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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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 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.
In crochet there are six basic stitches:
|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.
|Pros||Textiles are thicker, stronger, more durable||Knitted projects are soft, stretchy and light|
|Only one live stitch at a time||There are fewer stitches to learn|
|Can use a hook on more than one project at a time||There are more resources available for knitting|
|Easier to fix a mistake||Good for clothing|
|More versitle than knitting|
|Does not use more yarn than knitting|
|Cons||Clothing is more difficult to make and is less flattering||You 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.
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
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.