You’re ready to pick up a hobby. You want something easy and portable that doesn’t have a high buy in. You have Pinterest boards full of gorgeous patterns and now you’re left with one question: Which is easier, knitting or crocheting?
That’s a great question, and one we’ll try to answer, but there are a few other factors you should strongly consider before picking your path.
Let’s dive in!
(If you want to know why you should trust me on this subject before reading on, skip down to the end.)
- Which is Easier Knitting or Crocheting: The Short Answer
- Which is Easier Knitting or Crocheting: The Stitches
- Knitting vs Crocheting: Which is faster?
- Knitting vs Crocheting: Does One Cost Less?
- Knitting vs Crocheting: By Project Type (And The Reason I’m a Knitter)
- So Which is Easier: Knitting or Crocheting? The Long Answer
- What Makes Me Qualified to Talk about Which is Easier, Knitting or Crocheting?
Which is Easier Knitting or Crocheting: The Short Answer
Here’s the short answer: When you consider learning tension, managing stitches, etc. I think crocheting has the shortest learning curve from picking up the hook to a making a finished object you’d actually show to someone other than your mother.
With simple crocheting you only ever have one loop on your hook at a time. If it falls off and you lose a stitch, it’s no big deal.
With knitting, you’re also learning to manage tension, but each stitch in your project is a live loop on your needle. And nothing quite strikes fear into a new knitter’s heart like dropping a stitch. (Don’t worry, fixing a dropped stitch is not quite the trauma it seems!)
But honestly, the learning curve is not that much longer for knitting vs crocheting because of this reason:
Which is Easier Knitting or Crocheting: The Stitches
But in knitting, there are only 2 basic stitches to learn: the knit stitch and the purl stitch. When you combine these with a couple increases and decreases, you can knit pretty much anything. Even those super fancy cables are just knits and purls in a different order.
In crocheting, there are many more stitches to learn. You’ve got the chain, single, half double, double, and triple stitches for starters. Pair these with some simple increases and decreases and you can make a lot, but you’ll have to learn a bunch of other stitches if you want to get beyond the basics.
So which is easier, knitting or crocheting? Honestly, in ease of learning, I’d say it’s about a tie. But there are other factors that may effect your choice.
Knitting vs Crocheting: Which is faster?
Knitting a single stitch is faster than crocheting a single stitch, because knitting picks up only one loop of yarn (a single motion) and crocheting takes two loops to make a stitch. But if a knitter and crocheter of equal speed were told to make an 8” square, the crocheter would likely finish first.
Because of the construction of the stitches, crocheting consumes about a third more yarn than knitting, but in doing so a single crochet stitch (same yarn and gauge) is larger—both in height and thickness—than a single knit stitch.
Knitting vs Crocheting: Does One Cost Less?
If you’re on a strict budget, crocheting is once again the winner. The cheap crochet hooks you can pick up at Walmart are perfectly serviceable and you only need one of each size.
Knitting needles require not only different sizes of needles, but also different sizes of cords. And because you’re constantly sliding all your stitches over and around those needles and cords, having high quality needles makes a huge difference to your overall experience. (If you thinking you’re going to get into knitting, I STRONGLY recommend buying a set of interchangeable needles. It can literally save you $1000 in trying to buy all the different fixed combinations.)
The Yarn Cost
When it comes to yarn in knitting vs crocheting the answer is… well, it depends.
Knitting uses 1/3 less yards of yarn per square inch (meters per square centimeter), so on the surface it is cheaper. But in my personal experience, that has not been true.
When I crocheted, I almost exclusively used cheap acrylic… we’re talking Red Heart Super Saver, baby. And it did not bother me one bit to crochet all the time with the super cheap stuff—which is a good thing because that’s all I could afford.
Then I turned to knitting. My first couple projects were birthday gifts, and I was given wool yarn to knit with. The knitting was fast and smooth and I had a great experience. Then I grabbed some of my old Red Heart. It squeaked and dragged and gave me a nails-on-chalkboard type of experience.
