Crochet, Knitting

Knitting vs. Crocheting: Which is Better? Which is Harder?

Crocheting (left) vs. Knitting (right)

Knitting vs. Crocheting

Knitting and crocheting are similar, yet different.

Both crafts use yarn to make items, but knitting is done with two knitting needles and the stitches are loops. Crocheting, on the other hand, is done with just one crochet hook and the stitches resemble small knots.

The resulting projects look different, too.

Knitting can be easier to learn because only two stitches are used: the knit stitch and purl stitch. It’s a very logical craft – knitters move stitches from one needle to the other, then back again. The loops remain on the needles which makes for very organized projects. Stitches look like straight lines or little V’s.

Crochet stitches build from each other and range from very short and small (chain stitch) to very tall and twisty (triple crochet). In between are other stitches, the most common being the single crochet and double crochet stitches. Stitches are bumpier and more textured.

Crocheting (left) vs. Knitting (right)
Comparing Crocheting (left) vs. Knitting (right)

Knitting is great for items that need delicate stitches such as soft sweaters or fluffy cowls. Crocheting is perfect for when bulkier stitches are needed – hats, scarves or dishtowels.



Knitting is your craft if you:

  • Have patience – Knitting projects can take more time and be more detailed (the stitches are also smaller!)
  • Want to save money (but only to buy expensive yarn) – crochet projects take a third more yarn
  • Prefer logical projects and directions
  • Want to enjoy an extensive library of patterns – knitting patterns can be more popular and more readily available than crochet patterns
  • What you’ll need: yarn + knitting needles (size 11 for beginners)

Crochet is your craft if: 

  • Quick projects excite you (bigger stitches = projects work up faster)
  • You aren’t afraid of making mistakes – it’s easier to rip out work or fix a mixed stitch
  • Your mind works spatially – you like going up, down and around or over
  • You’re creative – crochet patterns can be scarcer to find and you might have to forge your own path
  • What you’ll need: “normal sized” yarn + a crochet needle (size H for beginners)

I learned to crochet when I was 8 so it’s my first love and I’m obviously biased, but knitting is a close second! If you’re adventurous, I’d recommend trying both crafts and seeing what you like. I’ve taught both to friends and it seems to be an individual basis of what is easier or harder – some people hate the structured stitches of knitting, while others find crocheting too cumbersome and need boundaries.

If I had to recommend just one, I’d recommend knitting since it tends to be easier for people to pick up quickly.

Either way, you can’t go wrong! Which one have you tried?

For 8 reasons why crochet is better than knitting, read here.



25 Comments

  • Linnea

    July 26, 2017

    With all respect regarding your information of availability of crochet patterns I highly disagree. All one needs do is go to Ravelry, an online yarn community and you will find over 400,000 crochet patterns alone. Add online magazine resources i.e., Happily Hooked Magazine, Crochet Now, FreeCrochetPatterns, etc. you’ve more than doubled your possibilities and crocheting opportunities to find crochet patterns both paid and free.

    Respectfully Yours,
    A Happy Bi-Stitchual Yarn Transformer

  • Lillian Alkus

    August 4, 2017

    I am a switch hitter and alternate betweeen knitting and crocheting. Sometimes, it is for the creativity. Sometimes, it is just to change muscle groups. Sometimes I use chrochet and knit in the same piece.

  • Carolynne

    August 18, 2017

    I am casting a vote for crochet. It’s 100x better than knitting, in my opinion. It’s much less strict and more adaptable. Knitting is harder for me because it’s more difficult to go back and fix a mistake and dropped stitch. I learned knitting first (about 2 years ago) and did it exclusively for amost a year before I picked up a crochet hook. Since I went hook, I haven’t really gone back to knitting. I should so I don’t lose my skill, but honestly I find even the thought a chore. I still have a knitting WIP that I want to finish but who knows if/when that will happen. I must admit that I am so surprised to hear that crochet patterns are harder to come by. I thought it would have been the opposite, in that knitting patterns were fewer and farther between.

