Have you seen those cute infinity scarves? They are sooo cute! I also love those super chunky knit blankets. They look cozy! Can you tell which blankets are crocheted and which ones are knitted? Let’s have a chat about the difference between knitting and crocheting.
Crochet Basics and Introduction
To crochet is to use a hook-shaped tool to tie yarn into knots to make a blanket, article of clothing, bag, or pretty much anything. Did your grandmother ever have a white lace-looking mat on her shelf with some sort of dish or knick-knack on it? It was most likely crocheted. They are called doilies and they consist of super tiny knots tied with super tiny yarn with a super tiny crochet hook. I made one once; it took me a total of 100 hours. (Just kidding, but really…it took me a long time.)
You will find that crocheting consists of several different stitches:
- slip knot
- single crochet
- half double crochet
- double crochet
- triple crochet
- and many more
Those are the main ones though. If you have ever seen a crochet pattern, you might think it was in a different language. You will see things like YO (yarn over), SC (single crochet, DC (double crochet), HDC ( half double crochet, TC ( triple crochet), CH1 (chain 1.) Once you learn what everything means, you will be able to read the language of crochet patterns. I really enjoy following the patterns because I feel like I am deciphering some sort of code to create something. It’s intriguing.
There are a variety of crochet hook sizes that will match up with what size yarn you are wanting to use. The bigger the crochet hook, the bigger your stitches will be. There are really small hooks as little as a pencil tip and they get as big as baseball bats. There really is no limit to what you can crochet. I have seen totes crocheted with plastic shopping bags! I knew the sweet lady that made them. She would cut the bags down into strips and then tie them into a continuous “string” and crochet with it! How creative, right? I think it was a great use of those shopping bags we all have stuffed under our sinks.
While crocheting, you can easily pause your work and continue it whenever you are ready to work again. If you need to use the same crochet hook for another project, you can just pull the loop it has on it and that will hold your spot of where you are and then use the hook for the other project that you switched to. I like to work on several projects at once, so having multiple hooks would have been more convenient, but knowing there was an option to just save my spot helped make crocheting more doable.
On to knitting
Knitting is a method using yarn and two needles. You will hold one needle in each hand and you will basically be working the yarn through the loops on one needle as you move the worked stitches over to the other needle. Then you will be moving the working stitches back to the other needle and go back and forth.
You will create a sheet of material with all of the loops you make. Just like in crochet, there are lots of different types of knitting needles. They are all different sizes too. I have seen some knitting needles that were attached at the ends with a cable to create a circle. That is how infinity scarves are created; the circular needles make a tube or material. You can crochet infinity scarves too, but I have mostly seen knitted ones.
Here are some of the different types of knitting stitches:
- stockinette stitch
- knit stitch
- seed stitch
- garter stitch
- linen stitch
- netted stitch
- cartridge belt rib stitch
- herringbone lace rib stitch
- bamboo stitch
- and many more
Knitting patterns are similar to crochet patterns except they have their own abbreviations for their specific stitches.
When knitting, you will almost always have loops on each of the needles, so when you pause your work, you will need to be careful if you are removing the needles from your work. Otherwise, you can just leave the needles in your work.
Knitting vs Crochet
To me, knitting and crocheting is similar to snowboarding and skiing. Both are exciting sports, but you might prefer one over the other. I suggest you try to learn both and then decide which one you feel most comfortable with.
You can create the same types of projects with either option. Just remember, you have to have patience when learning a new skill. Give yourself a break and keep practicing. I love working with yarn because if I mess up, I just have to pull out the stitches and begin again.
Nothing is final. Knitting and crocheting are very forgiving and you will enjoy creating all different kinds of things!