4 Knit vs. Crochet Myths It’s Time to Dispel Right Now

knit and crochet bobble hats

To the untrained eye, the difference between a knitted fabric and a crocheted one may not be super obvious. But to those in the know, knit and crochet are as different as night and day. Or are they? We’ll take a look at some of the common crochet myths about both crafts (does crochet *really* use more yarn?) and help you find reasons to love them both.

Before we dive in, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the two crafts. Both involve yarn, but then what?

The Knitty Gritty

woman knitting

Knitting involves working with open stitches — you cast on stitches (meaning you create a series of open loops on one needle), then work through those stitches, pulling more yarn through and creating a new set of open loops. The biggest thing to know is that you work with two needles, and are constantly transferring stitches from one needle to the other as you pull the yarn through.

Hooray for Crochet

man wearing crochet cowl

Crochet, on the other hand, uses a single hook. You work with one stitch at a time, and each stitch (or loop) is closed off before you move onto the next one. So instead of having a row of active stitches, you have a smooth edge that you work into, pulling up a new stitch and finishing it off before you begin the next.

Get Your Fiber Facts Straight

You’ve probably heard some knit vs. crochet rumors floating around out there, but not all of them are true. Here are some common myths in need of busting.

1. Crochet “Eats Up” Yarn

It may feel that way sometimes, but how much yarn you use depends entirely on the stitch you’re using, the gauge you’re stitching at and the project you’re making. There is no hard and fast rule that crochet uses more yarn.

2. Knitting Is Harder Than Crochet

You may have also heard this one the other way around — regardless, each craft has its own challenges, and the one you think is easier is usually the one you learned first. There’s plenty to be gained by learning how to do both, though, so if you’ve never tried knitting before or are new to crochet, we can help you get started.

Pro Tip: If you’re crossing over from crochet into the world of knitting, try knitting continental style. Holding your yarn in your left hand may feel more like what you’re used to with crochet.

3. You Shouldn’t Crochet Sweaters or Knit Blankets

Let’s avoid any ultimatums when it comes to crafting, shall we? If you want to crochet a sweater, crochet a sweater! Just take the time to work up your gauge swatch to make sure you like the feel and drape of the fabric, then adjust as needed. Similarly, there are some stunning knit blankets out there, so feel free to move beyond the crocheted classics.

4. Hand-Dyed Yarns Are Only for Knitters

It’s common to see a lot of hand-dyed yarns in knitting projects, but crochet looks equally as good in a speckled hand-dye. If you’re venturing into self-striping yarns, just note that the size of your stitch will affect how that stripe pattern works up.

Want to learn more about the differences (and similarities!) between these two crafts? Check out our series Knit Meets Knot below.

Discussion
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42 Responses to “4 Knit vs. Crochet Myths It’s Time to Dispel Right Now”
  1. Tammy
    Tammy

    I learned to crochet from my grandmother and great grandmother as a child, then learned to knit from a book in college (Vogue Classic Patterns). To me knitting is more time consuming because I still have to think about it, while crocheting typically uses a bit more yarn. Crochet is something I do while waiting on things, knitting is done in long stretches of time—when I actually have my needles/projects. Twice in the last five years I have lost circular needles and the projects they were being used for to overenthusiastic cleaners when I was hospitalized. The first time was when we learned that my now ex-sister-in-law is a bulldozer cleaner: she throws EVERYTHING out. The second time, my sister was pressured by my building manager into throwing out most of my books and craft supplies–including the sweater I was making my son that he had dubbed the “five year project”. I lost most of my hand spun and dyed yarn in that mess–and the manager lost his his job with Public Housing. Long story. Anyway, depending on what I’m making and how big my chunks of time are, i chose which technique I do–and I also used both a weaving and a knitting loom! Remember all those potholders made out of loops of knit cloth back in elementary school? That was intoduction to weaving!

    Reply
    • Belinda Bratcher
      Belinda Bratcher

      Man, I would be so angry if anyone threw out my projects, patterns tools or supplies. That sadden me right to the core for you. Hugs

      Reply
  2. Mazrgaret
    Mazrgaret

    I learned to knit right handed and to single crochet rag rugs as a child. When I started knitting as an adult, I started knitting continental style without realizing what I was doing. I like it better. I also expanded my crocheting skills to include more stitches. I prefer knitting because I can fix mistakes without having to take out the whole row to go back to the mistake. I have fixed mistakes in knitting several rows back by dropping one or a couple of stitches to get to the mistake, fixing it and then working back up to where I am knitting.

    Reply
  3. Colleen
    Colleen

    When I was 8 or 9 wanted to learn how to make blankets and stuff. My grandmother crocheted and her friend knitted. In my young mind, I couldn’t see how you could make anything from one hook, so I learned how to knit. It didn’t last long because of my age. When I was pregnant with my daughter I tried to knit her a blanket. That was a flop! I was doing other crafts such as liquid embroidery. I was staying with my grandmother waiting until I could fly to Alaska to be with my husband. My grandmother asked me why I never learned how to crochet. I went back to that little girl’s mindset. I thought why not learn it to make my grandmother happy. She had an old book published in 1947 and I would read how to make a single or whatever it was and show it to her. She’d tell me what stitch I made and then I’d tell her what I was trying. She’d tell me what I did wrong. I learned how to crochet and haven’t stopped since except for an injury that made me have to relearn everything and adjust so I wouldn’t cause myself pain. The cherry on top is my grandmother gave me that book. I like to look at what they crocheted back in the 40s.