  • Rose Sully

    February 25, 2018

    I have only been loom knitting because I forgot both knit and crochet, and if I do a few hours a day my hands and forearms hurt. Is this common? I’m about 60 so naturally the body is falling apart.

  • Joy

    September 26, 2018

    I’ve always been into sewing, so yarn crafts are both interesting and intimidating to me.
    I tried to learn knitting a few years ago. I learned quickly but also became frustrated quickly because I couldn’t make the stitches even or consistent. I feel like the needles are extremely awkward and always slipping out of my hands. I haven’t heard anyone else complain about this, maybe it’s just me. Certainly, practice would help, but after one ugly scarf and a lumpy, misshapen dog sweater I just lost interest.
    I’ve now been thinking of trying crochet, which my mother always did. I’ve seen beautiful knitted and crocheted pieces, but somehow I had the impression knitting was more versatile. Maybe I was wrong. It will be interesting to see how I fare with crochet!

  • Chuckles By The Bay

    December 21, 2018

    I landed on this blog article when I came back to type my response to the other blog article you posted about why crocheting is better than knitting. I think both serve its purpose. I love knitted socks and sweaters but I love crochet blankets. I have been a knitter for at least 10 years and I am rather solid. I never knitted a big project because it eventually bores me (Questioning the intellectual comment left on the other blog post). I can knit socks, children’s sweaters, intricate children’s dresses, lace patterns, cables, etc…I have made my own patterns too. I see the stitches well so, fixing a mistake several rows down doesn’t usually mean frogging, at all. It means grabbing a crochet hook and fixing that column when it comes up again. I might be an advanced knitter but I am unsure.

    I just started crocheting this week. OMG!!!!! It is QUICK! And, it is fun. I am not giving up knitting. But, I am making a granny square blanket right now and I am soooooo darn excited. I never knitted a blanket–it bored me. Granny Squares are NOT boring. They move quickly and it is fun deciding on the next color.

  • Tori Elliott

    December 24, 2018

    crochet has been so many times easier for me to learn than knitting, and the fact that it’s one small hook rather than 2 long, kinda cumbersome needles means I can still do it if I have a cat on my lap or if something else is limiting my space

  • joxeph

    February 7, 2019

    Tatting is made via small knots using a shuttle and resembles fine crochet, which is made by drawing the yarn or thread through loops. It often seems that the craft that was learnt first appears to be the easiest, but once one can follow the line of the “stitch” all becomes clear.

  • Carly W.

    March 7, 2019

    This is a great page! I love the points you make for each craft — I found them to be very valid! I would have to say I’m a knitter at heart, but I don’t think I’ve given crocheting its fair shot. I think I’m drawn more to knitting because I tend to like “the look” of the finished projects — Organized with neat edges – over crocheted items. But I have to agree with Jayna that if you’re looking for a new hobby you should try both! Like she said above, they’re both pretty easy to learn and there’s numerous resources online (with videos!) to help you get started.

    Rose – I’ve found it’s VERY common to be sore after a few hours (or less!) of knitting/crocheting/loom knitting! Just like every other muscle in your body (which ISN’T falling apart, by the way ????), your hands and forearms have to be exercised regularly to build tone and muscle memory. If I haven’t knitted in a while I find I have to build up my “endurance” again and sometimes even wake up the next day with sore hands/forearms! Don’t expect to run a marathon tomorrow when you’re only able to run a mile today! Be patient and keep at it!

  • Marti

    March 11, 2019

    I learned to knit in the 5th grade, I’ve forgotten since then as I’m in my mid 50’s, may try crocheting in my old age.

  • Barbara Sharp

    March 13, 2019

    I love to knit. I think it is beautiful and relaxing. Also, I am starting to get arthritis in my hands and knitting does not bother them so much.
    I learned to knit when I was five years old when my father moved to Canada to work. We stayed there for nine years. Everyone knitted at that time and maybe I just have a soft place in my heart for knitting. It was part of the culture.
    My family in the States crocheted and I believe they loved to crochet as much as I loved to knit. My grandmother was very proficient at crocheting

    The two crafts are both wonderful arts. I believe they both bring memories of a less hectic time when there was more time to relax. They definitely bring back memories for me.

