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Knitting vs Crochet: What’s the Difference?


Klara Nilsson | Updated on June 30, 2022

Here you’ll find the differences between knitting and crochet explained along with the pros and cons of both crafts. We’ll explain which option is easiest, fastest, and cheapest, as well as the types of patterns each craft creates. If you’re looking to start a new hobby but you’re not sure which to choose, you’ll find everything you need to make an informed decision.
Knitting vs Crochet

Knitting and crochet both use needles and yarn to create woven fabrics, accessories, and garments from scratch.

While the end results can appear similar, the two crafts are actually quite different from each other, and you may be better suited to learn the tools and techniques of one craft over the other. So which one is right for you?

This is a debate that has been raging for decades in the crafting community. Truthfully, both knitting and crocheting have their pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which you prefer. If you’re lucky, you might find that you like both.

In this guide, we’ll explain the pros and cons of knitting versus crochet, along with the differences between them. You’ll be able to compare the tools and skills involved in each craft along with their difficulty level, speed, and average cost.

If you can match those with your personal preferences, you’ll be in a better position to figure out which craft you’d like to start with.

Summary: The Differences Between Knitting and Crochet

  • Knitting uses two long needles to form stitches that move from one needle to another. Crochet uses a single hook to form loops directly onto the fabric.
  • Crochet is generally easier than knitting. Knitting uses two needles and involves multiple live stitches. It’s also more likely to unravel while you’re working than crochet, which can make it harder to work with.
  • Both crafts can be used to create a variety of items, but there are more knitting patterns than crochet patterns. Knitting patterns also vary more in style and technique, which makes knitting more versatile than crochet.
  • Traditional crochet creates a bulky fabric with small holes, while knitting creates a softer fabric with denser stitchwork. For this reason, knitting is better than crochet for delicate items such as soft sweaters, socks, and gloves. Crochet is better for bulky, textured items such as hats, toys, and baskets.
  • There are two basic stitches in knitting, and five basic stitches in crochet. However, most knitting patterns involve additional techniques and stitch combinations, which means knitting is usually slower than crochet.

In the rest of this guide, we’ll explain the differences between knitting and crocheting in more detail. You’ll find out which is harder, which takes more yarn, and which one’s faster, as well as how to tell if something is knitted or crocheted.

Both of these crafts require time and practice to master, so it’s sensible to get to grips with the benefits and drawbacks of each before you decide which one to learn.

If you’re a visual learner, you can also try taking a course on the basic techniques of knitting and crochet, which might help you decide which craft you prefer.

What’s In This Guide?

What Are the Similarities Between Knitting and Crochet?

Before we outline the differences between knitting and crocheting, it’s important to explain their similarities. Though they’re completely different crafts, there are also several important attributes that unite them.

Knitting and crochet are both fiber arts that use yarn to create clothing, accessories, and fabrics. In both cases, projects are created by following a designer’s pattern using charts, standard abbreviations, and specific terminology.

Both crafts are relatively simple and inexpensive to pick up. All you need to get started is a crochet hook or knitting needles, a pattern, and some yarn. Whichever option you choose, you’ll be able to express your personal style, give thoughtful gifts, and build a sustainable, slow-fashion wardrobe with your own two hands.

One of the biggest advantages of both crocheting and knitting is their ability to relax you. Though they use different tools, they both involve hours working with your hands in a repetitive manner, which can be very restorative.

Finally, a lot of knitting techniques require a crochet hook, and vice versa. Whichever one you pick, you’ll benefit from dabbling in the other craft as well.

As you’ll see from the differences outlined below, neither one is objectively better than the other. There is not a single accessory, item of clothing, or decoration that you cannot produce with either craft. So when it comes to choosing between the two, there’s no wrong decision.

What’s the Difference Between Knitting and Crocheting?

