In both knitting and crocheting you will use yarns. In both crafts you’ll also be able to make sweaters, socks, blankets, scarves, shawls and more. The difference between the two crafts is how you’ll be working on those yarns.
In knitting, you’ll be creating loops with the use of two knitting needles. In contrast, crocheting is about making stitches that resemble small knots with the use of one crochet hook. Here’s the summary of it:
- Knitting (loops, 2 knitting needles)
- Crocheting (small knots, 1 crochet hook)
Another key difference is that crocheting results to bulkier stitches. As a result, crocheting brings quicker results because the project builds up faster. However, crochet patterns might be harder to come by. After all, knitting is still more popular and feels more traditional (more grannies practice it).
Which is easier to learn?
It’s a tough question. People’s answers might differ because of their first choice. Perhaps when they first mastered knitting and it’s their turn to learn crocheting, they found it hard to learn the second skill. Humans have a tendency to favour the “firsts.”
Or, some hobbyists just have different tendencies and preferences. For example, in crocheting you’ll mostly use your dominant hand (after all you’ll only be using 1 crochet hook). In contrast, knitting requires the use of both hands (2 knitting needles remember). Many people are just used to using their dominant hand most of the time.
The preferences could also come from the linear or spatial nature of the crafts. In knitting, it can be somehow seen as linear because of the logical directions in creating the loops. In crocheting, the directions could be all over the place (up, down, over, around). After all, you’ll be repeatedly creating small knots. Your mind will be forced to think spatially if you’re willing to focus on crocheting. But if this sounds good to you and you just prefer this approach, crocheting is for you.
- Knitting (2 hands)
- Crocheting (use of dominant hand)
As a result, knitting seems to be easier to pick up. However, the craft itself may require a lot of patience from you. As mentioned earlier, crocheting results to bulkier stitches. This means it may require a lot more time to finish a knitting project because of the smaller stitches. In addition, knitting projects are more detailed. Even small projects such as baby sweaters and socks might be a real challenge to beginners. Using both hands at the same time could also be a challenge especially if you’re more inclined to using only your dominant hand.
Both are worthwhile skills to learn
As you’ve noticed, there are pros and cons to both knitting and crocheting. As in many things, there are no right or wrong choices. It’s just about your preference or which happened to be your first choice.
Also, you can always learn both crafts. But it’s important to stick to one craft for at least 3 months before trying the other one. It’s always good to focus on one thing first before moving on to the next. This way you’ll be building a skill base first and gaining muscle memory. Some people made the mistake of switching back and forth without anything to show for it.
Anyway, both crafts offer amazing health benefits. First, learning and doing either of the crafts will help us better focus. In this modern age full of distractions (some call this the Attention Economy where our attention is now the currency so people will do everything to get our attention), the ability to focus is now being considered to be a valuable skill. If you can focus on one thing for 30 minutes, many other people will actually get impressed.
Knitting or crocheting is a great place to start if you want to improve your focus. It’s especially the case when you’re trying to figure out how to do basic knit and purl stitches. It’s also the case when you’re trying to make a full sweater. Your project management and execution skills will be put to the test with this kind of knitting project. Mistakes are also very costly in terms of time. For beginners it will be hard to pick up from your mistake or where they left off.
And once you’ve improved your focus, you’ll notice that you’re also improving your mood and sense of calm. Handicrafts have the effect of making us feel calmer and more peaceful. After all, we’re getting rid of distractions which might be the cause of our worries and anxieties in the first place.
Whether it’s knitting or crocheting, you’ll be able to improve your focus and perhaps improve your overall mental health. It’s like our brains and bodies favour activities that require intricate use of our hands (while in contrast, using our hands mostly for smartphones or computers affects our mood and health). Perhaps this is a main reason why handicrafts such as knitting experienced a huge resurgence recently.
Back to knitting vs crocheting
Anyway, in both crafts you’ll produce something tangible. You’ll also enjoy the process of practicing the craft and watching how your “product” evolves as you create more knots or loops.
In other words, you’ll enjoy both the process and the product of knitting or crocheting. Time spent while knitting is good to your mood and focus. And you’ll also enjoy the outcome for many years to come. It’s the “satisfaction of creation” where you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment whether it’s a small baby beanie or a full adult sweater. No matter the size of the project and whether it’s an essential or accessory, you’ll be proud of what you just made.
Well, some say that crocheting is more motivating because you can get more done in less time. It’s the result of bulkier stitches. It will look like you’re getting a lot of things done in just a short time. As you create each knot, a significant percentage of the whole project takes form.
But many hobbyists still prefer focusing on the process itself rather than how fast they come towards a finished product. After all, it’s a hobby and for most hobbies we don’t care much about the tangible results. We’re only more focused about doing the hobby instead.
It’s especially the case with knitting. People who have been regularly knitting for several years tend to crave for that characteristic sound and motion of knitting. It has already become a routine wherein their day is never complete without touching the knitting needles and feeling some of the yarn. Every day or every night knitting seems a part of their core being. This kind of routine makes people feel relaxed, secure and safe.
Which one should you choose?
Whether you choose crocheting or knitting, you’ll always win. As with most other skills and crafts, there’s a steep learning curve especially at the beginning. Even with a personal tutor or attending a class, you’ll find it frustrating at the beginning to make a basic stitch. Knitting or crocheting somehow requires an intricate movement of the hand/s. But as you gain muscle memory through constant practice, you’ll get faster and the motions will become semi-automatic.
If you choose knitting, you can also make the same things with crocheting. Either way you can make awesome beanies, socks, sweaters, scarves and home accessories. Although the techniques and movements could be different, you can still get similar outputs and the same level of satisfaction. Although finished knitting projects seem more detailed and intimidating, you can always learn the skill to accomplish that. With regular and enough practice, in no time you’ll become a certified hobbyist when it comes to knitting.
So how do you start? There are many tutorial videos online but it’s still highly recommended to have someone teach you personally (or attend a class where there could be one-on-one sessions). Both knitting and crocheting are 3-dimensional hobbies and skills. It’s good to observe it in the real world so you can know how it really happens. Feedback is also important here so you’ll learn the right skills in the first place.
It’s also recommended to have the best supplies so you can be more motivated to pursue the hobby. Start right by getting high-quality knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarns so that you can better focus on mastering the hobby.
That’s why here at The Aussie Knitting Co, we provide high-quality knitting and crocheting supplies for beginners and experienced hobbyists. We also have an amazing collection of patterns you can work on. Surely you’ll be proud of each knitting or crochet project you complete. Contact us today or visit our shop at 6-8 Brice Avenue, Mooroolbark Victoria 3138 Australia. Our staff will provide you with excellent recommendations as you start with the wonderful craft of knitting or crocheting.