  • JJCrochet

    March 18, 2019

    Hi Barb, what a fun story of how you learned to knit when you were young. Sounds like a lovely family pastime. Thanks for sharing!

  • JJCrochet

    March 18, 2019

    You should give it a try, Marti! You’re never too old to learn new tricks. 😉

  • JJCrochet

    March 18, 2019

    Great perspectives, Carly! I think I half prefer the finished looks of knitted items, too. So neat and tidy. I also can totally relate to your soreness – if we haven’t used our hand/arm muscles those guys get sore and tired ha. 🙂

  • JJCrochet

    March 18, 2019

    I’m excited for you, too! Hope you enjoy making your new blanket – sounds like you’re having fun.

  • Beth

    March 20, 2019

    Hi Everyone. I have been crocheting for 48 years. I just started teaching a class at the small College where I live. We are crocheting blankets for homeless kitties. The kitties don’t mind if you make a mistake. I made several little blankets each using different stitches that I just learned. 48 years without learning all those crochet stitches. Each blanket starts with 40 stitches. I used a book published in 1978 (I bought it new back then). My point is you can make small things (washcloth, Cat Blanket) and learn different stitches. Learning new crochet stiches afer 48 years has given me the courage to try knitting. So now I am buying my needles and watching uTube shows on how to knit.
    Before I try knitting I just learned how to “crochet” Tunisian style. It is a cross between crocheting and knitting. I love it. Where have I been for 48 years. When I teach crocheting I always says the hardest thing to learn is how to hold the yarn, and your hook; how to read a pattern; and how to control your tension. Seems to me that crocheting and knitting use the hands and fingers opposite. Crocheting you hold the yarn in your left hand. While knitting you control the yarn with your right hand. Once I learn to knit I want to go back and do broomstick crocheting again. I hope you all learn at least one thing that makes you as happy as crocheting has mad me.

  • mitzi

    July 3, 2019

    I’m only in high school, so buying a lot of expensive materials is not an option. I first learned to knit, but you need **so many** needles for the most basic of projects. Crochet might use more yarn, but you only need 1 set of hooks! No circulars, dpns, interchangeables… there’s Tunisian, but it’s a lot rarer. And you can’t find needles at thrift shops: I recently found a 4 dollar bag with $40 worth of yarn, all new with labels. Besides, when you’re swamped with homework, you don’t have time for itty bitty stitches 🙂

  • Ricky

    August 5, 2019

    It’s a silly but natural question to ask which is better, harder.
    I should be totally biased as I am a natural knitter. I speak knitting as my first language and crochet as a foreign language.
    Both are hard or easy depending on the project chosen.
    Knitting is better for sweaters and socks. Crochet offers a level of beauty in lace superior to knitting and has a tendency to be firmer, less flexible, stretchy than knitting. I could go on and on. Bottom line is they are both great.
    But, I do think crochet is easier to learn, as juggling 2 needles and yarn and dropping stitches are not issues in crochet. Also crochet is easier to make very large projects as the tool is always the single hook whereas knitting needles have to be long enough to carry all of the stitches and can be difficult to handle.
    Happy yarn/thread working!

  • Lena

    August 6, 2019

    Hi!

    I’ve never tried either before but I was just recommended to pick up either crochet or knitting as a stress reliever. Which would you recommend for someone who is not very patient, never tried either before, and looking to make a scarf?

    Thanks!!
    Lena

  • Sarah K.

    August 26, 2019

    At 5 years old, my grandmother decided to teach me to knit. She said her mother always had a project going and spent the evenings knitting. (No TVs then!) She started me off with a pair of size 6 needles and some leftover red yarn. She cast on the stitches and taught me to knit only at first. When I finished the first square, I was dismayed that she pulled it all out and had me do it again! My grandmother believed in a lot of practicing! I caught on quickly so she showed me how to perl. My dolls were never “cold” because they had a lot of blankets!

