Knitting vs Crocheting: Which Craft is Easier?

Which Craft is Easier: Knitting vs Crocheting?

Considering fiber arts, knitting, and crocheting are two popular ways of creating beautiful and functional fabric from yarn. Knitting or crocheting would be a great option if you want to start a new hobby.

But is one easier than the other?

In this article, I will explore the differences and pros and cons, and then you be the judge.

But before I do, I just want to emphasize that neither knitting nor crocheting can be mastered after one lesson. Both require a great deal of muscle memory and dexterity. Both have about the same learning curve.

A person is seen knitting with gray yarn.Knitting
A person is crocheting a small swatch of fabricCrocheting

Understanding the Difference Between Knitting and Crocheting

Knitting has likely been around for a millennium, having first emerged in the literature as early as the 11th century CE but crochet is a recent invention from the 19th century. Both crafts' popularity has waxed and waned over the years but both are more popular than ever in the 21st century.

For beginners or those interested in picking up knitting or crocheting, it’s important to understand the differences. While both needlecrafts involve creating fabric from yarn, they utilize different techniques and tools.


types of knitting needles

Knitting involves using two needles and working with multiple stitches at once, which are held on the needles. Knitted fabric tends to be smoother, stretchier, and has more drape than crochet fabric.

There are a few reversible stitch patterns, but for the majority, there is a distinct right and wrong side to the fabric. Typical projects often knitted include sweaters and vests, scarves and shawls, hats, mittens, and socks.

Knitting Tools

To knit, one needs, at the minimum, yarn, and knitting needles. There are a variety of different types of knitting needles, including straight needles, circular needles, double-pointed needles, and cable needles.

Tapestry or yarn needles are also needed to weave in yarn. You can learn more about knitting needles here.

Basic Knitting Techniques

There are only two basic knit stitches, the knit and purl stitches. From there, these two stitches can be combined in various ways to create easy to intricate patterns.

In addition, before one can begin to knit, one must learn how to cast on and bind off stitches.


A single hook is used to crochet fabric that is often highly textured, thick, stiff, and sturdy. For most projects, there is no distinct difference between the right and wrong sides.

Projects that benefit from these characteristics include dishcloths, placemats, and household items. Amigurumi is also a popular crochet technique used to make a variety of different types of toys.

Crochet is also an excellent choice for making blankets, such as granny square Afghans and similar large projects that don't require much time.

Crochet Tools

A swatch of crochet shown with balls of yarn and a pair of scissors

Again, yarn and a single crochet hook are used in crochet and held in the dominant hand. The craft yarn council has made it easy to learn more about the type of yarn used in knitting and crochet.

They have also provided a resource to determine what size hooks match up with the various types of yarns. For example, a size H (5.0 mm) or I/9 (5.25 mm) hook is recommended if using worsted-weight yarn.

The yarn label also provides this information as well. A tapestry needle is also needed for crochet, scissors, and other notions.

Crochet Techniques

Traditional crochet involves making several basic crochet stitches.

There are six stitches you will need to master first:

All additional crochet projects will use one or more of these stitches in many ways to create amazing textured fabrics.

These differences may seem immense, but they are not. However, the difference gives each craft its unique look and feel. These differences are also the reason some people think one is easier than the other.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Knitting vs Crocheting

There is a learning curve to mastering knitting and crocheting. It takes time to develop that muscle memory that is necessary and a fair amount of fine motor skills helps tremendously.

Knitting Pros and Cons

Knitting Pros

  • Knitting is portable; you can knit almost anywhere, including airplanes.
  • There is an easy sequence to learning knitting. Once you master the basics, new stitch patterns are easy to learn.
  • Knitting is very versatile. From super lace-weight yarn to the thickest chunky yarn, there are many projects you can create.
  • One can practice mindfulness when knitting. The repetitive nature can be relaxing, and even the clinking of metal needles can be soothing.
  • More free patterns can be found on the internet, especially Ravelry.
  • Easier to read and count your stitches.

