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Knitting and crocheting are both crafts that use yarn and stick-looking tools to create a variety of household items, clothing, and accessories and so its natural that people often confuse them with each other.
So, what is the difference between crochet and knitting?
The main distinction between crochet and knitting is that in crochet you use just one tool, a hook to create loops and stitches and by way of those to create a “fabric” of the crocheted items. Hooks come in different lengths, shapes, and thicknesses, but in general, a hook used in crochet is a stick, about 6-8 inches long, with a hook on one end of it often called head or point of the hook.
The fabric produced with crochet can vary from very dense and tight (like the one used to create toys, aka amigurumi) to very loose and lacy (like the one used in doilies and intricate shawls) and everywhere in between.
Crochet fabric grows fast as the crochet fabric is more porous and has more holes in it. Because of that, crochet often used to create items like shawls, wraps, scarves, blankets (also called afghans), tablecloths, and in general items that have intricate designs or designs going on circular or multiple directions.
Number of loops:
Crochet is worked one loop at a time and offers a variety of ways of pivoting in the design, hiding potential miscalculations or mistakes and allows to hide the ends and yarn joins without being too noticeable.
Unlike crochet, knitting uses two (or more) needles to create its fabric. The needles come in several varieties: short and long, double-sided, with a needle-like point on both ends (like the needles used to crochet socks) or with a point on one side only with the other side being a small ball or cube to prevent your knitting work from sliding off and unraveling, also circular needles where two needles are connected to each other with a plastic tube or cord and allow to work on large projects or circular projects without having to use really long needles and double-ended needles.
Speed and Fabric:
The fabric produced by knitting usually grows slower, but it is denser and more even, producing a fabric that is perfect for wearable, especially something you don’t want to be see-through, like dresses, sweaters, jackets, and skirts.
Number of loops:
Knitting is worked in multiple loops at the same time, requiring you to have as many loops on your needles as wide as the knitted piece should be. This paradigm introduces some issues when you are not experienced, such as: having too many or not enough loops for the final result and having to redo the piece from scratch, having a needle to slip out of your live work and drop the stitches that will cause for the work to unravel, it is harder to hide and weave in the ends of yarn without it being noticeable.
Each of the craft techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, often producing fabric that are unique to that specific craft only, but at the same time, there are ways to “fake” the knitted look with crochet and vice versa, so if you like of craft but not the other, don’t despair, you can often replicate the look of what you want with the tools you already have.
Both crochet and knitting offer a convenience of a craft that is portable, requires a minimum amount of tools that you have to own, relatively inexpensive to get into, can be taken on a go, is not noisy or smelly or needing electricity to work and deals with yarn as a medium, something that is a huge advantage right there! (oh soft, cuddly, beautiful yarn…)
Besides that, both of these crafts offer an activity that is relaxing, gets your creativity flowing, gives you fulfilling results and can be very mindless and meditative, something that we can all use at the end of a long day. 🙂
To decide if crochet or knitting is for you, give each one of them a try and see. Some people swear by crochet and never touch knitting needles, some are the other way around, some start with crochet and find knitting much easier to learn after that and end up going between the two. Try these two wonderful crafts and decide for yourself which one it will be.
In the comments below, let me know which one appeals to you more, crochet or knitting and why?