Casting Off: Knitting vs Crochet
Hello and welcome back to the blog! I would wish you a happy summer, but the weather is pretty miserable at the moment. Then again, it's perfect weather for cosying up with a project. But which type is better: knitting or crochet? It's virtually impossible to come up with one definitive answer, but today I'll look at different aspects of both knitting and crochet and see which do better for each.
Easier to Start: Knitting
A lot of people argue that knitting is easier to start, as all it involves is putting your needle into a stitch which is already on a needle, looping around that and pulling that through. With crochet, the motion of putting the hook into the stitch can be a lot more fiddly at first.
Easier to Master: Crochet
Having said that, with knitting, there are many more techniques to learn afterwards in order to be able to make something, including purl stitch, casting on and off and increasing and decreasing. With crochet, there are a few similar things to learn but most of these use movements which aren't too different to the main crochet stitch.
Amount of Yarn: Knitting
Of course, this varies; if you are going to be making a crochet lace garment, you will end up using far less and if you are making your knitting extra bulky, you will use more. However, as a general rule of thumb, crochet uses a third more yarn than knitting does. So, if you are looking for a slightly cheaper craft, knitting may be your best option.
If you're looking for a quick project, crochet may be more for you as it is generally the quicker option. However. this speed comes from experience and practice, so people who do more knitting often find that they get pretty quick at it. In general though, crochet grows that little bit quicker, not only because the technique makes it bigger but also because it's less fiddly once you've got the hang of it, so you're not slowed down by that.
With both knitting and crochet, it is relatively easy to add some stripes. However, with knitting, you can do fair isle very easily, whereas with crochet it is a little harder because the stitches lean slightly. Below is a photo of some colourwork I have done with knitting recently (though I had a bit of an issue with the lighting so it's not the best of photos). Whilst I have a basic idea of how I would crochet it, I feel that it is much easier to knit.
In general, portability is more based on size; however, if you take your knitting project out, you run the risk of dropping stitches, which can be very fiddly to pick up. With crochet, you hook may come out and a little may come undone but this is much easier to rectify.
From this point on, I'm not going to declare a winner for each categories as these ones are more down to personal preference. The texture of knitting is much more uniform and smooth and it drapes very well, so if that's what you prefer, knitting is the best choice. However, if you would like something a little more dense and textured, crochet is for you.
With knitting, the direction is very logical - you just continuously go back and forth or occasionally in the round. Some people find this soothing, but for others this can be a little boring. On the other hand, crochet can be back and forth, in the round, in a 2d shape or in a range of other dimensions which can be used to make more 3d shapes.
As I said earlier, it's hard to come to a definitive answer, but personally I do prefer knitting. I started when I was young and then learnt the more complicated stitches over time, so I've got very familiar with knitting and have got pretty quick at it too from the experience. I also like the fact that it uses a bit less yarn as I like to make my projects oversized but don't have enough money or yarn to crochet tons of extra-large jumpers! I also love the texture and logical direction of knitting. Having said that, I really love the range of shapes that can be made when crocheting and the fact that mistakes are easier to rectify. If you are not sure which appeals more to you personally, I would recommend giving both knitting and crochet a try as different people gravitate to different types of craft for a range of reasons.
In our final section in this series of blog posts, I will be looking at some types of craft which are talked about less, but until next time, happy crafting!
My name is Sharon the Sheep, the owner of Avicraft Wool Shop in Bromley Kent..