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Crochet is Better Than Knitting: Here's Why

When it comes to knitting vs crochet, which is superior?

Updated May 24, 2021
Crochet is Better Than Knitting

We'll be honest, we're not into starting fights with yarn crafters, particularly with our sister site AllFreeKnitting, but sometimes it's a must. In the case of knitting vs crochet, we feel we need to defend our hook! Crochet IS better than knitting and we have plenty of reasons why.

This debate is a bit along the lines of Star Wars vs Star Trek because they are quite different and worth their own weight and appreciation when you get down to the details. So, just as both of those franchises are about space and include "star" in the name, both knitting and crochet involve yarn and a tool to create beautifully designed pieces.

However, when it comes to knitting and crochet differences, we see a lot more benefits when we're talking about crochet. Yes, we may be biased, but we welcome you to disagree... if you can!

Below, we're going to discuss the difference in supplies, look and texture of both, answer some of the FAQs about these two yarn crafts, go over the advantages and disadvantages, and more. Buckle up (and be prepared to defend knitting if that's your current choice of the superior yarn craft), let's go!
 

P.S. Want more FREE yarn patterns in your inbox daily? Choose your craft of choice!

What is the Difference Between Knitting and Crocheting?

Crochet vs Knitting Supplies

Crochet has two main supplies: yarn and a crochet hook.
Knitting has two main supplies: yarn and a set of knitting needles.

The first advantage? Crochet only uses one hook, but knitting has two needles. Outside of Tunisian crochet hooks, crochet hooks are much shorter, too, with a hook at the top. Knitting needles are all long and have a sharp point that may just poke through your bag or get confiscated by TSA at security checkpoints.

The image below shows a crochet hook on the left and knitting needles on the right.

The image shows a crochet hook on the left and knitting needles on the right.

There are other tools, of course, but less essential. Let's go over everything you might want in your craft box if you crochet or knit.

Crochet:

  1. Yarn
  2. Crochet hooks
  3. Yarn needles
  4. Stitch markers
  5. Stitch counters
  6. Measuring tape
  7. Scissors
  8. Gauge tool
Learn more about crochet supplies by reading How to Start Crocheting.

Knitting:
  1. Yarn
  2. Straight knitting needles
  3. Circular needles / Double pointed needles
  4. Yarn needles
  5. Stitch markers
  6. Knit counters
  7. Point protectors
  8. Measuring tape
  9. Scissors
  10. Crochet hooks - that's right! According to AllFreeKnitting, "Crochet hooks can save your knitting on many occasions. The two biggest advantages of crochet hooks are their ability to fix dropped stitches and to weave in ends."
Learn more about knitting supplies by reading Beginning Knitting Supplies: The Ultimate Knitting Tools List.

Hmm, would you look at that? It seems you need fewer tools for crochet! That's another reason crochet is better.
 

Crochet vs Knit Appearance

There is a big difference in the appearance of these two crafts. Another reason that crochet is better than knitting is that knitting can be replicated with a machine and crochet cannot.

In fact, when people ask, "How can you tell if a sweater is knitted or crocheted?" Well, one easy way is the construction. Crochet has a "back and forth" look and knitting has an "up and down" look. There are far more crochet stitches than knitting stitches.

When you see sweaters and scarves in the stores, nearly every one is knit. Unless it's handmade, it cannot be crocheted, which is why stores only sell knit sweaters.

Of course, if you're in a boutique, at a craft show, or other retailers that features homemade items, you may see hand-knit items along with handmade crochet pieces.

The image below shows a single crochet swatch on the left and a knit stitch swatch on the right.

The image shows a single crochet swatch on the left and a knit stitch swatch on the right.

Crochet Stitches vs Knitting Stitches

As we mentioned above, there are far more crochet stitches than knitting stitches. Knitting only has two types of stitches, knit and purl. You can use those two to create variations and new stitches but crochet has over 150 stitch patterns, only some of which use the same base pattern.

There is some overlap with stitch names but the appearance it's vastly different for most. Let's take a look at a few (these are also discussed in the article, Can Crochet Patterns Be Converted to Knitting?):

The seed stitch: There is a crochet seed stitch and a knit seed stitch, but they don't look much alike. The crochet version shows little Vs (which is actually very knitting-esque) and the knitted version shows a more textural and circular shape.

