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 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.


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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21 Responses to “Crochet vs. Knitting”

  1. Roz Walters

    One thing folks need to be aware of is the difference between USA terms and the rest of the world, including the UK. This mainly applies to those who crochet, but there are a few that are slightly different in knitting too. The latter it is mostly the bind off, which we call cast off. Most of the world now works using the metric system. You will have to go a long way to find the old UK needles and crochet hooks. In crochet we use the term double crochet, which is single crochet in the USA. Our half trebles are half double crochet (USA) trebles are double crochet (USA), and so on and so forth. When my book on 1/12th scale crochet was published it caused a bit of confusion in the USA because I used ROW terms. (Rest Of The World). I had added a note explaining this, but not everyone read through the blurb at the beginning! I hope my explanation helps anyone who has any designs from anywhere other than the USA.

  2. Douglas Janet Ruth

    would love to become a member. I tried, but couldn't cause I don't have a mobile number only land line.

  3. Nancy P

    I have heard that Crochet cannot be machine made but knitting machines come in all sizes and levels of beginner to industrial l


    What I read I like. I would like to know more about crochet stitches and knitting stitches as I do both. I also haven't seen a crochet hook with a stopper on the end and would like to know where I can get one thank you.

  5. Jeanne Shaw

    I used to knit and crochet about 60 yrs ago (I'm 69) and just starting to get back into it again. Thank you for the comparison. Next is learning what type of yarn for various projects eg shawls, sweaters, cartigans, and afghans. I'm really interested doing some fine stitches and using the thread levels of thickness. Is there a chart with this information? I consider myself a beginner and will look at patterns for beginner and/or easy. Thanks again.

  6. Maria

    Thanks for the comparison! Love doing both!

  7. Cynthia Griffin

    Would love to join crochet vs knitting. Have been crocheting 52 years. I am on and off with knitting.

  8. Laura Kerste

    Was interesting to learn the differences in the two. I'm older and still enjoyed reading this.

  9. Julianne Ziefle

    Thanks so much. I really enjoyed this comparison.

  10. Darlene Kelly

    I enjoy knitting but do crochet 🧶 a little