The main difference between knitting and crocheting is the technique involved. Knitting uses two long needles to form loops that move from one needle to another. The stitches are held on the needle and the fabric is created by building rows on top of eachother. Crochet uses a single hook to form loops directly onto the fabric. These loops are created one at a time, and they’re more like knots than stitches.

Knitted vs Crocheted Fabric Swatches
While knitting stitches resemble a ‘v’ shape, crochet stitches resemble small knots.

Knitting uses two needles simultaneously and is more likely to unravel while you work, which means it’s usually considered more difficult than crochet for complete beginners. However, there are only two basic knitting stitches compared to crochet’s five, and it doesn’t take long to learn them.

Crochet uses bulkier yarn and bigger stitches in general, which means it’s usually faster than knitting. In many cases, knitting patterns use a wider variety of advanced stitch combinations and techniques, which can take longer to work up.

The resulting items look different, too. Crochet creates a denser, more textured fabric than knitting. This makes crochet better for sturdy items like hats or accessories, and knitting better for delicate items like soft sweaters and scarves.

In the table below, you can compare the pros and cons of knitting versus crochet based on their difficulty level, speed, versatility, and much more. Remember, though: the winner will always depend on your personal preferences.

The differences between knitting and crochet compared.
Attribute Knitting Crochet Explanation
Difficulty

Loser

Winner

Knitting involves two needles, dozens of possible techniques, and more live stitches, while crochet involves only one needle and one live stitch.
Speed

Loser

Winner

Crochet stitches are usually bigger, which means the fabric works up quicker. Knitting can be slow even using big needles and bulky yarn.
Portability

Loser

Winner

You can’t take knitting needles out until the project is completed. You can take crochet needles out without the work unraveling, which makes it more portable.
Fixing Mistakes

Loser

Winner

It is easier to fix a mistake in crochet by unraveling. In knitting, it can be difficult to pick stitches up on your needles after unraveling.
Fabric

Winner

Loser

Knitting might be more complicated, but it can also create softer, stretchier, more delicate fabrics that are more flattering as clothing.
No. of Patterns

Winner

Loser

Generally speaking, there are more knitting patterns than crochet patterns, simply because the craft is more popular.
Versatility

Winner

Loser

You can create a huge number of garments, accessories, and decorations with knitting. You can do the same with crochet, but they will be bulkier and you won’t get the fit, stretch, or drape of knitwear.
Costs

Equal

Equal

Both crafts will cost between $30 and $50 for beginners. You’ll need fewer tools for crochet, but the costs even out eventually.
Yarn Usage

Equal

Equal

Knitting tends to use slightly less yarn than crochet. However, this depends entirely on the project or pattern you’re working on.
Colorwork

Loser

Winner

It’s easier to change colors in crochet without the yarn tangling, as you can add a new ball of yarn at any point in the process.

As you can see, knitting and crocheting are not the same thing. In the rest of this section, we’ll explain each of these attributes in detail so you can learn which one is faster, easier, and more cost effective – amongst other things.

Here are some of the main differences between knitting and crocheting:

1. Stitching Technique

Summary: Crocheting involves creating one stitch at a time in a chain of small knots, graduating around from a single stitch. It’s achieved using one hook and happens directly onto the item you’re crocheting. Knitting involves transferring loops from one needle to another to create rows of “V” shaped stitches. One needle holds the stitches, while the other creates new stitches.

Knitting and crochet both involve pulling yarn through loops to create stitches. However, the stitching techniques involved in each craft are completely different.

In knitting, you hold one needle in each hand and create a series of loops on the needles. These loops hang on the needle and are transferred from one needle to the other, loop by loop.

You use one needle to store loops, and the point of the other needle to scoop out new loops. This process is repeated to create rows of stitches that make up your knitted fabric. At any given time, there are several active stitches on your needles. At the end of the process, you “cast off” to remove your needles from the work.

In crochet, you hold a hook in one hand and create a series of loops directly onto the item you’re crocheting. By inserting the hook into different areas of the fabric and pulling the yarn through, crocheters create one stitch at a time in a chain of small knots.

knitting vs crochet stitch technique
Knitting stitches are held on the needles, while crochet stitches are made directly onto the fabric.

Most knitting is done with two basic stitches: the knit and purl stitches. By manipulating and expanding upon these techniques in different ways, you can create different stitch patterns and fabrics. Crochet has far more stitches than knitting does, and they don’t always rely on the same basic techniques.

As a result of these techniques, knitted fabric has a very different structure and appearance than crocheted fabric. Basic knitting stitches resemble the shape of a letter “V”, while crochet stitches resemble small knots. Knitted fabric tends to appear woven and stretchy, instead of knotted and stiff.

2. Needles, Tools, and Yarn

Summary: Knitting always uses two needles to create stitches, while crochet always uses a single hook. Knitting needles come in multiple different types and sizes, while crochet needles only come in multiple sizes.

There are three different types of knitting needle: straight, circular, and double pointed. Straight knitting needles are used to create flat pieces with a back-and-forth movement. Circular and double pointed needles allow you to knit in a tubular shape, which is ideal for socks and sweaters.

There’s only one type of crochet hook, but they do come in a range of different sizes.

Knitting Needles vs Crochet Needles
Knitting needles compared to crochet hooks.

You choose the size of your knitting needles or crochet hook based on the size of the stitches you need and the yarn weight you’re using. Thin needles or a small hook won’t work well with a heavy yarn weight, and vice versa. The specific pattern you’re following will determine the type of needle you use and the size you need.

Often, one basic set of hooks will be enough for most crochet projects. By contrast, you will find that having one set of needles is not always enough for most knitting projects.

Another major difference between the two crafts is the number of tools you’ll need. In crochet, there’s no transferring of stitches between one tool to another. You can take your hook out of the project and even have multiple projects ongoing that all use the same hook. This means you don’t usually need any other tools, even for the most complex patterns.

By contrast, you can’t take your knitting needles out of your work while it’s still ongoing. For this reason, knitting patterns often require additional tools to hold your stitches in place or pick up new stitches. You may even need to use a crochet hook to fix mistakes in your knitting.

Finally, while machines can knit, machines cannot crochet.

Here’s a list comparing the tools used in knitting vs crocheting:
The different tools used in knitting vs crochet.
Knitting Tools
Crochet Tools
  • Knitting Needles
  • Knitting Pattern
  • Yarn
  • Stitch Counter
  • Stitch Markers
  • Measuring Tape
  • Crochet Hook
  • Crochet Pattern
  • Yarn
  • Stitch Counter

Does Crochet Use More Yarn Than Knitting?

On average, crochet uses approximately 25% more yarn than knitting. Crochet typically creates bigger stitches than knitting, which means it uses more yarn for a given area of fabric.

Of course, the amount of yarn you use will vary wildly between projects. Though it is true that crochet uses more yarn per square inch, knitting and crochet will generally use the same type and amount of yarn for similar projects. Put simply, don’t let this be a factor in choosing one craft over another.

3. Patterns, Garments, and Fabric Types

Summary: There are more knitting patterns available than crochet patterns. Crocheted fabric is bulky and holds its shape well, which makes it better suited to sturdy items like amigurumi, toys, and home decorations. Knitted fabric is much finer and more flexible than crocheted fabric, which makes it better for close-fitting clothing like sweaters and socks.

It’s worth noting that knitting and crocheting are both capable of producing stylish clothing, accessories, and home decorations. However, some items are more suited to knitting than crochet, and vice versa.

For most projects, there are more knitting patterns available than crochet patterns. Knitting patterns tend to offer a greater variety of styles and garment types, which makes them more popular amongst designers. In fact, there are 53% more knitting patterns than crochet patterns available in Ravelry’s pattern database.