Knitting Cons

  • Knitting can be more difficult for beginners because you must simultaneously hold two needles and manage the working yarn in one of your hands. It takes a while to figure out how to hold the yarn and needles and manage everything at the same time.
  • It's not always easy to fix knitting mistakes. Sometimes you need to rip out an entire row or more of knitting.
  • Knitting is equally inexpensive for the brand-new beginner but may cost more because more supplies are needed for advanced techniques.
  • 3-D objects such as toys can be difficult to create without additional needles.
  • Complete beginners often have difficulty keeping the active loops or stitches from falling off the needle.

Crocheting Pros and Cons

Crocheting Pros

  • Crochet is portable like knitting, perhaps more so. Common crochet motifs like granny squares are even easier to create on the go.
  • Even the most intricate crochet textures are combinations of a few basic stitches.
  • It's easy to pick up and put down in the middle of a row (compared to knitting)
  • In most cases, crocheting is faster than knitting.
  • Crochet is easy to unravel and fix mistakes, if needed.
  • No worries about crochet stitches falling off the hook.
  • Crochet is the easiest method for making shapes and toys.

Crocheting Cons:

  • Determining where to insert your hook is slightly trickier than knitting.
  • Crochet uses more yarn than knitting.
  • Crocheted fabric is generally less stretchy than knitting.
  • Often difficult to read your stitches.

Knitting vs Crocheting:  Which is  Easier for Beginners?

One of the most common questions beginners ask is whether knitting or crocheting is easier to learn. The answer ultimately depends on:

  • Personal preference
  • Project preferences

Personal Preferences

Some individuals find crocheting easier because it deals with only one hook held in one hand with the yarn tensioned in the other.

For those who have developed a fair amount of fine motor skills, crochet can be easier. On the other hand, some people find holding the hook in the dominant hand and learning to tension the yarn in the non-dominant hand challenging.

Crocheting also involves working with one stitch at a time, which means correcting mistakes is much easier. Since crochet stitches tend to be taller, finishing projects faster is easier.

Knitting, on the other hand, requires one to hold a needle in each hand while tensioning the yarn with one of the hands. By knitting, you can tension the yarn in either hand.

If you tension the yarn in your left hand, you are a continental knitter. English knitters tension the yarn in their right hand. Mistakes are more difficult to fix, but there are only two basic stitches that the beginner must master.

Project Preferences

For those who have a project in mind before they learn to knit or crochet, that project could influence what you end up learning.

To make toys (amigurumi), you must learn how to crochet. You can make these items with knitting, but it's not quite as easy. Likewise, if your goal is to make things for the home, such as baskets, scarves, dishcloths, placements, or something circular, crochet is your craft.

Knitting may be the way to go if you want to learn how to knit a sweater, shawl, pair of socks, or mittens. This does not suggest you can't crochet a sweater or knit a dishcloth. There are a few things that can't be knit or crocheted.

Knitting vs Crochet:  Which is Faster?

The speed of knitting and crocheting often depends on the individual and the project at hand. Some people find knitting faster because they can work with multiple stitches simultaneously, especially when using circular needles.

Knitting can be performed in several different ways. The two most popular methods, as I mentioned above are English and Continental. Knitters using the English method hold and manipulate the working yarn with their right hand.

Continental knitters hold and work the yarn with their left hand. More advanced continental knitters can work very fast, depending on the intricacy of the project.

Many others find crochet to be faster because stitches can be worked faster. Speed should not be the sole factor when choosing between knitting and crocheting.

There are other factors that you may want to consider before choosing one over the other, including types of projects, quantity of yarn used, and cost.

Knitting vs Crocheting: Which  Uses More Yarn

Another common question is whether knitting or crocheting uses more yarn. The answer is not straightforward, depending on the specific project and the stitch patterns.

Even within knitting, different stitch patterns require more yarn than others. The same is true for crochet.

Generally, knitting tends to use less yarn than crocheting because the stitches are closer together. However, certain knitting techniques or patterns, such as cables or colorwork, can require more yarn.

On the other hand, crocheting tends to use more yarn due to the nature of the stitches, which creates a more textured, thick, and open fabric. Ultimately, the amount of yarn needed for a project will vary depending on the pattern and personal tension.

Knitting vs. Crochet: Which is Better for Different Projects?

Both knitting and crocheting have their strengths and are better suited for certain projects.

