Is It Easier To Learn To Knit Or Crochet?

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In this post, you will see some answers to the question – Is it easier to learn to knit or crochet?

If you’re starting to learn to craft using yarn, you might be wondering whether it’s better to begin by learning how to crochet or learn how to knit.

Both of these crafts have similar skills; however, there are noticeable differences between crochet and knitting that set them apart.

Knowing the characteristics of both will help you to decide which one to pick first.

Is It Easier To Learn To Knit Or Crochet?

What’s The Difference?

The two skills differ mostly in the methods, the tools required, and the fabric they create.

Both knitting and crochet use balls of yarn to craft items like blankets, sweaters, socks, hats, and shawls. 

Everything you can knit, you can crochet too. 

But due to the tools and the techniques and the end results will look, will feel, and will weigh differently, even if you used the exact same yarn. 

And the knit fabric is always smoother, stretchier, and flatter whereas the crocheted fabric has a more prominent texture and it’s sturdier. 

The main difference comes down to the tools used, knitting uses two knitting needles, and crochet just one single crochet hook.

When you are knitting you move your stitches from one knitting needle to the other, and when you are crocheting you work each crochet stitch one by one.

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knitting needles and yarn

What Is Knitting?

Knitted items are created by knitters using basic knit stitches and purl stitches using two needles, with your work held on one of the needles with a row of stitches.

Knitted items are produced by weaving additional stitches onto the initial row of stitches (otherwise known as casting on).

A knitting project like a shawl or garments can be created knit flat on two needles and seamed or in the round which is seamless.

There are many knitting patterns out there for beginners that allow you to easily learn basic knitting stitches and create a textured knitted fabric.

The basic knitting techniques

To be able to knit, there are some basic knitting techniques and basic stitches you need to know. 

These techniques include how to cast on knitting, how to knit the knit stitch (how to knit garter stitch), how to purl the purl stitch (how to knit the purl stitch (for beginners + a video tutorial)), and how to cast off (how to cast off knitting for total beginners (step by step)). 

Once these stitches are down, you can explore different stitches and more complicated techniques.

Like how to knit the seed stitch, the rib stitch, and many, many more.

Grab your Ebook here – 12 Knitting Stitches For Beginners

Continental style and the English knitting style

The difference between the two methods comes down to little things like in which hand you are holding the working yarn.

In the English method, you are holding the yarn in your right hand and in the continental in your left.

There is no right way to knit, whether you prefer the English method or the continental your finished project will be the same. 

Left-handed makers and crocheters usually prefer the continental method.  

Knitting tools 

To knit you are going to need some supplies. 

The basics would be your straight knitting needles, your yarn, and your pattern. 

But as you go on, you are going to need (and want) more tools like a darning needle, a crochet hook, craft scissors, stitch markers, stitch holders, a row counter, needles in different sizes, circular knitting needles, cable needles, and double-pointed needles. 

Pros of knitting

Knitting is very fun to do and the best way to unleash your creativity. 

There are many types of projects you can make with knitting from garments like knit sweaters to small projects like dishcloths.

There is an abundance of knitting stitches you can try and explore, from very simple stitches to very intricate ones. 

You can take your projects with you anywhere, from a friend’s house to the beach. 

Just stuff it into a project bag, and you are ready to go, especially if you are knitting in the round; the cables are perfect to keep your knitting safe.

You generally need less yarn than you do for crochet projects.

Related Post: Dishcloth Knitting Patterns (To Practice Basic Knitting Stitches)

Cons of knitting

Sometimes, in knitting, you make mistakes (and in crochet), but they sometimes feel harder to fix in knitting.

You will often need to keep a crochet hook handy in case you need to pick up dropped stitches.

Plus, using straight needles can sometimes hurt your hands and wrists (leading over a long period of time to arthritis).

Many people prefer to use circular needles for most projects, even when knitting flat as they take the weight of the knitted fabric.

Moreover, as a beginner, it can be hard to synchronize working with two needles and keeping up with your stitch count.

Related posts: 

woman knitting with two needles

What Is Crochet?

Crocheted items are created with looped stitches one at a time, meaning no need to keep the stitches on a crochet hook.

Instead, you work into the crocheted piece by looping and pulling the thread through using your crochet hook. 

The loops of yarn create a crocheted fabric.

Crochet requires less multitasking as you are working with a single stitch at a time compared to knitting where you are handling multiple live stitches at once.