Most people associate hand-made clothing with knitting. Knitting creates a soft, flexible fabric that’s better suited to close-fitting clothing like sweaters, socks, scarves, and dresses. Crocheting creates a bulkier, more textured fabric, which is better suited to sturdy items like bags, hats, and rugs.

Knitted vs Crocheted Sweater
A knitted sweater (left) compared to a crocheted sweater (right).

Crochet stitches are mostly created by piercing through previous rows, which results in a thicker and bumpier fabric with more texture and holes in it. Adjacent stitches aren’t usually connected directly, which means it’s less stretchy than knitting, too.

Since the fabric is a lot denser, crochet can be used to support 3-dimensional fabrics and shapes a lot easier. This makes crochet better for strong, durable items like toys, amigurumi, or home decorations.

You can knit these items too, and they’ll typically look even more delicate than they do with crochet – but they will also be much harder to create. Toys are amongst the easiest crochet projects for beginners, but they’re some of the most difficult patterns in knitting, even for experts.

Likewise, you can crochet a sweater if you want to, but most people will prefer the smooth, uniform look of a knitted sweater. If you want to fill your wardrobe with a huge variety of handmade clothing, then knitting is the better choice.

Which Patterns and Projects Are Best for Knitting vs Crochet?

You can create anything with either knitting or crochet. However, knitting is better for softer, finer garments, and crochet is better for projects that need a thicker, sturdier fabric. Of course, every pattern and project is different, and it will ultimately come down to your personal preference.

Here’s a table comparing the best patterns and projects for each craft:
The patterns and projects best suited to knitting vs crochet.
Projects Best Suited to Knitting
Projects Best Suited to Crochet
  • Sweaters
  • Scarves
  • Cardigans
  • Baby Clothes
  • Socks
  • Gloves
  • Baby Blankets
  • Beanies
  • Shawls, Shrugs, and Wraps
  • Dresses
  • Toys
  • Dishcloths
  • Bags
  • Amigurumi
  • Stiff Bucket Hats
  • Blankets
  • Rugs
  • Flowers/Motifs

Blankets are a particularly contentious topic when it comes to knitting vs crochet. If you want to create a thick, sturdy blanket that’s similar to a throw, it’s recommended to use crochet. If you’re looking to create a soft, fine blanket for babies or keeping yourself warm, it’s recommended to use knitting.

The crafting process itself is also worth considering here. Blankets can grow to be quite large, which can be a heavy weight on your needles if you’re knitting. Using crochet, you’ll be able to stop at any point in the process, or even construct the blanket out of smaller segments without seaming them together later on.

If you’re just starting out, blanket projects are a good place to start in both crafts. Though crocheting might be slightly easier, you’ll usually find a wider range of blanket knitting patterns out there, and you can even find chunky knitted blanket kits available that include all of the materials you need to get started.



Is Knitting or Crocheting Easier?

Many people find crocheting easier than knitting because it involves a single hook and only one active stitch. Crochet stitches are very stable and you don’t have to move them back and forth between needles, which means they’re much less likely to unravel by mistake than knitting stitches are.

Handling two needles and multiple live stitches requires a degree of dexterity that some knitting beginners can find difficult. If you’re not careful, knitting stitches can fall off your needles or unravel at any time. This makes crocheting easier for absolute beginners, or for adults who lack fine motor skills in their hands.

It’s also much harder to correct your mistakes in knitting than it is in crochet. Fixing knitting mistakes often involves undoing rows or carefully using a crochet hook, whereas fixing mistakes in crochet is as easy as pulling on the yarn to unravel the faulty stitches.

There’s also a differentiation between the “right side” and the “wrong side” of your work in knitting, which isn’t so much of an issue in crochet.

That’s not to say that knitting has to be difficult, though. Unlike crochet, knitting has just two basic stitches: the knit stitch and purl stitch. Almost every other technique is simply a combination of these two, which means it’s very easy to learn the basics.