I believe that because you’re only ever dealing with a couple stitches at a time with crocheting, you don’t really feel the drag or inelastic properties of inexpensive acrylic. But when you have dozens or even hundreds of stitches on your needle, you feel it in every stitch.
So I almost exclusively knit with natural yarn (and occasionally nicer acrylic), which I love for myriad of reasons, but is not always in the budget.
Knitting vs Crocheting: By Project Type (And The Reason I’m a Knitter)
I can practically hear you screaming through your screens: If crocheting has this many things going for it, why are you a knitter?!? This is why:
I’m sorry crocheters, but I’m gonna be frank here. Knitting is the winner for pretty much everything you’d want to put on your body (with the exception of scarves). For sweaters, socks, shawls (and more) knitted fabric drapes better, it has better elasticity, and is the most natural-looking fit for clothes because it is what we are most used to seeing in store-bought clothing—earning us the chance to shock our complementors with the fact that we made it ourselves.
This is the reason I made the switch from crocheting to knitting, and it’s also the reason I’ve never looked back. I had made tons of objects from the 2 categories below and was ready to wear what I created.
Hats and gloves are a toss up between knitting vs crocheting, and crocheting is the winner for scarves because you don’t have to fight the natural curl of stockinette knitting.
Once again, crocheting comes back out on top! Crocheting is great for blankets, pillow covers, tea cozies, doilies, and market bags.
Crocheting is fabulous for a flat project like a blanket because it looks great on both sides and won’t curl in on itself like stockinette knitting.
Structural Objects – Toys and Figurines
Crocheting is also the winner for anything structural because the stitches you make are not dependent on the stitches before, like with knitting. You can pick up a crochet stitch just about anywhere, and if you’re using a tight gauge it will naturally have enough structure to hold itself up.
This is why amiguri (mini figurines) is a crocheted art!
So Which is Easier: Knitting or Crocheting? The Long Answer
When someone asks me “Which is easier knitting or crocheting?” what they’re usually asking is which one should I try? And it all depends: What do you want to make? What kind of investment can you put in? Do you have the patience for a slightly longer learning curve/project time at the start?
If the answers are Blankets, None, and Nope (my answers when I first picked a craft) then crocheting is for you.
(I have amazing crochet designer friends, ask me more in the comments below and I’ll hook you up!)
If the answers are Sweaters, Some, and I Suppose (my answers 23 years later) then give knitting a try.
If knitting is your passion place. Hello! It’s nice to meet you! I have resources for learning, free knitting patterns for beginners, and so much more. Welcome to the club. You won’t be sorry you joined!
What Makes Me Qualified to Talk about Which is Easier, Knitting or Crocheting?
You may notice from the site title that this is Nurture Knitwear. And yes, as of this date, I have published over 65 knitting patterns and have designs featured in Vogue Knitting, Wool Studio, and several Knit Picks collections.
But here’s what you probably don’t know. I’ve only been knitting for a little over 3 years. I asked for knitting lessons for my 29th birthday, but once those needles were in my hands, something clicked and I didn’t wait for the lesson.
Now that may seem strange. And it is. Without a doubt. (It would take a psychologist to figure out all the whys lol.)
But I’d tried knitting at least 3 times before and never “got it.” What I did “get”? Crocheting.
I learned to crochet when I was 6 and I crocheted straight on for 23 years—trying every stitch and technique I could find or make up. I learned to crochet before I could read and growing up in rural Indiana before the age of the internet, I didn’t have access to patterns.
I never learned to read crochet patterns. I always winged it.
So then when I did have that magic moment of learning to knit and really getting it, knitting from someone else’s pattern was not natural to me.
I had been training for knitwear design my whole life, and I just didn’t know it.
It was through the wonderful encouragement of some lovely women from the Lost Sheep Yarn Shop that I started writing patterns for those designs and I discovered my true passion and calling.
And I want to thank you all for coming on this crazy ride with me!