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Is Crochet Better than Knitting?

Designers weigh in on this controversial question

Not to worry, this article isn’t about bashing knitting or creating some sort of divide between knitters and crocheters. We just want to explore and see what people have discovered while dabbling in both skills. Perhaps crochet is better for some things. Perhaps knitting is better for others. Let’s hear what some of our designers had to say:

Regarding speed…

“Crochet is faster than knitting and you only need to keep track of one stitch at a time instead of a whole row.” – Kati Brown

“Crochet is better because it’s faster than knitting and best suited for people looking for quick results.” – Shehnaaz Afzar

Regarding materials…

“Oh, this is controversial, but crochet is better because you only need one hook vs. two needles!” – Emma Wilkinson

Regarding the process…

“Only one loop to keep track of! And, the whole thing won’t fall apart if you miss a stitch.” – Caroline Cameron

“Crochet is better because it’s much less scary to frog a project — there is only one live stitch!” – Adinda Hening

“Crochet is better because I can’t get the hang of knitting.” – Susan Heyn

Regarding travel…

“Crochet hooks are much less likely than knitting needles to be considered ‘sharp objects’ by security! I bring my crochet to placces where knitting needles might run the risk of being confiscated.” – Sarah Dawn

“Definitely crochet! It’s easier to do while on the go. Take it from me: you break a lot more needles in rough seas than you would crochet hooks. Plus, crochet hooks can double as an emergency hair clip after a busy day touring and traveling. Imagine trying to put a 16” circular needle in your hair. Not going to happen! – Rosann Fleischauer

Some of our designers knit and crochet. Here’s what they had to say:

“From someone who both knits and crochets, crochet is personally better for me because it uses a set of muscles that are different from knitting which are less prone to arthritis. Crochet is also SO MUCH quicker! It does use more yarn, but hey: I’ve got more yarn than time!” – Michele Maks

“Is crochet really better? I do both and I can’t say one is easier than the other. Each is geared toward different projects.” – Nazanin Fard

“I can’t say one is better than the other since I enjoy both crafts. I will say that crochet is more portable since there is only one tool to keep track of when traveling.” – Sonja Otto

“Can’t say one is better than the other. Yarning is fabulous no matter the craft. Although, I will say, it’s easier to yarn with one hand vs. two if you’re crafting at work.” – Arica Presinal

What do you think? Have you tried knitting? Is crochet better? Leave your thoughtful comments below (stay civil everyone!).

Comments
  • Mercedes E.

    I’ve have done both for 50 years and it just depends on what you are making. I do have to say I prefer to crochet more that knit only because I get faster gratification with crocheting than knitting. And yes crocheting is easier to travel with than knitting.

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  • I’m still trying to get the hang of crocheting. Haven’t tried knitting, would love to learn. Want to get crochet down better first. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

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  • I find crochet to be easier, and more relaxing because…..among other things…. if you make a mistake, it’s much simpler to go back and correct the error. I do like the way knitting looks….often I feel like it has a more elegant and “refined” look, but then you can achieve a lacier look with crochet which you can’t very well with knitting. Some things look better in one, some in the other. I’ve also encountered a lot more tense and anxious moments trying to knit something without mistakes than I have with knitting.

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  • Sally R.

    I’m a left-handed self-taught crocheter and when I tried to teach myself knitting I had a terrible time but stubbornly persevered and was eventually able to make a pair of gloves(they turned out awful) but was never comfortable doing it, and didn’t enjoy doing it. Now at 85, every pattern I really want to try is a knit pattern and I’m worse at it than I was 40 years ago. I know how to do it but my hands won’t cooperate so I guess I’ll just stay a crocheter /envious wanna-be knitter

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  • Pauline W.

    I consider myself expert at both crochet and knitting, having learnt each craft at 5 and 6 respectively, and literally never stopped either once I learned – straight through primary, secondary, college, grad school, marriage, children, separation. They’re my therapy. I like each for different things and honestly don’t think either is “better” than the other. Each has strong points. Having taught both for more than 20 years, it does seem to me that crochet is easier for more people with absolutely no experience or preference to pick up than knitting.

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  • I learned to knit when I was little & have struggled to learn how to crochet ever since. I still just don’t get it. People tell me that I look like I’m knitting when I crochet! Friends who learned to crochet when they were little & later learned to knit claim that it’s MUCH easier to learn how to crochet 1st & then learn to knit. It’s supposedly much harder if you learn to knit 1st & later try to learn how to crochet!

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  • Francesca W.

    I speak as a creative designer . I do both – I tend to prefer crochet by a long shot because of the freedom of design it gives me ! I can easily hook any shape ,from a cube to abstract I love to crochet interesting forms . It is also far more versatile for adding beads and incorporating other fabric and yarn . Definitely my choice

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  • Ingeborg V.