In general, it’s very easy to knit smooth, uniform fabrics in rectangles or tubes, but it’s considerably harder to knit more elaborate shapes or structures.

Despite these differences, it’s important to note that advanced knitting or crochet projects will be very similar in difficulty. While a beginner might find crochet easier at first, the differences are negligible after a short while.

Truthfully, both knitting and crochet have a learning curve. Each craft is complex and enjoyable to learn in its own right, with different patterns and techniques that please different people. Most often, the one you find easiest is simply the one you have the most experience with.

Is Colorwork Easier In Knitting or Crochet?

There are some techniques that are much easier to do in knitting than in crochet, such as cables, fair isle colorwork, and ribbing. Crocheting is well-known for patchwork granny squares and other multicolored patterns, which are more difficult to recreate with knitting.

While it’s possible to crochet cables, they won’t look as crisp, and advanced cables will be quite difficult. The same principle applies to knitting with intricate colorwork – it’s possible, but you’ll usually have to use advanced techniques like Fair Isle or Intarsia.

Once you’ve mastered knitting patterns with intarsia, you’ll be able to transfer almost any design onto your knitwear.

Is Knitting or Crocheting Faster?

Crocheting is usually faster than knitting. Crochet stitches tend to be larger than their knitting counterparts, which means it takes less time to create the same surface area. You can also stack multiple stitches on top of each other in crochet, which makes it even faster.

Forming a crochet stitch is also easier because it’s done with a hook, rather than a needle. This is the main reason why most beginners find crochet quicker to learn than knitting.

Special speed knitting techniques will allow you to move on at a tremendous speed – forming 2 stitches per second. Either way, each of them can be fast but they will excel in different areas.

Which Is More Expensive, Knitting or Crochet?

Whether you choose knitting or crochet, you’ll still have to pay for needles or hooks, yarn, and some additional tools. Yarn costs the same amount, and in most cases, a beginner knitting kit will cost roughly the same amount as the equivalent in crochet.

If you’re just getting started, you don’t need every single piece of equipment though – you’ll simply need a pattern, some yarn, and a pair of needles or crochet hooks.

Once you’ve got some hooks and yarn, there aren’t many more crochet tools you’ll need. That means you can create almost any beginner or intermediate crochet pattern for as little as $50. Crochet can use more yarn than knitting in the long run though, which can add up over time.

As you progress in knitting, it can get considerably more expensive than crochet. If you want to knit a wide range of projects, you’ll need a variety of knitting needle types and sizes, as well as a range of yarns and specialized tools. You’ll have to invest in stitch markers to keep track of your progress, and blocking mats to block your knitting once it’s finished. All of these costs can quickly add up.

If you’re committed to knitting, the most cost-efficient investment you can make is to purchase a set of interchangeable knitting needles. However, this can cost up to $100 or more upfront.

To summarize: knitting uses more tools than crochet, which means it can be more expensive in the long run. However, knitting uses less yarn than crochet, which is usually the biggest cost factor.



The Pros and Cons of Knitting

Knitting is a highly versatile craft that only involves two basic stitches. It creates a soft, stretchy fabric that’s ideal for sweaters and other knitted clothing. There are lots of knitting patterns available, but it can be difficult for beginners to learn and it may involve additional tools.

Here’s a table comparing the pros and cons of knitting:
The advantages and disadvantages of knitting.

Knitting Pros

Knitting Cons

  • Only two basic stitches
  • Creates a softer, finer fabric
  • Better for most garments and clothing
  • There are lots of knitting patterns available
  • Highly versatile
  • Most yarn stores have more knitting supplies
  • Knitting uses less yarn
  • Can involve multiple styles
  • Can be difficult to learn
  • Harder to fix mistakes
  • Slower than crochet
  • Difficult to use needles for two projects simultaneously
  • Colorwork can be complex
  • Large number of additional tools

Here’s a more detailed list of the pros and cons of knitting vs crochet:

The Advantages of Knitting Over Crochet

1. Knitted Fabric Makes Better Clothing

This is arguably the biggest advantage of knitting over crochet. Knitting creates a soft, stretchy fabric that is much better than crochet for most types of clothing. Knitted fabric denser and finer, which makes it the better craft for delicate garments that need to fit well.