    Reply
  4. Carol Moore
    Carol Moore

    I learned both some 60 years ago and had no idea there was so much controversy! I have made garments from both and found with both that I don’t have the attention span for large flat projects. I do like knitting better and find I don’t have to watch (or count) closely when I do it. Knitting seems to produce a softer garment from the same yarn while crochet makes one that my cats can’t pull loops out of.

    Reply
  5. Denise
    Denise

    You say yarn is held in left hand for Continental knitting. That’s only true if you knit right handed. I knit left handed/mirror and tension my yarn in my right hand for Continental style.

    Reply
  6. Doris
    Doris

    I learned how to knit from my mother when I was 7. My grandmother, who didn’t know how to knit, crocheted and taught me how to crochet (and tat) lace. When Mom was hospitalized, the many hours I sat in her room I used to crochet a wheat doily that is lovely. I’ve done other crochet projects. I much prefer knitting, I think it’s because in my mind I relegate crocheting to doilies, lace, edging on hankies (out-of-date now), things like that. Knitting is heavy-duty: sweaters, scarves, afghans, wearables. Before I was born my mother crocheted a dress for herself, so I know it’s possible, but just not my preference. I lean toward knitting hands-down!

    Reply
  7. Karen Ciraco
    Karen Ciraco

    I have done both since I was a child and they are equally easy. I am also left handed and was taught to do them righty. If you teach someone how to play an instrument do you have them switch their hands around? Imagine what a piano player would look like if they played with their hands crossed! I have seen too many people try to teach the craft backwards and it really bothers me. You are learning a skill with BOTH hands!

    Reply
    • Denise
      Denise

      You learn some skills with both hands, but the two hands aren’t used equally. Sorry it bothers you, but I will continue to knit left handed/mirror for both English style and continental.
      I’m glad you found both knitting and crochet easy, but not everyone does. A good teacher helps their students learn using whatever method works for the student. A poor teacher says do it this way/ my way or not at all.

      Reply
      • Karen Ciraco
        Karen Ciraco

        I too knit continental style, and I also play piano. You are never doing the same thing with both hands. My problem is that people assume you can only do needlework with your dominant hand and that is totally wrong. Why confuse a lefty with having to learn a craft and then have to read the patterns backwards!

        Reply
    • Tara
      Tara

      I learned to crochet left handed (which is an issue for me when I try to make a sweater or something), but I learned to knit right handed (english style). My kids show interest in crocheting, so when we have a little learning session, I try to do it right handed because it would be so much easier with patterns! (and they’re both righties, I’m the sole lefty in the house). I don’t have the type of brain that can flip/mirror patterns, so kudos to anyone who can!

      Reply
  8. Kate B
    Kate B

    I’ve crocheted for 17 years and knit for 3. There are things that look better knit (most garments) and things that look better in crochet (most Afghans) and things that go either way (like shawls). Either way, crochet does take more yarn. Having done both, you’ll never convince me otherwise.

    Reply
  9. Diana H
    Diana H

    I am multi-craftual. I learned to knit first, and it took three tries to learn crochet. Yes, the first one you learn is easier (which is why purling seems more difficult than knitting).

    I sincerely believe that knitting is better for three reasons: 1) knitted fabric has better drape than crocheted, 2) knit fabric looks, to me, more sophisticated (smoother) than crocheted fabric, which looks more rustic, and 3) I believe it uses less yarn.

    I compared knitting, crochet, and Tunisian crochet; I used the same size needles/hooks, the same amount of yarn (15 yards), and the same number of stitches; the knitted sample was the largest, the Tunisian sample (for some reason) turned out to be middling, and the crochet sample (single crochet) was the smallest.

    As a side note, I find I crochet faster than I knit. Go know. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Judith
    Judith

    Knitting provides a better drape regardless of the weight of the yarn. It also can achieve a smooth sleek look as the way crochet stitch is worked cannot achieve the same. Knitting is great for garments, shawls etc while crochet is better at blankets. Both have their own merits

    Reply
  11. Jennifer Cogzell
    Jennifer Cogzell

    I’m that age when girls were taught to knit at school so I have knitted from a child. I learnt to crochet from books and enjoy it for a change but I don’t hold the hook correctly so not that fast. In the last few years I have been loom knitting. I have made quite a lot of socks on the loom and its very easy to learn the basics but some of the more complicated stitches I haven’t mastered with the loom yet. In the last few years I have also learnt to pin loom. I made my husband a really nice cowl using pin loom squares, joining them with single crochet and edging it with a knitted ribbed edge. I just love the learning process and fiddling around with the yarn.