    I have done basic knitting for a few years , but given up due to arthritis in wrist and hands. Crochet does the things I do for Charity, hats, scarfs, baby blankets.So concentrating on that.

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  • Frances R.

    I agree with most of these comments. I knit and crochet both easily, and enjoy them each for their own personal attributes/deficits. I can make almost anything with either, but have found that sometimes knitting is softer and has better drape. I use crochet to finish edges and make collars, etc.. Both arts/crafts are best not forgotten especially if you also know about sewing and pattern pieces!

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  • Aspiring C.

    I like crocheting better because you can control any mistakes that are made much easier and it is easy to travel with.

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  • Kathie S.

    I was taught both by my mother at a very young age. I also do a lot of sewing and painting. I prefer crocheting over knitting. I think the crochet stitches are prettier ….. although my daughter has knitted some beautiful socks. So?? Both are equal I suppose.

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  • Amelia D.

    I knit more proficiently than crochet, therefore I’m biased. Though it is true that crochet is faster and you only need to be concerned with one stitch at a time, knitting is just zen when you are in a roll. Both techniques lead to beautifully finished material.

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  • I have been crocheting since I was 11-12 years old. I was looking for more clothing patterns and wanted a less bulky look than crocheting. Since the pandemic began, I challenged myself to work on my knitting skills and have made several sweaters and tops for myself and my grand-daughter. So for faster and warmer projects like blankets, I would stick with crocheting. For finer work, I would go to knitting. I’ve knit and crocheted sock for friends and gotten positive feedback on both!

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  • I learned to crochet before I learned to knit so my yarn tension suffers when I pick up a knitting project. I also can’t seem to keep track of my knits and purls. I have no such problem tracking sc, hdc, or dc. One day I’m going to finish my knitted blanket.

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  • Kelly V.

    I have been crocheting since I was 4… so 40 yrs later I rudely believe to me it’s like breathing, it comes so natural to me. I have tried several times to knit and it like my hands don’t want to listen to my brain. I’m not done trying, but crocheting is more for me at this time.

    Reply
  • I enjoy both knitting and crocheting. I do find crochet seems to be a more bulky fabric and knitting can be ver fine and more closed up(less holes) it just depends on the end result you want! Both are fun!!!

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  • Adria S.

    I like crochet because it’s more relaxing if you drop a stitch or make a mistake, it’s much easier to rip out a stitch and resume than trying to put a loop back on the needle!

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  • I tried to learn knitting but I just couldn’t get it. I would love to knit because the finished work is so beautiful and elegant.

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  • Yes. Crochet is faster than knitting. Knitting can get complicated with cable stitches etc.

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  • Katherine K.

    I can only crochet, but I do think that each crafts has its benefits. Crochet seems better for afghans, scarfs, and toys while knitting seems better for clothing like sweaters. Most crocheted clothes look very homemade. I can crochet a large blanket in a couple of weekends so it does seem fast.

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  • Lorelle G.

    I learned how to crochet about 10 years ago. Just loved it. I recently learned to knit some. I found it just not pleasant. Too much frustration.

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  • Shirley H.

    Crochet patterns ar easier to keep up with and crochet hooks are easier than two knitting needles. But I like doing both.

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  • Crochet E.

    I love knitting and crochet equally. I prefer to knit socks, gloves and garments that need drape. Crochet is ideal for household items such as baskets, blankets, anything that needs to be sturdier.

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  • Debra B.

    Crochet is much more forgiving than knitting. I can knit, but prefer to crochet because I get bored knitting and want to pull out my hair. 😉

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  • Paulette G.

    I only crochet because my mother only crocheted as did her mother and her mother’s mother. When I married, my mother-in-law only knitted as did her mother etc. I’m sure a doctoral thesis could be written on the why and wherefore’s of the two crafts and the devotion to each.

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  • Knitting E.

    Well I love both. Crochet is quicker. Knitting softer. But I do mini knitting and mini crochet so for me my crochet is more limited because the smallest hook I can get is 0.35 mm. I can find finer things to knit on.

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  • Marit F.

    I crochet and knit equally. I think crochet is easier to work and less technically challenging than knitting in the many years of crafting both. I think knitting is much more technical in terms of technique while knitting. With crochet, you are only handling one stitch at a time, and the stitches are equal when trying to get the gauge. In knitting, getting the correct gauge is so much more challenging. I often have to adjust the gauge to get the fabric I want. It is easier to do in crochet because you are only handling one stitch at a time, and each stitch made is a stitch on its own rather than “linked” with other stitches.

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  • I had a friend whose husband didn’t like her to knit because of the clacking of the needles. Crochet is silent so wouldn’t upset anyone.