The image below shows an example of the crochet seed stitch on the left and an example of the knit seed stitch on the right.

The image shows an example of the crochet seed stitch on the left and an example of the knit seed stitch on the right.

The bobble stitch: The crochet bobble stitch does resemble the knit bobble stitch more than the previous example but the base it's much different.

The image below shows an example of the crochet bobble stitch on the left and an example of the knit bobble stitch on the right.

The image shows an example of the crochet bobble stitch on the left and an example of the knit bobble stitch on the right.

We won't judge you if you prefer the look of the knitted versions, but we happen to love the look of the crochet stitches.
 

Crochet Granny Squares vs Knit Mitered Squares

Two words: granny squares. Crochet has them, knitting does not. We can't even imagine not being able to create stunning afghans from various squares. The closest knitting has is a mitered square, which doesn't allow for as much texture or variation.

In the article, Modular Knitting 101: How to Knit a Mitered Square, AllFreeKnitting states, "Unlike granny squares, which are typically sewn together, mitered squares are joined by picking up stitches from one of the edges of the previous square."

Let's take a look at both. First, crochet granny squares. Individual squares will vary in size and style, from solid squares to classic to more modern or intricate or textural designs. They can be sewn together to create blankets, scarves, purses, cardigans, and anything else that lends itself to a square or rectangle.

The image below shows the Colorful Autumn Granny Afghan by Bernat on the left and Colorful Poker Chips Crochet Granny Square Afghan by The Crochet Crowd on the right.

The image shows the Colorful Autumn Granny Afghan on the left and Colorful Poker Chips Crochet Granny Square Afghan on the right.

Next, knit mitered squares. Still pretty but far less that can be done with them. They can be used for many of the same projects, such as blankets, scarves, and cardigans.

The image below shows the Granny Square Afghan by Patons on the left and Baby Giggles Knit Afghan Pattern by Bernat on the right.

The image shows the Granny Square Afghan on the left and Baby Giggles Knit Afghan Pattern on the right.

So, both are unique and interesting but we think grannies win this one! Another point for crochet.
 

Crochet Amigurumi vs Knit Amigurumi

If you are unfamiliar with amigurumi, read our article, What is Amigurumi? The way crochet stitches, the movement and size of the hook work, and the ease of working in the round, making amigurumi is much easier and streamlined in crochet.

That's not to say that amigurumi creatures cannot be made with knitting needles, but they aren't the same or as straightforward because of the needles and stitching. Knitting amigurumi involves double-pointed or circular needles to achieve circular work. For crochet, it's working in the round with any crochet hook.

Below, you can see a crochet amigurumi giraffe on the left and a knit amigurumi giraffe on the right, both from Red Heart. Though each has a different look, the look of the tight single crochets that form the crochet version makes for a nice and clean look, with nice round spots. Both are cute but the crochet one looks a little nicer, don't you think?

The image below shows the Little Crochet Giraffe by Red Heart on the left and Georgie Giraffe Ornament by Red Heart on the right.

The image shows the Little Crochet Giraffe on the left and Georgie Giraffe Ornament on the right.

The next example (below) is adorable on both sides, that's for sure. This Red Heart crochet amigurumi llama on the left has some competition with the Red Heart knit amigurumi llama on the right. 

These llamas are the same "pattern" for each craft type and are both intermediate skill levels, which makes it easier to point out the differences. Again, the clean single crochet base looks nicer on the crochet version than the knit version, which has spaces where the pieces were connected.

The fur loops are also quite different on both versions. The crochet version is able to have tighter and thicker loops because they are crocheted. The knit version has loose, single-strand loops. Lastly, looking at the blanket and other embellishments, you can see the difference between a crochet blanket and a knitted blanket.

The image below shows the Llama-No-Drama by Red Heart on the left and Save the Drama Llama by Red Heart on the right.

The image shows the Llama-No-Drama on the left and Save the Drama Llama on the right.


One more example, from the Craft Yarn Council. You can see the crochet lemon on the left vs the knit lemon on the right. Again, that single crochet stitch vs the knit stitch gives each type a distinctive look.