    Reply
  12. Kathryn Lee
    Kathryn Lee

    Oh, thank you for dispelling the crochet takes more yarn myth. I got snubbed at a yarn store once for being a crocheter. I was flabbergasted that the woman didn’t want me to spend “more” money in her store.

    Reply
  13. Linda
    Linda

    I knit and crochet. Have for over 40 years. Neither is harder than the other. But I do have some things that I prefer to knit(socks) and others that I prefer to crochet (amigurumi)

    Reply
  14. Joanne Rodemer
    Joanne Rodemer

    I had 1 grandmother who knitted and one that crocheted and embroidered. I learned all 3 at the same time along with sewing. Still do them all along with other crafts. Love them all equally

    Reply
  15. Jennifer
    Jennifer

    My mom tried to teach me to crochet years ago, but I wasn’t able to even make a basic chain. I then decided to teach myself knitting, and found it to be very easy to do straight away. I have tried to learn to crochet a few times, but I just cannot get the hang of it. I think it all depends on the person.

    Reply
    • MarieDL
      MarieDL

      I learned to knit first, in a club, when my daughter was a baby, and I had time off. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to teach myself to crochet from videos or books, so after years of trying, I once joined a « granny square workshop », which helped me get the basics. I became a crochet-addict knitter!

      Reply
  16. Susan
    Susan

    Started with macrame i college. Self taught crochet, now belong to a group and learning knitting ( yes, continental is great for those who crochet). Love both, depends on project. Would love to have the 2 hat patterns pictured!

    Reply
    • Joan
      Joan

      I find that crochet takes less concentration – possibly because you finish a stitch before moving to the next one! It’s easier for me to put it down and pick it up again. I like knitting, but find it very difficult to keep my place!

      Reply
      • Mary O
        Mary O

        Markers! Markers!
        bits of old yarn make terrific markers and they are low-cost!
        I don’t knit anything without acess to a baggie of old scraps.

        Reply
      • Karen Luallen
        Karen Luallen

        I find crochet easy. Knitting is fun but takes so long. I have an afghan pattern I can do in two days. (For a baby) I knitted a sweater for my husband and it took so long I almost gave up on it. Larger pieces of crochet are just a week long or two. I don’t even watch my hands much or read the pattern.

        Reply
  17. Lori Rittenhouse
    Lori Rittenhouse

    I agree i learned to crochet and struggled for decades to catch on to knitting but i did it! I will always favor crochet but i do love the professional look of knit.

    Reply
  18. Jonnita Stubbs
    Jonnita Stubbs

    I am trying to learn to knit with needles now. Gosh, its hard for fingers to get it. I have loom knitted and crocheted for years. I will persevere and learn.

    Reply
  19. Sherri M.
    Sherri M.

    I learned to knit at a very young age (7) and that’s all I did for years. Once I learned to crochet, I switched over and never looked back. To me, crochet is so much easier and faster. That mattered to me as a young mom and then working single mom. Now that I’ve retired an get to do my own thing, I’ve thought about knitting again.
    Nah! 😉

    Reply
    • Rachel Clason
      Rachel Clason

      It’s the same for me! I started knitting when I was young, but once I learned crochet I was hooked on it!(no pun intended I barely knit anymore but I crochet every day.

      Reply
  20. Shelley Ziegler
    Shelley Ziegler

    Crochet is my go-to mainly because it’s a- easier to do in the car or plane and b- faster. 10 rows of stockinette can equal one of double crochet! But..knitting can produce much more soft drape..ahh decisions decisions!

    Reply
    • Nikkk
      Nikkk

      The drape! I’m doing my first knit project. Started off as a lap blanket but now it’s some monster out wrap but I can’t get over how floppy (in a good way) it is. I’m a crocheter and think I prefer that versatility but knit is definitely lovely.

      Reply
  21. Annette Forbes
    Annette Forbes

    I would like to learn to knit sweaters. Are there any groups around Rossville, Ga., meeting?

    Reply
      • Patti
        Patti

        I crocheted for many years before learning to knit. I prefer crochet, but am currently recovering from tennis elbow and find knitting easier, as I knit continental and do not have to twist my forearm

        Reply
    • Colleen
      Colleen

      I am definitely a knitter. I learned crochet first at around 8 but never quite got the hang of it (I always dropped a stitch on the turn around of the rows). Then my step mom (who did both) taught me to knit and I was hooked! (No pun intended – though we did have a store back then she would take by me to called the Happy Hooker
      😝) I don’t do much knitting anymore because I have arthritis and I knit tight). But – I always encourage people who tried one but didn’t quite get the hang of it to try the other because it seems that a lot of people are better at one than the other, so there is hope!!

      Reply
      • Vona
        Vona

        I tried crocheting first but, Mom and Grandmother, did it with thread, I idolized my Grandmother, she could crochet from sight, couldn’t read the pattern, so I figured it was too hard, and taught myself to knit. It was about 15 years before I tried to crochet again, this time with yarn. Now I do both. I enjoy both, but I flex my wrist when I crochet, and don’t when I knit, so I can knit a lot longer with no strain.

        Reply