When getting into needlework, there are so many options to choose from. Two of the most popular options (and the two that cause the most indecision) are crochet and knitting. How do you know which craft is best for you? How do you decide if you learn to crochet or learn to knit?
This post is here to help you figure out which to start with. I’ll talk about the differences in crochet vs. knit, and share their similarities and benefits. I’ll even talk to you about what you need to get started and share some of my favorite simple patterns, crochet and knitting patterns included. By the end of it, you’ll be ready to learn how to crochet or learn knitting for beginners.
Benefits and Similarities
Crochet and knitting are crafts that use knitting yarn and stitchwork to create garments and other projects. And both methods have loads of benefits.
To start, crocheting and knitting are relatively inexpensive hobbies as a beginner. You can find loads of easy knitting patterns online. Same for crochet patterns. Then all you need to start is a set of needles for casting on knitting. And for crochet for beginners, you need a crochet hook. Grab a pair of scissors and some simple yarn, and you’re set. This makes it an easy hobby to enjoy for all ages.
Another benefit is how relaxing many find the two crafts. Relaxation can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. That’s what makes beginner crochet and knitting an excellent treatment for anxiety and panic attacks. It’s also great brain stimulation which helps us as we grow older. When you learn how to knit or learn how to crochet, it requires hand eye coordination and some math skills. So, you can see how beneficial this is for our brains.
Once you learn how to read one type of pattern, you can usually pick up how to read the other easily. This is because many of the abbreviations and pattern formats are similar. You can also make the same types of projects, whether knitted or crocheted. If you invest your time in learning how to crochet for beginners, you’ll probably have an easier time learning how to knit for beginners later on. And vice versa.
The most important similarity between the two, is that they both require patience and determination. You have to be gentle with yourself when learning and be prepared to make mistakes. You also have to dedicate time to working on your projects in order to complete them. It can be a lot of work, but the finished projects for crochet and knit alike, are worth it.
While these similarities bind the two crafts, there are also important differences that will determine which craft is right for you.
Determining Which One is For You: Crochet vs. Knit
There are several key differences between crochet and knitting. And these differences are what will make one a better fit for you over the other. To start, the above stitch pictures show how different crochet stitches look from knit stitches. Knit stitches look like little V’s or straight lines. While basic crochet stitches like single crochet, have a knotted look.
I first learned knitting when I was in college. It was easy to pick up, and I loved how logical it was. But one thing I struggled with was how much time the projects took. You see, knit stitches are smaller than crochet, so knit projects work up slower. When I crocheted for the first time, one of the things I preferred was how much faster I could complete projects.
If you asked me which one is my favorite, knitting vs crochet, I couldn’t tell you. There are pros and cons to each craft. You might decide you love both for different reasons (and you probably will). But I’m hoping that by sharing these differences with you, you can better choose the one you will enjoy the most. At the end of the day though, it comes down to personal preference.
Choose Crochet if…
- You like projects that have bigger stitches and work up faster
- You’re afraid of making a mistake and want an easy fix
- You like being more creative and loose with your patterns
- You like holding your work and yarn in one hand, and your hook in the other
- You like having one set of tools that works for every project
- You like to save money on equipment
Choose Knitting if…
- You like logic and straightforward directions
- You want to make mostly garments and fashion projects
- You have patience for longer, relaxing projects
- You have dexterity and like working with both hands at once
- You like having an assortment of tools for different projects
- You like using slightly less yarn
What You’ll Need to Get Started Crocheting or Knitting
For crochet, you’ll need a crochet hook (I recommend size H for beginners), some simple worsted weight yarn, and a pair of scissors. You’ll also need a crochet stitch guide if you’re starting out and an easy pattern.
For knitting, you’ll need a pair of knitting needles (size 11 for beginners, straight or circular depending on your pattern), some simple worsted weight yarn and scissors. All knitting uses knit stitches and purl stitches. So once you master those, you’re set until you need to learn how to cast off at the end. But you can worry about that when you get there!
If you’re still having trouble deciding between the two, you could try learning tunisian crochet. Tunisian crochet is seen as a blend of both knitting and crochet. It creates a thick squishy fabric, and could help you learn knitting and crochet down the line. For this technique, you’ll need yarn, scissors and a tunisian hook, along with some stitch markers.
Projects and Getting Started
Now that you’ve got all the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about which method is right for you. Below are a series of crochet and knit patterns for beginners. Pick your favorite and start learning a new skill today. Both methods are equally tranquil and fun. You can’t go wrong.
To learn how to read patterns and abbreviations, check out this post.