The image below shows the Crochet Lemon Stress Ball on the left and Knit Lemon Stress Ball on the right.

The image shows the Crochet Lemon Stress Ball on the left and Knit Lemon Stress Ball on the right.

Again, we're not going to argue which amigurumi is cuter but we will say that crochet amigurumi is easier and there are a lot more patterns to peruse! Yet another reason crochet is better than knitting.
 

Crochet vs Knitting FAQs

Is knitting better than crochet?
It depends on what you want to make and what "look" you are going for. We think that crochet is better for many projects but there are a few things that knitting excels in. As we've discussed so far, crochet is better for stitch variations and the number of stitch patterns available, granny squares, and amigurumi.

Our friends at I Like Crochet even have a group chat about why crochet is better than knitting. We must agree with all of the points brought up here!

Knitting, however, tends to be preferred for certain types of clothing or a specific style of hat or blanket. Knitting is thinner and cleaner overall, with fewer holes in the fabric. That's a plus for many clothing pieces. It's a huge benefit for something like socks or a lightweight sweater.

Which is easier to learn: knitting or crocheting?
No clear answer because everyone learns differently. However, because crochet only uses one hook and the pattern forms in rows, most prefer learning. You also only have to pay attention to the stitch you're working on, which is a huge plus.

Another advantage is that you can go back and easily fix missed stitches and remove your hook. Knitting involves both hands and two needles, which means you're working the entire piece together as you move. Going back to fix a stitch involves removing all the loops on your needle.

One distinct advantage that knitting has over crochet is that having a dominant hand does not matter. Knitters use both hands equally. A crochet hook is held in the dominant hand and yarn is held in the other. Most videos and patterns are for right-handers and so left-handers feel more frustrated when trying to learn.

The image below shows a person crocheting on the left and a person knitting on the right.

The image shows a person crocheting on the left and a person knitting on the right.


Does crochet use more yarn than knitting?
We will give this point to knitting because, yes, crochet does tend to use more yarn than knitting. Though, it really depends on the type of project, yarn, and stitches you're using. Each stitch involves lots of loops and weaving, which means it usually "eats" more yarn.

Some stitches, like the popcorn stitch, eat even more yarn than the average. Because knitting is flatter and more basic in stitching, it uses less yarn.

Which is faster: knitting or crochet?
Crochet is faster than knitting, generally. Obviously, there are speed crocheters (like Jonah Larsen) and speed knitters, along with slow crocheters and slow knitters. No judgment here! However, the project speed might be a factor if you need something done in a hurry or if you want to complete more projects. Crocheting is the way to go for speed!

Another interesting note and difference between working on crochet compared to knitting is that, when crocheting, you can remove the hook and return to your work in progress later. With knitting, you must keep the needles with the piece until it is finished. Which would you prefer? We'd choose crochet!

Which is the more expensive hobby: knitting or crochet?
The same yarn can be used in either craft, which makes that expense equal. Beginner kits tend to be slightly less expensive for crochet vs knitting.

There are also more standard knitting needle sizes (25) vs crochet hook sizes (20), which means that buying more tools can get expensive.

Crochet has a lot of hook types and if you want to test them out, it can get expensive. However, another benefit is that you really only need about three hooks to make a variety of projects, so it's incredibly versatile without having to buy a lot of hooks.

Knitting needles are straight or circular and there isn't much variation on types outside of materials used (metal, wood, plastic, etc.) but you might need more needles to create the number of projects you want.

It all depends on the quality you're looking for, which is why fiber arts tend to be both inexpensive and expensive if you're going for bargains or high-end.

The image below shows metal crochet hooks on the left and metal knitting needles on the right.

The image shows metal crochet hooks on the left and metal knitting needles on the right.


Is there a crochet stitch that looks like knitting?
Yes! Knitting has a distinctive v-shape, which is one of the ways you can easily tell if something is knit instead of crocheted. However, there are a few ways to achieve this with a hook.

The faux fisherman's rib stitch was used to make this knit-like crochet hat. Also, the waistcoat stitch (aka crochet knit stitch) mimics knitting so well that we often have to explain that it's the sneaky stitch, not a knitted piece, to our readers. Especially for the trendy Bernie Mittens! Can you tell the difference in the versions below? We sure can't!