Knitting is excellent for creating sweaters, socks, and hats, as the fabric tends to be stretchy and drapes well. It's also great for colorwork and intricate stitch patterns.

Crocheting, however, is perfect for making blankets, scarves, and amigurumi toys, as the fabric has more structure and is denser. Crochet is often used for making household items such as placemats, dishcloths, baskets, and plant holders.

Crocheting is also ideal for creating textured patterns and adding embellishments to projects. Adding color is often easier in crochet.

Take the granny square, for example. Each four-inch square can have four different colors, whereas adding additional colors in knitting is more complex.

Ultimately, the choice between knitting and crocheting for different projects comes down to personal preference and the desired outcome.

Projects Good for Knitting

  • Sweaters
  • Vests
  • Scarves and cowls
  • Socks
  • Hats
  • Mittens and fingerless mittens
  • Shawls and Wraps
  • Dresses and skirts

Projects Good for Crochet

  • Blankets (any size)
  • Baskets
  • Toys and 3-d objects
  • Washcloths and dishcloths
  • Placemats and doilies
  • Rugs
  • Amigurumi
  • Hats and headbands
  • Mug and teapot cozies

Knitting vs. Crochet: Which Costs More?

Cost is always on people's minds when they consider a new endeavor. How much will it cost initially, and what expenses will I have in the future?

To begin, both knitting and crochet are relatively inexpensive. All you will need to begin is some yarn, knitting needles, or a crochet hook.

You will also want to pick up a pair of scissors and some notions such as stitch markers, tapestry needles, and a tape measure. That's it. You will need a few more items as you enter your chosen needlecraft.

A complete set of crochet hooks is helpful to have on hand, especially if you plan to experiment with different weights of yarn.

Luckily a good set of hooks need not be expensive. One of my favorite sets is an ergonomic set by Yarniss which includes 14 hooks and costs about 17 USD.

Check Prices

Knitting needles, on the other hand, can get to be expensive. An interchangeable circular knitting needle set can cost upwards of $150, depending on your chosen type and brand.

Lace knitting needles with sharp needle tips can be quite expensive. Circular needles are wonderful, but you may also want a few pairs of straight needles and a set or two of double-pointed needles.

Check Prices

Check Prices

Another thing that beginners may fail to consider is how versatile needles and crochet hooks can be. New knitters are not likely to think about working on more than one project at a time, but at some point, it makes sense to have more than one project in the works.

If you only have one pair of needles, this option will not be possible because the loops or stitches must remain on the needle.

Crocheting two projects with the same hook is very doable. Simply remove the hook and place a stitch holder on the last stitch. Then, use the same hook on your new project. This is one more way you can save with crochet.

Knitters also will want things like cable needles and stitch holders. Well, you see my point; there are more things to buy so that knitting can be more expensive.

Tips for Beginners in Knitting and Crocheting

Whether you choose knitting or crocheting, here are some tips to help you get started on your fiber arts journey:

  1. Start with simple projects: Your first project could be a set of coasters, a dishcloth, or a scarf. Begin with small, manageable projects to build your skills and confidence.

  2. Practice regularly: Consistency is key to improving your knitting or crocheting skills and building that muscle memory. Set aside dedicated time each week or, better yet, each day to practice and work on projects.

  3. Don't be afraid to make mistakes: Mistakes are part of learning. Learning to knit or crochet means reading your stitches, identifying mistakes, and discovering how to fix them.

  4. Experiment. Once you've mastered the basics, don't be afraid to try new stitches, patterns, and techniques. Knitting and crocheting are about creativity and self-expression, so let your imagination run wild.

Conclusion: Knitting vs Crocheting:  Choosing the Right Craft for You

In the end, the choice between knitting and crocheting as a beginner comes down to personal preference. Both crafts offer a wonderful way to relax, express creativity, and create beautiful and functional pieces.

Whether you prefer the stability of knitting or the versatility of crocheting, the most important thing is to enjoy the process and have fun.

So, grab your needles or hook, pick up some yarn, and embark on your fiber arts adventure. Knitting vs Crocheting, it's entirely up to you.  Happy knitting or crocheting!

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