Written by Alyssa Scott
When it comes to comparing crochet vs knitting, there are many reasons to love each style of fiber art. However when deciding between the two, there are several questions to consider, such as:
- Which is easier to learn?
- Which is faster?
- Which uses more yarn?
Keep reading for the answers to these important questions from a crafter who loves both!
Knitting and crochet are both methods of textile production that have the benefit of being easily done, highly portable, and manageable by a single person using simple tools. They can create fabrics that are similar in look and texture. So what are the differences that matter to you? Perhaps you’re a thrifty crafter looking for the best bargain on materials. Or maybe you’re looking for something quick and fun to do in your spare time. Perhaps you’re trying to stre-e-etch that beautiful skein you just bought into the largest project possible. Whatever the reason is, this information is vital for the versatile crafter.
Which is Easier to Learn, Knitting or Crocheting?
Learning a new skill always comes with challenges. If you’re wondering which craft might be easier to pick up as a beginner, there are a lot of opinions floating around that might make the decision more confusing than it already was!
The short answer is– each of these skills will take a little while to pick up. It’ll take some practice before you begin feeling comfortable with the hand movements, making the stitches, or reading a pattern. I don’t think one is easier or more difficult than the other, it just depends on your preferences as a crafter.
That being said there are some benefits to either craft that are worth noting when you’re trying to decide.
There are so many different styles of knitting, and I don’t just mean styles of knit items, I mean different styles of the physical act of knitting. If one way feels awkward or uncomfortable, there are many other ways to try before giving up! I originally learned the style of knitting called “throwing,” but found it awkward and cumbersome. I put down my needles and didn’t try again for about a decade. When I returned with more knowledge and different styles to try (thank you Youtube) I found that my hands enjoy the “continental combined” style, knitting suddenly seemed much faster, easier, and like a lot of fun!
The hook is the quintessential symbol of crocheting, for a lot of different reasons. For starters there is only one hook, as opposed to two needles for knitting. For the most part, crochet happens one stitch at a time. With only one stitch on the hook at a time compared to knitting which features multiple stitches on the needles all at once. There are certain styles of crochet which feature multiple stitches on the hook at once, which allows for incredible variety in the projects that you create.
As long as you’re ready to put in the practice and try out new things, neither knitting or crochet should be too daunting of a skill to learn. This is especially true thanks to the wealth of information and resources available online now-a-days.
If you have more specific questions about knitting and crochet, feel free to join our online community of enthusiastic crafters and tap into our collective knowledge for opinions, answers, or advice!
Which is Faster, Crochet vs Knitting?
This question can be answered in two ways, how fast can the stitches be created, and how quickly do the stitches build into a complete project. We’ll start with the former.
The speed at which a person can knit or crochet by hand depends on their experience and efficiency of movement. Either craft can be done at lightning speed or a turtle’s pace. I learned to crochet many years before I picked up knitting, and I’m still a faster and more intuitive crocheter than I am a knitter. I know some long-time knitters that can zip along with the needles but naturally slow down with a hook in their hand. To make a long story short, time and practice will help a crafter build speed using either technique.
The speed at which basic stitches build up is another matter. This has nothing to do with the crafter themself or how fast they can create stitches, it has to do with the creation of the stitches themselves. Knit stitches are created by pulling a row of loops through a previous row of loops, these loops tend to be pretty uniform in shape and size within a project. Many times, such as in stockinette stitch, they present as square building blocks. A knitting project grows slowly in this respect.
If you're brand new to the fiber art world and don't know where to start, we'd suggest our worsted weight silk yarn. The thickness is perfect for beginner crafters and we have tons of gorgeous colorways-including sparkle!
Crochet stitches have some variation that can make working up a project much quicker (with fewer stitches) than a comparable knit project. The different height options of crochet stitches are the reason for this contrast. There are a variety of crochet stitches that a crafter might choose to create with, there are several options that result in stitches taller than they are wide. HDC, DC, TC, and tall or long stitches are rectangular building blocks which can make a project grow quite quickly. The same amount of stitches and rows worked in single crochet will result in a smaller surface area of fabric as one created using double crochet stitches. A crochet project might grow very quickly in this respect.
Which Uses More Yarn?
You may have wondered if crochet uses more yarn than knitting, or vice versa. The short answer is that more yarn is used in a crochet project compared to a comparable knitting project. Think of the knit stitch in stockinette, insert needle into stitch, yarn over, pull through. Think of a single crochet stitch, insert hook into stitch, yarn over and pull through, yarn over and pull through two. More yarn is used to complete the single crochet stitch than a knit stitch.
Hi everyone, thanks for joining us for the Darn Good Yarn stitch challenge. In this video we're going to focus on single crochet, which is the most basic and smallest crochet stitch. So, this is our beginner stitch challenge for January. At the end of this month you'll have a six by six square of all single crochet stitches. I'm going to demonstrate this single crochet crochet stitch. The pattern will ask you to start by chaining 21 chains.