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  • TBH, I like both but with knitting I find that my edges are a lot nicer. I don’t have to continually remember how to count to the edge and make the turning stitch. Also, the fabric it makes is very flexible. Crochet, at least for me, seems to make a stiffer fabric. I don’t mean including lace, those are the same in both knitting and crocheting, at least for me. The benefits of crochet are one hook to worry about, instead of pointy needles 🙂 But I think i prefer knitting for some projects, and crochet for others.

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  • I tried knitting and didn’t care for it. To boring. In fact a few years later tried it again and still didn’t like it. So I’m a crocheter through and through.

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  • Linda S.

    i like crochet because I don’t drop stitches. Especially now that arthritis has entered my life.

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  • Esther G.

    My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was eight. It definitely is my go to. I taught myself to knit many years later and I love to do cable afghans. Crochet is definitely faster and gives more satisfaction, however I would rather knit an Afghan than do granny squares. Too boring!!

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  • Lalia W.

    Crochet has a lot of options unavailable to knit projects. Among them are three-dimensional effects, turning and heading in totally new directions, “free-form,” and lots more. The danger though, is that crochet projects can easily devolve to kitschy. Good taste and good yarn and good color choices are necessary for both.

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  • Ruthann L.

    I suffer from Parkinson’s, which makes it impossible for me to control a knitting needle. Crochet, on the other hand, apparently uses a different set of nerves and muscles. It allows me to continue creating special items for my family and for charity.

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  • Doris D.

    It depends on what sort of finished fabric you want and its texture. Knitted pieces have a smoother surface and less bulk, while crochet lends itself well to open work and lace. I do both, but strongly prefer knitting because it’s the first of the two skills I learned as a child. Knitting intimidates, as it can be daunting to manage many stitches and techniques simultaneously.

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  • I both knit and crochet and think each has its strengths depending on the project. Knitted fabric is better for garments like sweaters, as it tends to be less bulky and has better drape. Crocheted fabric is nice for things like afghans, because the extra bulk adds warmth and because it’s a large project, crochet works up faster. Crochet is nice for doilies, especially filet crochet, but knitted lace is beautiful, especially in a shawl. Crochet is easier for small circular projects, as there’s only one live stitch, whereas knitting such projects requires dpn’s or magic loop, which can get fiddly. And I agree that frogging a knitted project is much scarier than frogging a crochet project. I usually insert a lifeline, especially if there are many rows being frogged. And if it’s not a major undo, tinking a knit project is tedious, whereas undoing crochet stitches is a piece of cake. Personally, right now I’m in a knitting mode, as all my recent projects have been garments. I might add being both a crocheter and a knitter, I prefer the continental method of knitting as I tension the yarn in my left hand the same way for both crafts. I also think continental knitting is faster and more efficient. Thanks for this opportunity to weigh in on the subject. 🙂

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  • I can both knit and crochet but my preference is crochet. As many others have said, only 1 loop to keep track of. I find crochet more versatile and forgiving and now that they are coming out with the lighter weight yarns I find myself wanting to crochet garments rather than knit them. Crochet is so much heavier and thicker, which I prefer in almost everything except sweaters! A nice, heavy crocheted sweater is wonderful when you work outdoors in all weather – but not so nice in a centrally heated business office.

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  • I crochet and knit. Knitting projects are much more beautiful, but crochet projects are quicker and easier to complete. I have many more knit ufo’s than crochet ones. One of my problems is I get bored really quick, and knitting falls into that category, due to the length of time to complete a project. Lately I crochet a lot more than knit. Both has advantages and disadvantages. Holes between crochet stitches can be quite a problem when not making lace items.

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  • Carole A.

    I wanted to acquire some yarning skills when I was a kid so I signed up for knitting instruction at school in 3rd grade. (Crochet was not offered, I didn’t even know crochet existed before well into adulthood.) Knitting was so hard, frustrating, no fun, not relaxing. I kept accidentally dropping or adding stitches. My rows looked terrible. When my dad’s dying coworker asked me from her deathbed to show her what I was doing…to teach her how…you could see where my rows ended and hers began, she obviously knew what she was doing but she denied it saying I taught her everything she knows. I couldn’t accuse the moribund lady of lying. I stopped trying at that moment. I was 35 when I started crochet. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. After a few years of happy hooking, I decided to try knitting again, thinking maybe it was just my youth that made it seem impossible for me. Nope. Same exact results as back in 3rd grade. I couldn’t knit to save my life.

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  • Sandra A.

    I cannot knit, to save my life, but wish I could get the hang of it! My Mom taught me to crochet, decades ago, and TRIED to help me knit, to no avail. So, for me, crochet is “better”, when, really that should just read “easier” . Each craft lends itself to specific projects, better than the other does, and that is why I wish I could master knitting.

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  • I have done both decades ago, recently picked up crochet again and love it. I have a pattern for a knitted sweater I would like to try but there’s so much more that can go wrong with knitting!