There are many crochet projects out there for you to choose from including scarves, amigurumi, toys, granny squares, crochet blankets, baskets, pillows, crochet flowers, and coasters.

Most beginners start learning with single crochet and double crochet stitches to create their first crochet fabric samples.

The basic crochet techniques 

In order to crochet you have to learn the basic crochet stitches and techniques.

Like how to make a slip knot, how to start a crochet chain, how to single crochet (sc), the double crochet stitch (how to double crochet (dc) for beginners), and the treble crochet stitch (how to treble crochet (tr)). 

Most beginner projects use basic crochet stitches.

Once you feel comfortable with these techniques, you can start exploring new stitches and give a chance to more crochet patterns. 

Crochet tools 

The basic tools you need are your crochet hook, the pattern, and your yarn.

Of course, as you start building your crochet tool kit you will need (and want) more stuff like a nice hook set, definitely more yarn, a row counter, fabric scissors, stitch markers, and stitch holders. 

Crochet terms and abbreviations

Like in everything else, there are differences between crochet terms and abbreviations from country to country. 

We separate them in UK and US terms. 

For example, crocheters in the UK and the US use different terms such as ‘single crochet’ in the US will be ‘double crochet’ in the UK.

Despite some main abbreviations, the other differences are small but all crochet patterns will specify which terms they are using. 

Check out more resources for your crochet journey...

Tunisian crochet

Crochet and knitting often meet each other halfway. 

Tunisian crochet or Afghan crochet is a type of crochet that is considered a mix of knit and crochet, as some knitting techniques are used in Tunisian crochet as well.

It produces a waffle-like fabric with a trim border.

It feels like Tunisian crochet has more similarities with knitting than crochet. For example, in Tunisian crochet, you collect your stitches on your hook, and you work only on one side, which leads to your fabric curling (like knitting). 

Crochet pros

Crochet is an amazing craft and you won’t regret diving into the crochet world. 

Like your knitting projects, you can take your crochet projects with you everywhere from the mall to the beach.

Crochet fabric is more stable and your stitches don’t unravel as easily as they do in a knitting project.

Crochet cons

Crochet, while fun and amazing in many different ways, has disadvantages. 

Typically, crochet stitches are bulkier and less stretchy, which is not ideal for garments. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t crochet sweaters; it just means the end results are going to be different. 

Crochet projects require more yarn than knitted projects.

knit or crochet - learn how to crochet with a hook and yarn

Knitting Machines And Crochet Machines

One major difference that doesn’t really affect which craft you will choose to learn is that crochet can’t be duplicated by machines. 

There have been knitting machines for years now, from industrial ones that produced the most knitted items in the fashion industry to small ones, that the everyday person can purchase and use in their home. 

On the other hand, the crochet craft remains still completely handmade, so far no machine can replicate the way crochet works. 

The stitches and the hand movement required to make a crochet item can’t be done by a machine. 

Knitting machine Bergen textile museum

Knitting vs Crochet

Both crafts use yarn to make items, however, knitting uses two knitting needles and the stitches are loops.

Crocheting, on the other hand, uses one crochet hook and the stitches resemble small loops or knots.

If you need a new relaxing hobby, then learning how to knit or crochet or both is a great way to spend your free time.

Is It Easier To Learn To Knit Or Crochet?

Common ground

Both knitting and crochet patterns, video tutorials, and most written tutorials online are made for right-handed people.

If you have a dominant left hand that doesn’t mean you can’t knit or crochet, you can easily follow all the patterns and tutorials and learn how to craft with your right hand. 

But it’s a good idea to look up tutorials and patterns made for lefties.

The general rule is that you mirror the movements. 

In knitting, it means that you move the stitches from the right needle to the left needle and instead of wrapping the yarn counterclockwise around the needle, you wrap it clockwise. 

In crochet, it means that you hold your hook with your left hand and your yarn with your right. 

My best tips for you

  • Whether you want to learn to knit or crochet the starting process is the same. 
  • Choose the right type of project for you say no to large projects, read and watch tutorials, keep notes on your patterns, and in a notebook, take photos.
  • Practice again and again, don’t be afraid to try.
  • Remember that nobody’s first project is perfect and amazing and keep that project forever, it will be a reminder of how far you’ve come.
  • In the craft world you are never alone, don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. 
  • Plus like all hobbies you are knitting or crocheting for fun, there is no maker’s police to dictate how you are going to hold your needles, which yarn to use, and how long it takes you to finish a project. 
  • When you are overwhelmed take breaks and stretch.
crocheting lace

Types Of Yarns

You will find that most yarns that can be used for knitting can also be used for crocheting, and vice versa.