    When my left-handed sister turned 5, my mother decided to teach her to knit too but it didn’t go well and she gave up. My sister and I played school a lot and I taught her to read and simple math that I learned at school. One day, she asked me to teach her to knit. I didn’t try to turn it around like my mother had. I just taught her to do it the same way I did and it worked. My mother was shocked when she came home from work and my sister showed her the first loose and lop-sided square she made! My mother asked how I taught her and I said I just taught her how I did it! So she worked with her too. Her knitting was always looser than mine and yarn crafts have never been her favorite things to do but she did learn. She said she didn’t have the patience for it — and that it was quicker and easier to go to the store and buy what you wanted,

    When I was about 11 years old, my grandmother gave us a book that taught how to make a lot of different patterns, along with a bag of her scrap yarn. There weer LOTS of cable patterns in that book and I got really good at them. Some patterns I loved, some not so much. The plan was to make a blanket from all of those squares. While knitting all those squares, I learned to read patterns, to relax my grip on the needles and about different yarns! Some of the yarns were just not suited to that type of knitting. I started sewing the squares together at some point but quickly found out that some were too big and some too small to be included. I have a suitcase full of squares that were for that project. I really think I would prefer to remake the squares, using one type of yarn that all those scraps! I know it would be a nicer looking blanket!

    I did learn to crochet in my early twenties. My husband’s family were all crocheters. My mother-in-law showed me how to make ripple pattern baby blankets. I bought a kit and learned how to make Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street for my son. I bought some beautiful yarn to make a larger blanket years ago but I still need to make it. I recently found the box with the yarn shoved to the back of a closet. My fear is that I will be nearing the end and find out I need more yarn to finish it! My husband’s mother and both grandmothers made us several afghans over the years so I never needed to make it, I guess. My mother-in-law also made a gorgeous baby blanket that is crocheted with two yarn colors — green on one side and white on the other. I couldn’t let it go when I was finished with baby blankets! (I used it for my grandchildren when they came to visit!)

    I think your assessments of the two crafts are very accurate, JJCrochet, and I agree that people should try both to see which one they prefer. I never learned to love crocheting like I love knitting but I do appreciate the crocheted items I have. And my mother-in-law, who was inspired to take a class to learn to knit because of my knitting, said it was interesting but she preferred to crochet. I hope people will give each a fair trial to find out which they like!

  • Karen Lucas

    August 30, 2019

    I learned to knit when I was very young. I love the straight edge aspect and the variation you can make with 2 stitches. On the other hand I took a crochet class & never got the edging to be consistent. I can make small granny squares, but you can get the same effect by knitting.

  • Bethany

    September 10, 2019

    Learning (/teaching myself?) to crochet was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in a very long time.

    When I first decided to try a yarn craft, this blog post was one of the pieces of information that swayed me to crocheting over knitting. This was a little under a year ago now, and I’m so happy with the decision I made. Crocheting was very easy for me and I went from beginner to advanced very quickly — I now make both simple and intricate pieces, from shawls and cowls to tank tops and purses and whatever someone asks for outside and in between (I make and sell pieces now, too). I am able to create my own work from scratch (rather than always having to follow a pattern) which I feel would be a lot harder to do with knitting, and is important to me.

    I must admit I have no desire to learn knitting. I can simply tell it isn’t for me. With crocheting, I was immediately able to tell it was going to be a fulfilling, life-long love. The adaptability and room for creativity with crocheting is very important to me and part of why I fell in love with it. Had I chosen knitting, I feel I may have ended up boring of it quickly and given up on yarn. I’m so happy that did not happen, and so happy with the decision I made.

  • JJCrochet

    September 14, 2019

    Aw thank you so much for sharing, Bethany! How cool to be a part of your story. Isn’t it funny how you can look at something or try it for a second and realize it either IS or ISN’T for you? It just feels right. Glad to hear you’ve been loving crocheting. Keep those hook going!

  • JJCrochet

    September 14, 2019

    Thank you for commenting. Agree – never know which one people will like. Try them both and see. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story.

  • JJCrochet

    September 14, 2019

    Hi Lena – they can both be great stress relievers! If you’d like a quicker project, I’d recommend crocheting. The stitches are larger than knitting (typically) and you might be able to work up a scarf faster.

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