Differences between crochet and knitting
Day to day at our humble little rabbit hole, we have many cute little humans coming in and ask “what is the difference between crochet and knitting?”.
But Angie is a newbie at knitting and isn’t fit to tell you all the differences between those 2 techniques although she really loves sharing about things! And finally, Angie has an idea!
Angie contacted Shu Ning from Momshoo to ask “what exactly is the difference huh?”. Shu Ning, or we call her Shu here, knits and embroiders everyday, occasionally dabbles into crochet when required in her projects. Shu told me about her hearsay about crochet too. And we ended up with lots of question marks above our heads.
Annoyed by our lack of knowledge, we decided to do a mini experiment to debunk the myths of crochet and knitting.
Shu knits and embroiders since a young age and continues on with her mom to create this lovely business! You may read her bio below to find out more!
Momshoo is a mother-and-daughter craft duo that works with traditional techniques of embroidery, hand-sewing and knitting. We design whimsical lifestyle products including pouches, home décor items and brooches. Momshoo is all about handmade items that are unique and personal, very much like a home-made gift from a friend.
Since 2014, we have also been holding workshops for participants to enjoy crafting with us stitch by stitch.
Read more about Momshoo here.
Below, we have broken down some similarities and differences to give you a better insight.
Crochet VS Knitting
Crochet has a number of basic stitches – single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), double crochet (dc), treble crochet (tr), chain (ch), slip stitch (slst). There are many different types of basic stitches, but you don’t need all of them to create a project. In fact, to make a simple amigurumi with rounded shapes, you just need to do sc throughout the whole project. These basic stitches can be combined to form complex patterns.
Starting a crochet project
To start a crochet project, you will need to learn how to do magic ring for round-based projects, or make a slip knot and chains for flat or oval projects.
Knitting has only 2 basic stitches – knit (k) and purl (p). Everything else is a modification and permutation of these two stitches.
Starting a knitting project
To start a knitting project, you will need to learn how to start (cast-on) and end (cast-off/bind-off).
Types of tools
Both crochet hooks and knitting needles come in various sizes. Their sizes are based on the diameter of the tool. The thicker the hook/needles, the thicker the yarn you’ll be working on, the bigger the stitches.
Length of crochet hook
Crochet hooks are about similar lengths. Unless you’re working on a tunisian project, otherwise it doesn’t matter what length of hook you’re using for any project.
Crochet hooks come in various materials. There’s metal, plastic and wooden hooks. Only metal hooks have a rubber grip to make your crocheting process much more pleasant. Metal hooks are also longer lasting thus it is a good investment to spend more on a metal hook than a wooden one. You may read more about the differences between Tulip and Clover hooks, the best hooks from Japan.
Length of knitting needle
Knitting needles comes in different lengths, depending on what projects you’re making. If you’re making a cardigan, you’ll need a longer needle to hold the stitches.
Knitting needles come in various materials too. There’s plastic, wooden and metal. They do not have a rubber grip as you need to use the full length of the needle for the project. Knitting needles comes in different variations – straight, circular, double-pointed needles. Shu mentioned that straight needles are recommended for beginners.
Apart from using commercially-made needles, Shu also tried knitting with toothpicks! It was during one of her vacations that she had an idea to do something but didn’t have her needles with her. Thus the toothpicks from a store comes in handy. But the splints in the toothpicks made it difficult to work on.
Have you knitted with toothpicks before? Share your toothpick projects with us!
Darning needles, stitch markers and sewing pins.
Darning needles, knitting markers, counter, cable needles and crochet hook (to pick up dropped stitches).
Crochet outcomes tend to be stiffer compared to knitting. Knitted pieces tend to be softer and therefore it is great for wearables that needs drape. Whereas for crochet pieces, you can make sturdier objects such as bags and baskets that gives shape and structure.
Knitted pieces are way stretchier than crochet pieces! The stretchability depends on the knots created and crochet stitches are way denser than knitting stitches.
Which is more difficult? Crochet or knitting? There is no conclusion between Shu and I. I like to crochet, but I only picked up baby steps in knitting recently and thus I felt that it’s difficult. Whereas Shu uses crochet to fix dropped stitches, and she definitely has good basics in crochet, just that she didn’t delve much into it.
We have asked a few of our students who have experienced both. Some might already be a pro in knitting, and when they picked up crochet, they felt that it’s so much easier. The difficult part about knitting is to fix your dropped stitches. Whereas, some might find crochet difficult due to the coordination between both hands, and maintaining good tension.
You may read about Juliet, one of our students turned trainer, shared a little about her knitting experiences before sticking to crochet. Feel free to let us know if you would like to share your story!
In conclusion, be it knitting or crochet, these 2 techniques give very different outcomes and cannot be replaced with one another. It’s a matter of building your muscle memory and things will become so much easier later on! So keep practicing everyone!
Which is faster?
Momshoo is quick to say that crochet is faster. Whereas I always thought that knitting is faster. So we are going to prove it by doing a little ‘race’ =D
Can amigurumi be made with machine?
Sadly, nope. As the form is 3D and spherical, it is not possible. However, you can knit flat pieces with the industrial machine, followed by hand-sewing the pieces together to form 3D shapes.
If I knit, can I use the same yarns for crochet?
Definitely yes! You can even knit and crochet plastic! So long as it is a strand of material, anything can be crocheted or knitted.
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Does your non-dominant hand affects crochet/knitting?
Knitting requires both hands, so whether you are a right-hander or left-hander, it doesn’t make much difference. But some left-handers may find the continental style of knitting easier than the English style. Basically, the only difference between the two styles is how the yarn is being ‘fed’ in the knots.
However for crochet, you still require both hands like knitting, but both hands serves different purposes. Your dominant hand will be in charge of the crochet hook to make the knots, while your left hand will be controlling the tension and holding the crochet piece in place.
Can you crochet / knit blind-folded?
Some of our students came in with this question, and I was like “nah! you can’t.” You still need to see the stitches where you’re putting your hook into for crochet. Whereas Shu replied quite matter-o-factly that it’s actually possible for knitting! But you might drop stitches if you’re not careful.
Are y’all interested to see a blindfold competition between crochet and knitting? Comment below if you are!
Crochet / Knitted projects in your daily life
You see knitted projects almost everywhere you go! In departmental stores and fashion boutiques. The sweaters, T-shirts and socks are all knitted. You hardly see a crochet garment. One of those reasons is that garments can be knitted with the commercial knitting machines, but there’s currently no invention to crochet garments with machines. Yet.
Are you satisfied with our comparisons? Perhaps you are not so convinced yet! Thus, we will do a mini ‘race’ and share our experiment data with you! Click here to find out more. You will be able to find a free Seal amigurumi pattern (knit and crochet versions) which is the basis of our experiment.
If you would like us to feature you, please write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.