Yarns are separated into weight categories by the craft yarn council. 

There are different yarn weights numbered from 0-7, going from lace to jumbo.

From thinnest to thickest.

Everything you need to know about a specific yarn you will find on the yarn labelHow To Read A Yarn Label (Step By Step)

Many yarn labels will include information for both knitting and crochet crafts. 

Like the knitting needle size, the crochet hook size, and the gauge.

You will often find that due to the nature of the stitches, specific yarns work better for different knitted or crochet projects. 

For complete beginners, it’s always better to visit your local yarn store than shop online.

So not only you can touch and feel the yarns but the experts there and help you choose the right yarn for your project. 

Learn more about yarn types here – Yarn Types Explained: A Guide To Different Fibers

how to read a yarn label the petite wool

Threads and stitches…

The type of item you are knitting or crocheting will have a more significant influence on the kind of thread you will need to use, and not whether you are choosing to crochet or knit.

Often you will find that knitting lends itself best to more delicate items, as the stitches are marginally flatter than those in crochet.

That’s why we tend to prefer to knit cozy sweaters, baby clothes, scarves, shawls, winter hats, and gloves.

Crochet stitches are slightly more ‘bumpy’, and therefore are great for projects such as washcloths, bath puffs (bath puff crochet pattern), or even face scrubbies (crochet face scrubbies pattern).

You can see similar crochet projects here. – Free Crochet Patterns

crochet stitches

Is Knitting or Crocheting Easier?

The skills of crochet and knitting have many similarities and there is a learning curve to both hobbies, and it’s a longstanding argument as to which one is easier to learn first!

From my point of view, there’s no hard and fast rule as to which method you should begin with.

One deciding factor if you’re torn between the two crafts is crochet can be slightly quicker than knitting, and you’ll begin to see your items take shape much faster than you would with a knitting project.  

Worth bearing in mind if you’re someone who likes to complete their projects quickly! 

Moreover, crochet can feel easier for new makers as it is a bit more forgiving when it comes to mistakes and the sturdier fabrics make you feel like your stitches are safer.  

is it easier to learn to knit or to crochet?

Try both and see what you can make…

To the question of crochet vs knitting, I can’t say which is best or which one you will like because it really comes down to you and your personal preference.

What I would recommend is to try out both before settling on one method, and see which one feels most natural to you.

Many beginners enjoy control over their knitting with two knitting needles, and some prefer the freer technique of crocheting. 

Learning both methods can also be very useful for times when you would like to finish off an edge neatly with crochet stitches.

Whichever craft you decide to pick up first, teach yourself how to knit or how to crochet with my step-by-step guides and patterns in knitting basics or crochet basics.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for video tutorials here…

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4 Comments

  1. I am a beginer crochet i tried a blanket but i cant get the end right what am i doing wrong how can i fix it
    Thank you

    1. Hello, are you including turning chains at the end of your rows? if you do not do this the edges may be a little uneven.
      Crochet a turning chain (one or more chain stitches that you make after you’ve turned your crocheted work) before you begin your next row.
      The purpose of the turning chain is to bring your yarn to the height necessary in order to work the first stitch of your next row or round.
      The turning chain almost always counts as the first stitch of the next row, except for the single crochet.
      The single crochet turning chain isn’t wide enough to substitute for the first single crochet of the row and creates a rough edge to your rows.
      Working a single crochet stitch in the first stitch of the row fills out each row on the end.
      I hope that helps 🙂
      Louise

  2. I must confess the amount of labor and kindness put into these different stitches, tutorials, patterns…and the list is almost endless that you must have labored over this file is beyond my comprehension, but I do know it was massive. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your work and time spent and everything else, and please thank your husband for his impressive camera work. The free patterns that you have offered makes knitting patterns possible for me to have. On social security they make sure we’re not sitting in the lap of luxury. Thanks again and you and your husband and Jason for your giving hearts.
    Sincerely
    Cheryl Masters

    1. Hello Cheryl,
      Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m so happy that you like the patterns and tutorials.
      I hope that you find some new projects that you want to make or some new techniques/stitches you want to try out!
      Happy knitting 🙂
      Louise