Knitting has become very popular in the past few years–there are even “knitting circles” for men! As the DIY trend grows, more people are finding that it’s preferable to learn to knit or crochet so that they can make a completely customized design–a scarf, sweater, or almost anything you can think of–you can even knit scrubbing sponges!
So, what’s the difference between knitting and crocheting ? Crocheting and knitting are two beautiful and versatile art forms. They each have their own uses, benefits and skills needed.
Crochet is an extremely versatile and popular technique for making a variety of fashion and home decor accessories. By combining basic crochet stitches and lighter weight or softer yarns, you create a delicate fabric; a thicker yarn produces a sturdy fabric. Beautiful textured and raised stitches are especially easy to make in crochet.
All you need to crochet is a continuous strand of yarn and a single hook. You start with a slip stitch and continue to make loops (or chains), creating a foundation row. Rows are built on this foundation. Crochet stitches are made with loops and wrapping yarn around the hook. The loops are drawn through the wrapped yarn to make the stitches.
You can crochet in rows, keeping your work flat, or you can join your stitches, creating a ring and work in the round.
One of the most recognized crochet patterns is the ‘Granny Square” motif. These colorful crocheted squares or circles are joined together to create afghans and vests. They are popular with beginners–you crochet each square at a time, then you incorporate the squares into your finished afghan or vest.
Knitting has long been the favorite technique for making sweaters because of the hugely varied detailing and color patterning that is possible. You can make a thinner, supple, and drape-able fabric. Or you can knit a substantial thick fisherman’s style sweater…or anything in between. The two basic stitches–knit and purl–can be worked alone or together and form the basis of dozens of designs.
The variety of yarns is almost limitless–thin silken yarns, “eyelash” yarns that create a unique “fuzzy” finish, angora, cashmere..the list goes on and on. A good yarn or craft store will help you make the right decision once you’ve chosen a project and a pattern. And reading patterns is like learning a new language–make sure the pattern explains what the symbols mean for the different stitches. A scarf is a great beginner’s project.
Knitting requires two needles and a continuous strand of yarn. You begin by making a slip knot on one needle and “casting on” the number of stitches you need for the project. (That’s the term for creating the foundation row on one needle.) The basic stitches are created using both needles, wrapping the yarn over one needle and drawing the wrapped yarn through loops on the other needle.
So that explains a bit of the basic differences and techniques of knitting and crocheting. You may find that once you get started, you’ll be hooked!