Knit vs. Crochet: Differences and Pros & Cons
Thinking of learning to crochet or knit? Or just trying to understand the difference?
Learn about the differences between knitting and crochet, and explore the pros and cons of each method.
Knit vs. Crochet: How to Tell Them Apart
How can you tell if a garment or accessory was knitted or crocheted? Usually, unless the creator is very sneaky, it's easy to tell whether something was knitted or crocheted.
One way is to recognize the difference between the stitches. Look at the image above again.
- Knitting: The purple knitting on the left was done in stockinette stitch.
- Crochet: The pink crochet work was done in double crochet stitch.
Typical Knitting Motifs
Another way to tell whether something was crocheted or knit is to know the common motifs.
Motifs are elements of the garment that repeat. Some are much easier to create with knitting and can give you a good clue that the item was knit:
- Fair Isle
- Ribbed Knitting
Let's look at each variety:
A chunky cable sweater is a typical knit. Knitters crate cables by changing the order of the stitches.
Fair Isle (or any color work within a single row) is almost impossible to crochet. You'll find fair isle most commonly on the tops of sweaters.
Ribbing is the stitching you see on the wrists or necks of knit garments. It's a naturally stretchy stitch, and an easy way to tell something is knit.
Typical Crochet Motifs
Crochet also has some repeated motifs you can expect:
- Granny Squares
- Circular Items
- "Open" or Lace Work
Granny squares make up the typical crochet blanket. Each square is made by working outwards, usually with multiple colors.
As with Granny Squares, circular items are more likely to be crocheted. If the circular, lacy look appeals to you, then you should learn to crochet!
Which One Is Better?
Since both methods take patience and practice, it's not really about which is better. Crocheting vs. knitting comes down to personal preference.
You can decide which method to learn by checking out the pros and cons.
Knitting Pros / Crochet Cons
There are some areas where knitting unanimously beats crocheting.
Crocheters will always be envious of a fine-knit shawl or scarf!
Even with light yarn, crochet is bulkier than knitting. To crochet something with nice drape, you have one option: make it very lacy.
Crochet clothing items can still be very pretty. But anything warm will be stiffer.
You can achieve color work like Fair Isle so much easier with knitting.
Think of the cozy hats and sweaters with colorful Fair Isle designs. If you want to make these, pick up knitting.
That's not to say you can't add color into crocheting. Stripes of color are easy in either method.
Crochet Pros / Knitting Cons
Now let's see when crocheting is better.
Only 1 Hook
To crochet an item you only need a single hook. Compare this to knitting, which requires you to keep track of at least two needles.
Many knit items need both double pointed needles and circular needles. This is true for anything that changes shape or needs shaping like sweaters, socks or hats.
If you knit your first sock on double pointed needles, you know the learning curve for using 3+ needles is steep.
Crocheting Is Faster (Maybe)
All other things equal, crochet tends to be faster. Actual speed will vary depending on the knitter or crocheter's experience.
You can create more of the garment in less time. Choosing to crochet a blanket instead of knitting it can be a big time saver.
Take it from someone who has tried: it's hard to knit a flower. But the same item is totally natural in crochet.
Crocheting lends itself to creating shapes. Since you build the item one stitch at a time, it's easier to build into what you want. Stuffed animals and toys are usually crocheted, not knit.
Knitting is restricted to flat or tube shapes.
Knit and Crochet Combinations
We learned that crocheting and knitting have different applications. They shine in different areas. That's why crafters who master both sometimes use both in their creations!
Add-ons like flowers or hearts are so much easier to crochet. Often the main garment is knit, and the pattern will have you crochet items to pin on.
A knit garment that came out beautiful except for a ragged edge can be fixed with a crochet border.
Questions & Answers
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