Crochet vs Knitting

Curious about the differences and similarities between knitting and crochet? Both are craft techniques that use yarn to create different types of fabrics. The main distinction is that crochet fabric is made with one crochet hook while knit fabric is created with two knitting needles.

Crochet

Crochet fabric is made with a crochet hook and the stitches are similar to small knots (while knitting stitches resemble loops). The fabric created is very sturdy and somewhat thick as compared to knitting. There are many different stitches used in crochet, so the craft lends itself to freeform patterns and intricate lace designs. Crochet hooks come in a variety of sizes and materials just like knitting needles. There are some specialty hooks such as the long Tunisian hook or very small steel hooks for crochet thread.

Unlike knitting, most forms of crochet only have one live stitch at a time. Because of this, crochet projects are less likely to have “dropped stitches” which are a common problem in knitting. The exception would be Tunisian Crochet which uses a longer hook (or hook with attached cable and stopper) to allow for multiple live loops. Crochet fabric is made by inserting your hook into stitches, then wrapping the yarn over and pulling through to create more “knotted” stitches. Fabrics can range from typical garments to intricate lace pieces and small toys.

Knitting

A knitter uses two knitting needles to work a set of live stitches either back and forth or in the round. The two most common stitches are the Knit stitch and the Purl stitch, which are used in combination with increase and decrease stitches to create all sorts of different fabric types and shapes. Knit fabric generally has a beautiful drape due to its density and delicacy.

There are several needle options, depending on your project and preferences. Straight needles are a set of two separate needles that each have a pointed end for knitting and a “stopper” end to ensure that your live stitches don’t slip off. Circular needles are two needles connected by a cable that allows for a continuous knit in-the-round, or simply for larger projects that wouldn’t fit on straight needles. Double-pointed needles are a set of 5 or 6 needles of the same gauge, each with two pointed ends, that are used for smaller tubular fabrics such as socks or small armholes.

For the most part, both crochet and knitting projects can use similar yarns. However, you’ll notice that crochet projects tend to come together a bit faster. You may also get more out of your yarn yardage with a crochet project, due to the many varieties of stitches and freeform options.

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15 Responses to “Crochet vs Knitting”

  1. Maryson Kombega

    I love crocheting but have no idea how to knit so I would like to learn how to knit.

    Reply
  2. Nancy Pawlowski

    I heard that crochet takes one third more yarn yardage than knitting does. Is there any truth to this statement?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Nancy,

      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:
      As a general rule yes, about a third more when comparing solid stitches like single or double crochet to stockinette stitch or garter stitch.
      That said there is not a hard and fast, applicable in all situations rule. Lacy stitches take up far less yardage so you may get more or less the same yardage in knit vs crochet. Tunisian crochet is super, super dense and you may need more than 30% more for comparable square inches if you are looking at Tunisian Knit Stitch vs stockinette stitch.
      Personally I always over buy yarn for my projects – that’s where the best stash comes from 🙂 Or if you are a project monogamist you can often return unopened skeins that you didn’t need.

      Sincerely,
      Mary Beth Temple
      Creative Crochet Corner Expert

      Reply
      • Lisa

        This is informative, thank you. It is also consistent with what I have heard from everyone I know who does both (crochet and knitting), as well as what I have read. Unfortunately, the above comparison of knitting and crochet is misleading, as it implies in the last paragraph that crochet projects will use *less* yarn than knitting projects.

        Reply
    • Louise May Hancocks

      Yes crochet uses more yarn than knitting but I think it holds the pattern or the shape better.

      Reply
    • Shelley Peterson

      Ah, the classes here are great, and Google is your friend! I used books and videos to learn and continue to now, as well.

      Reply
  3. Cheryl Byers

    I’ve known how to crochet for 50 + years. But had my eye on a simple shrug pattern that was knit. So at age 63 I taught myself to knit. The videos on TheKnittingCircle.com and Craftsy.com were a big help. And of course Google and YouTube are great companions.

    Reply
    • Priscilla

      Cheryl I am also a crochet person since I was 15 (now 63) and would love to learn to knit…I have tried on my own but seem to drop stitches and can’t seem to get the project right.,.. I will try the sights you suggested and maybe I’ll do better

      Reply
  4. Beryl Warder

    I am a total beginner and cannot find where to start from scratch. I knit reasonably well, but would like to learn to crochet. Please advise. Thank you

    Reply
    • Lisa Townsend

      I didn’t have a clue where to start and I struggle without seeing it as that’s how I learn best so I looked on u tube and there are really good beginners projects I’ve just finished a bag using a cd as a base that was easy to follow and I’ve done a baby blanket also from you tube so just google granny square and easy projects for beginners

      Reply
  5. Mary

    I know crochet been doing it since I was a little girl. I’m leaving knitting now and it’s fun. I watch utube

    Reply
  6. Mary Montoya

    I know crochet been doing it since I was a little girl. I’m leaving knitting now and it’s fun. I watch utube

    Reply
  7. Tamara Jarosch

    I do both. Just learned to crochet when I fractured my knee cap a few weeks ago. It took me a minute but I figured it out. Almost done with a crib blanket for a newborn. It’s fun. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply