Knitting and crocheting are both popular crafting hobbies because they are fun, relaxing, and an outlet for creativity—not to mention, they result in products you can actually use. The two crafts are similar in that they work with needles/hooks and yarn to create a fabric, but the processes and tools required are quite different. 

When choosing between the two, people often ask what the differences are between knit vs crochet baby blankets, for example, or scarves and sweaters. Here’s everything you need to know about the differences between crochet vs knit, and the pros and cons of learning how to crochet vs knit.

Knit Vs Crochet

KNIT-CROCHET
Both knitting and crocheting use yarn, which comes in various textures and colors.

When you’re just starting out with knitting or crocheting, you’ll probably have many questions: Is it easier to learn to knit or crochet? Which is more relaxing, knitting or crocheting? What can you knit vs what can you crochet? Like with many crafts, there is no right or wrong answer, and a lot will come down to your own preferences and desired outcomes. 

Some simple projects like scarves or washcloths can be created using either technique, but as you become more advanced, you’ll see that each craft has its own benefits and limitations. 

It’s notoriously difficult to learn how to knit or crochet from written instructions or diagrams alone, and it helps to see someone else forming the stitches and manipulating the needles/hook and yarn. Check out a visual knitting or crocheting tutorial so you can see how and where to position your hands, the implements, and the yarn.

That said, anyone can learn to knit or crochet, as the basic stitches are quite straightforward. They’re skills, and don’t necessarily require advanced artistic ability or flair. Of course, if you have these, your end products can be amazing! 

Learn to Knit Comfy Clothing

Cozy House Socks: An Introduction to Sock Knitting.

Knitting

knitting-yard-needles
To knit you’ll need yarn and needles, and a knitting ruler is helpful for some projects.

Knitting requires two pointed needles (which are sometimes connected with a loop of wire to prevent stitches being dropped, or when creating circular designs) and yarn. Needles come in various lengths and thickness and can be made from plastic, aluminum, wood, or bamboo. Yarn can be wool, cotton, or other synthetic or animal fibers. It can be thin, thick, fluffy, or smooth.

Simple projects like scarves don’t usually require you to follow a pattern, which is good news for beginners. If you’re trying to knit a complex item like a sweater with patterns and various colors, you’ll need to learn how to read a knitting pattern.

Knitting stitches are created by looping the yarn around the needles in a specific way. There are two basic types of knitting stitch: plain and purl. Combining these creates the stretchy, ribbed fabric of knitted items.

knitting-skillshare
Advanced knitters can create detailed, wearable items of clothing.

Crochet

crochet-hook
To crochet, you’ll need a crochet hook and a few other supplies.

The hook used in crocheting is very different from knitting needles. To crochet (vs knit), you only need one hook, which has a handle at one end and, well, a hook at the other. Unlike in knitting, you don’t transfer stitches from one needle to another.

Crochet hooks come in different thicknesses, and the thickness you choose should depend on the project you’re doing and the yarn you’re using. Crocheting yarns are the same as knitting yarns. They’re made from natural or artificial fibers and come in numerous textures, colors, and thicknesses. 

Crocheting uses four core stitches: chain, single crochet, double crochet, and half-double crochet. Items can be crocheted using just one of these stitches, a combination, or all four. Crochet stitches resemble a chain of small knots, and the resulting fabric is less stretchy and tends to look more bumpy than knitted fabric. 

crochet-scarf
A crocheted scarf made using the corner to corner technique.

Crochet Projects Vs Knitting Projects

A wide variety of things can be hand-knitted or crocheted, but beginners tend to start with simple items like scarves, washcloths, hats, and blankets, which give you the chance to practice basic stitches and skills while creating usable items or gifts.

Experienced knitters and crocheters who have mastered the basics and learned how to read a pattern can experiment with more complex projects, such as patchwork crochet quilts, knitted sweaters, or knit vs crochet baby blankets. If you’re interested in making clothes, knitting is often the preferred method because the end fabric is more stretchy and draped than crocheted fabric, and the textures finer. If you’re wondering about a knit vs crochet blanket, many people prefer to crochet larger pieces, as crocheting tends to be a bit quicker than knitting.

Here are a few crochet and knitting projects for inspiration and to answer the question: What can you knit vs what can you crochet?

knitted-scarves
Knitted scarves can include different patterns and textures, created by various stitches.
knitted-clutch
A knitted clutch bag that looks detailed but is actually quite simple.
kids knit sweater
Knit a kids’ sweater if you want to have a go at a more complex project.
knit cables example
Learning to knit “cables” will add interesting details to your knitted projects.
crochet blanket
Regarding the question of knit vs crochet blanket, crochet blankets usually come out on top!
crocheted hats
Crocheted hats are simple and practical.
crochet squares
Crocheted squares can be stitched together to create cushions or blankets.
crotchet
Crocheted animals are a good way to practice more complex crochet skills.

Pros and Cons for Knitting

Pros:

  • Many people find knitting easier to learn (but this is also individual).

  • Knitted items of clothing have more drape, which many people find more aesthetically pleasing.

  • Knitted items can be quite stretchy, depending on the combination of stitches used.

  • Advanced knitters can create clothing that looks like high-quality knits you can buy in stores!
  • A huge variety of knitting patterns are available for advanced projects.

Cons:

  • Dropping stitches is a real problem when knitting, and it can mess up a whole project if you’re not careful.

  • Knitting requires a lot of patience as the process can take a long time.

  • Some people don’t like the sound of knitting needles clicking together!

Pros and Cons for Crocheting

Pros:

  • You use one hook rather than two needles, meaning fewer tools to drop or lose.
  • Once you’ve learned the basics, many people find crocheting easier than knitting because you don’t have to move the stitches back and forth between needles.
  • Crocheting is less likely to unravel by mistake than knitting is. This is a major benefit of crocheting when first learning how to crochet vs knit.
  • The stiffer nature of crocheted pieces makes it ideal for blankets or other items that don’t need a flowing drape look.

Cons:

  • Crocheting projects tend to use more yarn than knitting projects, thus can be more expensive.
  • Crocheting patterns are less easily available than knitting patterns.