To start our single crochet, we're going to want to work into the top v of the chain stitch. You'll notice that the top of the stitch has a nice little v at the top and the back side has a bit of a bump. So, I always like to work in underneath the two strands of the v even when I'm beginning my first row. some folks will sneak in there and just work underneath one strand, but I think it gives you um a cleaner finished edge if you go under those two. So, we're gonna work from the second chain from the loop, so here's your first. We're gonna work into the second and go underneath those two stitches to create our-to start creating our first single crochet.
You're going to insert your hook from the front to the back. Take your working yarn, which is the yarn that comes from the ball here, wrap it around the back. Catch it with the hook and pull up the yarn. We call that pulling up a loop, so you've got two loops on your hook now. You can kind of tighten it up and then we're going to yarn over again, back to front. Catch that yarn and pull it through both of the loops on the hook and that creates our first single crochet stitch. There's the actual hole of the stitch and that is um the post of this of the stitch. We'll do that again into the next chain stitch. There's that top v and each row gets a little bit easier to find the placement of the stitches.
The working into the chain is actually sort of the hardest part so once you're beyond row one you'll be sailing. So we inserted our hook from the front to the back, wrapped the yarn around for a yarn over and pulled up a loop. we've got two loops on our hook we're going to yarn over again catch that yarn with our hook. And try to challenge yourself to only use the hook to pull it through. So if you kind of um rotate the head of the hook down it pulls through those stitches a little bit easier.
And we're going to continue single crocheting across, just like that for this row. Okay when you've reached the end of your row your last stitch will look like this and we're going to turn our work. so we're going to turn our piece over and you'll see the back of those single crochet stitches across. And now in order to create the height that's needed for our next row, we're going to chain a stitch at the end of the row. So, right here we'll just chain one and now you'll work into each stitch across the row.
So, again our single crochet we will insert our hook front to back pull up a loop. We've got two loops on the hook, yarn over and pull through. You'll continue that across. You can see the stitches that you're working into on this second row are a bit easier to see and navigate than that chain stitch. So, you can see right through the center there and again it's underneath. You can see the v on the top as well, so you're going to work underneath those two stitches of the v. You're gonna pull up your loop, yarn over, and pull through. You'll continue these single crochets across your row. Turn chain and keep on going.
So, this is a single row repeat, to get your six by six first square here. Thanks for watching the video and learning single crochet
Even when considering the change in ratio of yarn use vs height gained in taller crochet stitches, the efficiency of stockinette stitch still wins out. The height gained by creating taller crochet stitches still uses more yarn than the same surface area would in stockinette, even though there will be many more knit stitches in that area.
The considerations do change when garter stitch comes into question, the thickness of a garter stitch fabric is a result of the stitches taking up diagonal space within the fabric. The zig zag nature of this pattern makes garter stitch fabric grow a little slower vertically, and in fact the same surface area could be created using crochet stitches using less yarn.
Today we're going to learn how to do garter stitch. Garter stitch is the very first stitch you learn as you're learning to knit. It looks the same on both sides the front side and the back side. So, you don't have to worry about how many rows you're doing or anything like that, you can just knit until your sample is six inches. For this example I've cast on 30 stitches for my garter stitch square to make it six by six. I have cast on 10 stitches to use as an example. So, this is for the people who are very very new to knitting. Just starting out, you've got your cast-on needles here and all you're going to do- you're going to go in front to back, like this. Wrap the yarn around counter-clockwise. pull the loop back through and put the old stitch off the needle from left to right.
So, here you're going to go again front to back, wrap around, pull that loop back through. Push the stitch off, through around back, and off. What you're doing is- you're putting loops through the loops you already have on your needle and you're always going to move the stitches from the left to the right until you get to the end of your row. So, again, first through perhaps this needle, no yarn around the needle, pull that loop through and knock the old stitch off. In around back, through and off, in around back, through and off. That's all there is to it. You're just going to do that for the entire time you're knitting and then we get to the very end.
We've got the ten stitches from that, we're on the left. You know we've got them on the right needle, so you're going to turn your needles around like that. Now you're back to the beginning where you had all 10 stitches on your left needle. So, now you're going to do it- do it again. Put the needle back through, wrap it around, pull it back, and knock the old stitch off through the front. Wrap around, pull through and off. That's all there is to it. That is garter stitch. So, you're just gonna do that until your piece measures six inches. Then you're gonna bind off and weave in your ends- and that is all there is to it with garter stitch. Through wrap around back and off. You're just catching that loop and pulling it through your needle from the stitches that are on your needle. Through and off, around like, through and off. When you get to the end turn it around and you start again that's all there is to it garter stitch
I hope this information is helpful to you in deciding whether to pick up a set of knitting needles or a crochet hook. These crafts are both so fun and relaxing, and they can be so useful in different scenarios that I hope you might consider trying out both some day.
Darn Good Yarn will always be there when you need some helpful tips, supplies, or projects to try out. There’s never been a better time to pick up a new skill which blossoms into a beloved hobby, so what are you waiting for? Get started today!
Alyssa began working at Darn Good Yarn in the spring of 2021. She has been knitting and crocheting as a hobby since childhood. Alyssa graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies, with a minor in Social Justice