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  • Laurie M.

    I’m fascinated by crochet because it can’t be replicated by any machine.

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  • Colleen P.

    I learned to knit at 8 years old from my mom. Then in college a friend taught me to crochet and I never looked back. I like that it goes faster than knitting and that it only involves one loop and it’s easy to frog. I have often found a mistake in a project that I would try to tell myself nobody would notice only to pull everything apart anyway because I knew that I would always know it was there. Easy to do with crochet, not with knitting.

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  • Debbie C.

    I had been knitting on and off for about 35 years. A couple of years ago I decided to try crocheting. I bought a magazine type book highly recommended by a friend of my daughter’s. It was very helpful. I also took a class through our Rec department, but the instructor was not very helpful. I LOVE crocheting, easy to pick up and put down without forgetting where you were in the pattern. I haven’t looked back. Boy, do I have a lot of knitting needles! Anyone interested?

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  • I am a self-taught crocheter, and knitter. I started both knitting and crochet when I was about 11. Couldn’t follow knit instructions, so the basic stockinette is all I do. Crochet is my love, but I still make knitted scarves (I still have the first one I ever made!) and dishcloths.

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  • Sarah J.

    I love both. I like knitting when riding in a car because I don’t have to look at my project. Crochet is much nicer for lacy things I think.

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  • I have tried knitting, even continental, and I will continue to try it only because some things just look better and are thinner with knitting (e.g. socks, mittens, sweaters) while others are much nicer crocheted (think mosaic crochet)

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  • I like both. Knitting is better with some yarns but crochet is faster. Definitely crochet when going on short trips. I started a daily crochet Afghan. Might try a knitted one next year lol.

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  • Brenda Z.

    I changed over to Crocheting frim knitting years ago! I would frop a stitch & need to pull out the yarn. Crocheting is much easier for me!

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  • Susan R.

    I would never say crochet is “better” than knitting. Its different. Its faster depending on the project. Its less to keep track of and frogging is a breeze with crochet, most of the time. Crochet is thicker. If you do the knit stitch in crochet with the same yarn compared to knitting it is much thicker and takes more yarn and is a harder stitch to do than just knitting. I love the fabric that knitting makes, but also love crochet items. So one being “better” over the other really isn’t the word I would use.

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  • I was taught knitting by someone, but I had difficulty with it. I taught myself to crochet. I prefer this because I caught on much sooner than knitting. I learn something new all the time. I also enjoy loom knitting.

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  • I prefer crocheting because until recently animal patterns for knitting were not around. Also lacy doilies and shawls are impossible with knitting.

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  • Joanne F.

    I love crochet and don’t like to knit….for all the reasons above and also because I like to make sweaters. I can stop any time and lay it out on top of a sweater that I know fits well and make adjustments as I go, especially for curves such as around the armholes and sleeve tops. Knit sweaters are all scrunched up on the needles and you can’t really see how the piece is shaping up until you are much past the section that you wanted to look at.

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  • Stephanie H.

    I have both crocheted and knitted since I was a child. I think they are about equal in the “likes” department. Yes crochet uses one tool, while knitting uses 2 needles, so use circular needles instead of 2 straight sticks. I like knitted garments better than crocheted most of the time. The drape, the look, though with todays yarn it’s close because we have so many designers and wonderful yarns that even crochet garments drape and shape better than 40 years ago. Knit has more stretch/give then crochet, socks that are knitted tend to feel better on my feet than crocheted. Toys are easier to make in crochet than knitted. It’s a toss up, I love to do both and usually have something going in both forms of needle work. I will say, man invented knitting machines to imitate and speed up knitting, so there is that, because I haven’t seen a crochet machine. Seriously, it depends on what you are comfortable doing or your mood not on which is better. What you like is better for you. No judgments folks.

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  • Deborah H.

    I have been crocheting since I was 9 yrs old. At 52, I’m starting to get the hang of knitting. I noticed my hand will stiffen up and flare up painful due to mild arthritis when I knit. Crocheting never causes my hand to hurt or stiffen at all. So now, I like crocheting better, because it’s easier on the hands, transportable, and quicker. And I like knitting just because it’s a challenge and I use it as an exercise routine for my poor hands.

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  • Kathleen U.

    I do both, but I find crocheting more relaxing and if I get bored with the repetitiveness, I can put it down or away until I’m ready to pick it back up. I often have several projects going on at the same time. I make prayer shawls and baby sets, so I’m often working on many different designs. I’ve done both for over 50 years now. Love crochet, I’ve often been called a chrochety old lady, with a smile! Kathy Umland

    Reply
  • Kathy S.

    I like to crochet and knit. However, I think it is easier to correct mistakes when crocheting.

    Reply

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