If you dream of filling your wardrobe with handmade sweaters, cardigans, socks, and gloves, then knitting is the better craft.

Most popular sweater styles are usually knitted, too. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be able to knit more sophisticated designs including cable sweaters, ribbed sweaters, and sweaters with intricate colorwork, too.

2. There Are More Knitting Patterns Available

Knitting offers more variety than crochet. You can find a knitting pattern for almost anything – and you can even knit the same things you can crochet. What’s more, knitting patterns tend to be more versatile and trendier than crochet patterns.

Knitting doesn’t just offer a wider variety of patterns, it’s simply more popular than crochet in general. As a result, most yarn stores will cater more to knitting than crochet. You’ll be able to find supplies and patterns more easily and in more places.

3. There Are Fewer Basic Knitting Stitches

There are lots of different styles and techniques in knitting, but there are fewer stitch types overall.

Unlike crocheting, you don’t need to learn a lot of stitches and techniques to master the basics of knitting. In fact, there are only two stitches you’ll need to learn: knit stitch and purl stitch. You won’t need a lot of skill to get comfortable with these either – most knitters can get to grips with them in a week or two.

Once you’ve learned the basics, it’s easy to follow a simple knitting pattern without paying too much attention. If it’s simple stockinette, you can even watch TV without looking down at your knitting too often.

The Disadvantages of Knitting Over Crochet

1. Knitting Can Be Harder to Learn

Knitting may have fewer stitches overall, but it can be harder to learn for absolute beginners. Working with two needles can feel complicated at first, and it’s much easier for stitches to fall off knitting needles than crochet hooks.

Unlike crochet, knitting also involves multiple live stitches, which can be difficult to keep track of. If you’ve cast on thirty stitches, that’s thirty stitches you’ll need to pay attention to and move from one needle to another.

It’s also hard for beginners to consistently meet their target knitting gauge. If you don’t knit each row evenly, your knitting can appear inconsistently tight or loose, which isn’t great for motivation.

2. Knitting Mistakes Are Difficult to Fix

Every knitter makes mistakes, even if they’ve been knitting for years. You might accidentally drop your stitches, use a technique at the wrong point in the pattern, or lose track of your stitch count. These issues can be hard to spot, and very frustrating to fix.

In fact, it’s much harder to fix mistakes in knitting than it is in crochet. Often, the only solution is to unravel or rip back your work to the row before the mistake. The later you notice the problem, the more stitches you’ll have to undo to resolve it. This is frustrating and time consuming for beginners and expert knitters alike.

Unfortunately, knitting mistakes look more obvious, too. Due to the smooth and uniform nature of the fabric, it’s much easier to spot anomalies.

3. Knitting Is Slower Than Crochet

Knitting is usually much slower than crocheting, as it takes more stitches to create the same amount of fabric. You can knit a project with chunky yarn and large needles in a few hours, but finishing an adult-sized sweater using fine or medium-weight yarn can take several weeks.

The results are usually worth it, but if you like quick projects or you don’t have a lot of spare time, try crochet first.

4. Knitting Requires More Supplies

If you want to work on a variety of patterns, you’ll need knitting needles in several types and sizes. If you’re knitting multiple projects at once, you may even need multiple pairs of needles of the same size and type. Purchasing these can be expensive, and they can be inconvenient to store.

Knitting involves more additional tools and accessories than crochet, too. As you progress, you’ll need stitch markers, a needle gauge, stitch holders, needle protectors, and maybe even more. It can be nice to build a collection, but the cost adds up over time.

