Crochet or knit -- craft enthusiasts never seem to grow weary of this old argument. Opinions vary as to which is easier and which one makes the most beautiful stitches. For outsiders unfamiliar with knitting and crochet, it can even be difficult to tell the difference. While the two crafts use some of the same supplies, the techniques and stitches are very different.
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Function of Crochet
Crochet creates a fabric that's perfect for garments, accessories and home decor. Crochet is also ideal for adding borders around both woven and knit fabrics because the stitches are decorative.
One of crochet's most often-used functions is to create afghans with granny squares, a special technique that involves crocheting dozens of squares and joining them together to create a large blanket.
Crochet Tools and Supplies
While the most popular crochet supply is yarn, crocheters may also use a variety of other fibers. Crochet uses a hook held in one hand to wrap the yarn and create stitches.
Yarn isn't the only fiber you can use for crochet. Try other fibers such as thread, ribbon or T-shirt yarn for a completely different look.
How to Identify Crochet
Crochet stitches look like criss-crossed knots. The length of the stitches varies depending on how many times the crocheter wraps the yarn over the hook. For example, single crochet is the shortest crochet stitch, while treble crochet is the longest and has bigger gaps between stitches.
If you're looking at a pattern, you can easily identify crochet based on the abbreviations and stitches. For example, if you see the abbreviation "sc," which stands for "single crochet," then you'll know that the pattern is crochet. You can also look at the tools and materials stipulated on the pattern instructions to determine if you need a crochet hook or knitting needles.
Advantages of Crochet
The advantages of crochet vary depending on the craftsperson. Some find that crochet works up faster than knitting. You may also find that it's easier to find a stopping point in crochet no matter where you are in the row or round. Just be sure that you pull the last stitch to create a large loop so that the stitches do not unravel.
Function of Knitting
Like crochet, knitting produces a fabric for garments, accessories and home decor. One of the most common uses for knitting is to create socks and sweaters.
Knitting Tools and Supplies
While both crochet and knitting use yarn, ribbon and thread as fibers with which to stitch, knitting uses needles instead of a hook to create the stitches. The most common way to knit is to use straight needles, one held in each hand. However, you can find many other types of knitting needles to use, depending on the project and your preference.
Knitting needles can be expensive, but second-hand stores often have inexpensive used needles.
How to Identify Knitting
Knitting involves many types of stitches, but the two most common are garter and stockinette stitch. Garter stitch looks like wavy bumps that go across the fabric. Stockinette stitch has two sides: The wrong side looks like the bumps of garter stitch, while the right side forms stitches that look like Vs.
Knitting patterns are easy to spot if you know what to look for. Check the tools and materials to see if knitting needles are listed. You can also look at the abbreviations to find out if the stitches are for a knitted item. For example, if you see the abbreviation "CO," it means that the stitches are cast on and are therefore knitted.
Advantages of Knitting
Fans of knitting love it for its versatility in colorwork. Fair Isle, for example, is a traditional knitted colorwork that is impossible to achieve with crocheting. Knitting also uses less yarn than crochet, which saves money on larger projects like afghans.
Differences in Crochet and Knitting
While both crafts require looping yarn to create stitches, a few differences set them apart:
- Crochet requires more yarn than knitting because of the way the stitches loop.
- Knitting can be stitched by machine or loom, but crochet is always stitched by hand.
- Crochet only requires holding the hook in one hand, while knitting requires working with two needles at the same time. Crochet is often preferred by those with wrist or other health issues.
- Finishing a crochet project is very different from finishing a knit project. When you're finished with the crochet project, simply cut the yarn and pull it through the loop; then weave in the end. For knitting, you need to bind off all the stitches, cut the yarn, pull it through the loop, and weave in the end.