The image below shows the Bernie-Inspired Crochet Mittens on the left and the Bernie-Inspired Knit Mittens on the right.

The image shows the Bernie-Inspired Crochet Mittens on the left and the Bernie-Inspired Knit Mittens on the right.


Is there a knit stitch that looks like crochet?
Yes, there are a few knitting stitches that can resemble crochet (but they are not quite as close as the crochet stitches that look like knitting). So, I guess we're even with this point.

The talented Vickie Howell actually has a YouTube video where she goes through the single crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet and how to work your knitting to resemble them. Check out How to Knit Stitches That Look Like Crochet to see for yourself right below!
 


Which is better for handmade clothing: knitting or crochet?
You will rarely find disagreements with this question. Knitting wins. Because of the dense and smooth look of knitted fabric, along with the way knitting stacks when it's worked up, this makes a better drape for handmade clothing.

Crochet is thicker and can look gorgeous for shawls, wraps, and cardigans but most people prefer knitted sweaters because they are easier to make and look nicer. Crochet sweaters either tend to be heavier or have holes. Tops look good using either craft, however, crochet tops are better for layering because there are often holes in the finished piece.

As with most of our comparisons, it's always going to depend on the pattern, the yarn, the stitching, and the style. Not every piece is going to match our pros and cons, or descriptions.

In the example below, the crochet cable sweater looks lovely but the knit version is more detailed (cable knit is one of the most common and popular motifs) and has a slightly sleeker look (the crochet version is a bit bulky and doesn't lay as nicely).

The image below shows the Meara Fisherman Crochet Sweater by Hopeful Honey on the left and the Oats and Honeycomb Cabled Knit Pullover by Patons on the right.

The image shows the Meara Fisherman Crochet Sweater on the left and the Oats and Honeycomb Cabled Knit Pullover on the right.

Quick Facts: Advantages and Disadvantages of Crochet and Knitting

Let's review some of what we have discussed already quickly here, plus we're sharing a few more important advantages of crochet and why you should choose it as your next yarn craft over knitting (if you have to choose!).

Advantages of crochet (aka disadvantages of knitting):

  - Crochet has fewer supplies to purchase.

  - Knitting can be replicated by a machine, crochet can't.

  - Crochet is generally easier to learn.

  - It is easier to fix mistakes in crochet than in knitting.

  - Crochet is faster than knitting for most crafters and projects.

  - Crochet has more stitch pattern options.

  - Crochet has granny squares and better amigurumi options.

  - Knitting can worsen arthritis, according to AllFreeKnitting. It uses different muscles than crochet and can cause pain over time. Stay healthy by reading 29 Tips for Avoiding Knitting Pain and How to Avoid Wrist and Hand Pain While Crocheting.

  - Crochet has more decor, wearable, and accessory options. Plus, more free patterns in general!
 


Disadvantages of crochet (aka advantages of knitting):

  - Knitting is supposedly trendier, but that's in the eye of the beholder. Amigurumi is certainly trendy and that's more popular for crochet.

  - Crochet clothing doesn't have as nice of drape as knitwear. Well-fitting clothing is easier to knit than crochet.

  - Knitting machines can be used to create homemade garments without having to do all the work yourself.

  - Knitting has a "cleaner" and more delicate/flatter look (this can be viewed as a positive or negative depending on your style or the actual garment or piece).

  - Mostly a fun fact but, according to Wikipedia, knitting is older than crochet: "Knitted textiles survive from as early as the 11th century CE, but the first substantive evidence of crocheted fabric emerges in Europe during the 19th century. Earlier work identified as crochet was commonly made by nålebinding, a different looped yarn technique."
 

So, are you team crochet or team knitting?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Both crochet and knitting are wonderful hobbies and while I enjoy both, I have to give the advantage to crochet. It is much faster (for me, at least) and fixing mistakes is way easier in crochet than in knitting. I do prefer knitting for some projects, like hats. I loved seeing all of the examples in this article and it made me eager to try knitting a sweater. But my go-to when I purchase a new skein of yarn is definitely crochet.

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