5. You Can’t Use Knitting Needles for Two Projects Simultaneously

This is more of an inconvenience than a true disadvantage, but you can’t use the same pair of knitting needles for two projects simultaneously. Once you’ve cast onto a pair of needles, it’s very difficult to take them out until the project is finished.

If you’re partway through a project and you need the same needle size for something else, you’ll have to purchase another set of needles or transfer your stitches over to a holder.

The Pros and Cons of Crochet

Crochet is an easy craft that involves five basic stitches. You work with one crochet stitch at a time, each of which resembles a small knot. It creates a sturdy, textured fabric that’s ideal for toys and home decorations. Crochet is quicker than knitting, but it’s less versatile and often uses more yarn.

Here’s a table comparing the pros and cons of crochet:
The advantages and disadvantages of crochet.

Crochet Pros

Crochet Cons

  • Can be easier for beginners to learn
  • Faster than knitting
  • Easier to fix mistakes
  • Better for toys, decorations, and lacework
  • Uses less supplies
  • Worse for clothing
  • Less versatile
  • Uses more yarn than knitting
  • Fewer crochet patterns available

Here’s a more detailed list of the pros and cons of crochet vs knitting:

The Advantages of Crochet Over Knitting

1. Crocheting Can Be Easier for Beginners

Most beginners will find the basics of crochet easier to learn. You only need to use one hand, and you don’t need to worry about stitches falling off your needles.

There’s only one active stitch at a time in crochet too, so you don’t have to pay attention to multiple stitches at once. Most people will find it easier to keep track of one live stitch rather than twenty or more.

Crochet uses five basic stitches: chain stitch, single crochet stitch, half double crochet stitch, double crochet stitch, and slip stitch. While there are more stitches in crochet than knitting, you can finish most beginner patterns using simple chain stitch and the basic “yarn over hook” technique.

Unlike knitting, you can also use the same crochet hook for multiple projects simultaneously. Simply take the hook out, put a marker on the loop, and return to it whenever you’d like.

2. Crochet Is Faster Than Knitting

Crochet stitches tend to be larger than knitting stitches, which means you’ll make more progress in every row. As a result, crochet patterns tend to work up much faster than their knitting equivalents.

If you’re crocheting an afghan or blanket, you’ll usually be able to finish your project in an evening or two, whereas knitting the same item could take weeks.

3. It’s Easier to Fix Mistakes

Crochet is much more forgiving than knitting. If you make a mistake, you can simply unravel your knots until you reach the issue, then tighten them back up. You can rip your work back as far as you need to without the risk of losing any stitches in the process.

Mistakes are harder to spot in crochet, too. The textured fabric hides any inconsistencies, so if you make a small mistake here and there, you can ignore it and keep on working.

4. Crocheting Is Better for Toys and Decorations

Crocheted fabric is denser and sturdier than knitted fabric. This makes it better for strong three-dimensional shapes and patterns like amigurumi toys, baskets, and bags. You can make the same items with knitting, but the patterns are much more complicated and time consuming.

You can also create motifs, lacework, and other free-form designs much easier with crochet – all of which is quite difficult to do in knitting.

Sometimes a chunkier fabric is what you need. If you want easy lace patterns and sturdy shapes, crochet is the better craft.

5. You’ll Need Fewer Supplies

All you’ll need to start crocheting is some yarn and a hook. These hooks are fairly small, and much more portable than knitting needles.

You can use the same crochet hook in multiple sizes, so you’ll only ever need one hook in every size. That means a very small collection of tools will be enough to create the majority of crochet patterns.

Of course, a few other tools will eventually be useful. You might need stitch markers, a measuring tape, and some scissors, but you’ll need much fewer materials overall.

The Disadvantages of Crochet Over Knitting

1. Crochet Is Worse For Clothing

Crocheted fabric is bulkier and stiffer than knitted fabric. While this works well for lacework, knitted garments offer better drape and are generally more flattering. This is especially true for socks and gloves, which generally require a finer, stretchier material.

