I always get asked which is better, knitting or crochet. And for non crafters I’m sure they’re looking for a simple answer but in reality there isn’t. Although they both use yarn, there a differences between the two and each has its own set of strength and weaknesses.
Each swatch is only 12 rows. Such a difference in height between the knit and crochet stitches.
- Uses two needles to achieve finished product. Each hand holds a needle and the yarn is held in either the right or the left hand depending on comfort and how you were taught.
- All of your stitches are live. Meaning that all the stitches that you’re working with are on your needles. The downside is if you make an error you have to work your way back to it or rip back a few rows.
- You work the front (right) and then you turn your work and work the back (wrong) side of your project. Most have to drop the yarn that is being held to do this and then you set up your work in your hands again.
- Uses less yarn but on the other hand it’s usually more time consuming.
- Each stitch is approximately the same height regardless of the pattern you’re using. Some stitches create a tighter product width-wise but the height remains the same.
Garter Stitch on the left and Stockinette Stitch on the right
- Uses one hook to achieve finished product. The hook is held in your right hand while the yarn and the project is being held in your left hand.
- The four main stitches are all different heights. You could finish a project faster using triple crochets because of their height than you could with single crochets.
- You only have one live stitch and that’s the stitch your working on. This is great because you only have to rip back to were you’ve made a mistake then pick up where you left off.
- Each side that you’re working is considered the front (right) side and this eliminates the need to drop your hook or yarn. In theory you could work an entire project with dropping either.
- Uses more yarn because of the height of the stitches. However, it takes less time to finish a project for the same reason.
From left to right: Single Crochet, Half Double Crochet, Double Crochet and Triple Crochet
Knitting or Crochet: Which is better?
Taking all of this into consideration I can still say that I don’t have a favourite. However, whichever you learn first is usually the one you stick with or prefer. The coordination needed to handle two needles as opposed to one hook can be tricky and not easily interchangeable but it’s doable.
I first learned to knit (way back in grade 4) but desperately wanted to learn crochet. I tried books and videos but I wasn’t getting it at all. The only way I was able to learn was to take a class. It’s extremely helpful to have someone show me exactly how to hold the hook and the yarn, how to work the stitches and where I was making mistakes. Once I had the basics, I took a few Craftsy classes to increase my skills and now I love crocheting as much as knitting.
Choosing whether or not to knit or crochet an item depends on what I’m making. For the most part, I prefer the look of knit stitches. So if I’m making a sweater or socks (I will eventually), I choose to knit them. I also knit hats and mitts if they’re for babies or kids where the stitches have to be tighter together.
However, I do prefer to crochet blankets and stuffed animals. The blankets crochet up so quickly that it’s sometimes frustrating to knit them. As for stuffed animals, I find it easier to shape when I crochet. Also the stuffed animals look better when crocheted because the increases and decreases aren’t as noticeable.
A weird quirk that I have is liking written knit patterns but preferring charts for crochet patterns. Typically, you’d prefer one or the other for both crafts but I’m weird like that.
How do you choose when to knit or crochet?