “lock”, you can use them for both knitting and crochet.
- The same scissors can be used for both knitting and crochet. Ensure that the scissors are sharp and snag-free to get the best results when cutting a wide variety of yarns. Thread cutters like this beautiful jewelry-like one can also be used for crochet thread and lace weight to sock yarn.
- The same blocking mats and pins can also be used for knitting and crochet. Tip: If you don’t have blocking mats specifically made for knitting, use this type of children’s foam mat.