Of course, you can crochet a sweater if you want to, but it will be bulkier and less delicate than a knitted one.

Clothing with clearly-defined colorwork is usually created with knitting, too. Colorwork is technically much easier with crochet, but sophisticated designs with neat color separations are usually knitted with intarsia, not crochet.

2. Crochet Uses More Yarn

Solid crocheted fabric uses around 30% more yarn than the equivalent knitted fabric. This will ultimately depend on the pattern you’re following, but crochet stitches tend to be bigger and less yarn-efficient than knitting stitches.

This can be a good thing if you need to get through your yarn stash, but it can get expensive over time.

3. Crochet Is Less Popular

Crochet may have grown more popular in recent years, but there are still more knitting patterns available. You’ll be able to find yarn just as easily, but finding good patterns in a variety of styles is much more difficult.

Most stores cater better to knitting, too. You’ll be able to find everything you need for crochet online, but if you like the idea of buying your supplies locally, you may be better off choosing knitting.

4. You May Need to Concentrate More

Crochet may involve fewer tools than knitting, but you need to pay more attention while you work. There’s only one active stitch on your hook at any time, so it’s important you put it in the right place for every stitch. It can involve more counting too, which makes it more difficult to work mindlessly while you watch TV.



Should I Learn Knitting or Crochet?

Crochet is best for absolute beginners seeking simplicity. It’s very easy to pick up the basics, and the tools and techniques involved are minimal. However, if you’re looking to create your own clothing, knitting is the better choice. There are more tools involved overall, but the pattern designs are more sophisticated, especially in intermediate to advanced stages.

You should learn knitting if:

  • You want to create your own clothing.
  • You prefer soft, stretchy, smooth fabrics.
  • You enjoy learning to use new tools and techniques.
  • You’re patient – knitting can take time and dedication.
  • You want to choose from lots of patterns and ideas.

You should learn crochet if:

  • You want to create toys, home decorations, or baskets.
  • You prefer strong, rigid fabrics with more texture.
  • You enjoy working through projects quickly.
  • You make lots of mistakes, and want to fix them easily.
  • You’re creative, and don’t mind altering patterns to suit your preferences.

We recommend trying both crafts to find out which you prefer. Some people prefer the looseness of crochet, while others take comfort in the methodical structure of knitting. It doesn’t matter which one you learn first.

If you’ve already started learning one craft, we highly encourage learning the other, too. With a basic understanding of both knitting and crochet, you’ll have the freedom to choose the best option for each project, and even combine the two techniques.

You can use crochet to add decorative embellishments to your knitting, or use knitting to add a softer touch to your crocheting. By learning both, you can make any pattern you’d like!

At the end of the day, the old knitting vs crochet debate comes down to personal preferences. It’s not about which craft is better, but what you’re looking to create, and what you’re personally suited to.

Of course, we’re biased here. If we had to recommend one, we’d recommend knitting for its versatility and aesthetics.

How to Tell If Something Is Knitted or Crocheted

To tell if a piece of fabric is knitted or crocheted, look at the stitches closely. Knitting stitches resemble a “V” shape, while crochet stitches resemble small knots. If the fabric is fine, flexible, and stretchy, it’s almost certainly knitted. If the fabric is dense, knotted, and highly-textured, it’s probably crocheted.

Knitted fabric is generally more common because it can be manufactured at scale. Knitwear can be made using machines in factories or at home, while crochet is always made by hand. If you’re looking at a garment in a store, it will most likely be knitted for this reason.

You can also tell by looking at the techniques used in the pattern design. If a garment includes cables or ribbing, it’s made using knitting. Once you learn how to knit or crochet, you’ll be able to tell the difference easily.

Related Guides

Yarn Type and Texture

Yarn Types and Fibers Explained

Learn about the different types of knitting yarn, natural versus synthetic fibers, and how to choose the right yarn type for your projects.