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Which is easier crochet or knit – which to learn first?

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Crochet and knitting are both needlework techniques that require yarn to manually create fiber crafts. As a member of several social media knitting and crochet groups, I see these questions being asked frequently. 

Which is easier crochet or knit? And which should I learn first? Crochet is easier than knitting. In my experience at least, I found knitting much harder to learn.

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Which one should you learn first, crochet or knit?

If you are wondering which one to start with, I recommend that you start with crochet. Basically, crochet requires one hook only and you can even crochet without looking if you are using simple stitches.

While with knitting, you have to deal two needles. Therefore, learning how to knit requires a lot more effort to find a balance to maneuver stitches back and forth. Besides holding the yarn at the same time.

Not to mention, the fact that knitting needles don’t have a “hook” at their tips, like the crochet ones do. It makes knitting more difficult to put the stitches in place.

Here, I am speaking from a complete beginner stand point, recalling my experience years ago. But don’t give up learning how to knit just yet. Keep scrolling to have your questions answered.

The difference between crochet vs. knitting

Basically, to create a fabric with knitting you will need two similar sized needles and a continuous strand of yarn. For that, you will use both hands to hold the needles, to control the yarn, as well as to hold the fabric as you work. 

While in crochet, you will need one hook only and a continuous strand of yarn to interlock stitches into a fabric, while you hold the yarn with the other hand. 

Another difference is that, for knitting, you will need to keep several stitches at a time on the needle while creating your fabric. As for crochet, you usually do one stitch at a time. However, they are both such satisfying fiber techniques that you won’t regret learning. 

When considering which is easier crochet or knit, remember you can create amazing things with both. Ultimately, both crochet and knitting take practice and time to master. 

How to decide which is easier crochet or knit?

Both knitting and crochet use yarn, of course. In fact, whatever yarn you use for crochet, you can use for knitting, and vice-versa. What makes one easier than the other may vary from one person to another.

But the best way to decide which one is easier is by trying both. As I mentioned above, you may find it easier to deal with one hook only, in crochet, then with the two needles you need for knitting.

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Which takes longer to make crochet or knitting?

Knitting projects usually take longer than crochet because knitting stitches are usually dense ones, which makes a more solid fabric. Therefore, knitting takes longer than crochet.

This is something else to take into consideration when deciding which is easier crochet or knit. A time consuming and out-of-your-comfort-zone project can make it more difficult and boring, especially if you are just starting out. 

The basic knitting stitches are the knit and purl ones, or a combination of both. As for crochet, the versatility for stitches is much larger. And the open (or lacy) crochet stitches that have chains in their construction, take less time to do.

What are the basic crochet stitches to learn?

Slip knot, chain, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet, and half double crochet are the basic stitches to learn when you are looking for “how to” instructions. Once you learn those stitches, you can create a lot of other combinations and textures with them. 

However, it’s important to know that terminologies and stitch names may change depending on where in the world you are. My advice is that you get familiar with the different terminologies once you decide to learn how to crochet.

For that purpose, the Craft Yarn Council is a great source of information. Knowing the terminologies will make it so much easier to find out which is easier crochet or knit.

What are the basic knitting stitches to learn?

Knit and purl are basically what you will need to master in knitting when you first start. With those two stitches it is possible to create many combinations of other stitches to make sweaters, blankets, hats and much more.

Again, to find out which one is easier crochet or knit, do some research on both. The Craft Yarn Council is the “go to” online corner to learn about how to read patterns, stitches, terminologies, abbreviations, and a lot more.  

You may also like these latest crochet patterns and tutorials

The difference between a crochet hook and a knitting needle

As in any kind of handmade work, when trying to find out which is easier crochet or knit, choosing your tools should be based on how comfortable they are for you. A crochet hook is a tool with a groove in one of the ends used with yarn to “interlock” loops into stitches

In fact, without that “hook”, aka head or point, you wouldn’t be able to pull your yarn through to create the loops and stitches. They are made of aluminum, metal, plastic, wood, and even resin.

Red with metal tip crochet hook with labels showing its parts
Parts of a crochet hook

While knitting needles are pointy objects (straight, double pointed, or circular). Typically, they are used in pairs with both your hands, to construct a fabric with stitches. The best kind of knitting needles to get you started with knitting are the straight (or single pointed) ones, usually. 

Also, for knitting, choose the wooden ones because they can have a better grip to help you at the beginning stage of learning how to knit.

Pink metal knitting needle with labels showing its parts
Parts of a knitting needle

Crochet hooks and knitting needle sizes

Crochet hooks and knitting needles range in different sizes because there are different types and weight of yarn. The bigger the yarn, the higher the number on the needle or on the hook needs to be.

However, the way crochet hook and knitting needle sizes are presented vary depending where in the world you are. 

In the USA, knitting needles have numbers that go from 1 to 50 (1 being the smallest). While crochet hook sizes have letters plus numbers that go from 000 to 70 (or B-1 to T/X).

But manufacturers in other parts of the world use the millimeter (mm) sizing standard for both crochet hooks and knitting needles. 

Generally, the information about what sizes for hooks, and for needles, will be available on the yarn label. The Craft Yarn Council website has a complete chart for hooks and needle sizes.
The factor size is very important when you are deciding which is easier crochet or knit, I recommend to start with the ones that are not big or too small.

How to hold a crochet hook

There are two straight forward ways to hold a crochet hook when crocheting: the knife and the pencil hold styles. As the names suggest, the knife-style is like how you hold a knife to cut a beef, for example.

As for the pencil-style, it looks exactly like when you hold a pencil to write down something. 

For me, the pencil style is what works best. But there is no right or wrong way to hold a crochet hook. Anyway, if you are trying to learn how to crochet, try both and pick the one holding style that works best for you. 

How to hold a knitting needle depends on the knitting method

The way you hold a knitting needle doesn’t change much, regardless of what knitting style you will follow. The first method of knitting is the English method, that’s more popular in the US, England, and some other parts of Europe.

Then there is the Continental method, also known as German method, that’s very popular in northern Europe.

Basically, the difference between the two methods lies in the way you hold the yarn. However, the way you hold your needles will have a subtle difference only.

With the English method, you hold the yarn with your right hand and release it over the needle to build your stitches. 

As for the Continental style, you will keep the working yarn in your left hand and your index finger will be used to maneuver the yarn and form the stiches.

When I was first deciding which is easier crochet or knit, I tried different things to see what I felt most comfortable with. For knitting, my favorite is the second one, the Continental method.
The reason why I like this method better is because it has some similarities with how I hold the hook and yarn to crochet. 

I dare to say that the fact that I learned how to crochet before I learned how to knit had a big influence in my knitting style.

The bottom line

Both crochet and knitting are amazing fiber techniques that allow you to create great projects in many shapes. To me, crochet is more versatile because you can go from very simple stitches to intricate and beautiful textures even as a beginner.

But with knitting, even though it can take longer to get a hang of it, you can create drapable fabrics that are perfect for sweaters or any other kind of garments. 

Give both a try, if possible, to find out which is easier crochet or knitas they are both very cheap crafts to start with. Pick an easy project like an accessory, a scarf for example, if you decide to start with crochet. As for knitting, pick a hat or a small blanket, that are usually easier for beginners.

Then, go to YouTube and look for a tutorial or learn how to read patterns. There are many, many videos and patterns you can learn from so you can decide which is easier crochet or knit.

Drop a comment below if you have any questions or if you just would like to say “hi”. Another way to reach out to me is by joining my community group on Facebook

If you use any of my patterns or tutorials for a project, please tag me @zamiguz or use the hashtag #zamiguzmakers. I would love to see what you make.

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