The big question that comes up with beginners is "Is crochet easier than knitting?" and you may be interested in the answer.
Unfortunately, I can't tell you as this is completely subjective. What one individual finds easy is another individual's hell. Now what you wanted to hear? Let me explain.
The difference between knitting and crochet.
Crochet is not knitting in any way, shape or form. Knitting uses two needles. Crochet uses one hook. Both use yarn and that's about all that they have in common.
Crochet is an art form where the individual uses one hook to pull loops through loops. The result is crochet fabric. There is only ever one active loop at a time in crochet. Crochet stitches resemble knots.
Knitting is an art form where the individual uses two needles to pull loops through loops of previous stitches. There are several active stitches on a needle at any one time. Knitted stitches resemble a 'v' shape.
Knitting is thought to be older than crochet and developed after nalebinding, which is an ancient technique using one needle to bind yarn together. Mittens and socks made using nalebinding have been discovered in archaeological sites dating back to ancient Egypt!
Crochet is thought to have been developed in the early medieval period in Asia and South America and later developed in Europe as a way of imitating lace fabric, of which was at its peak popularity between the 17th and 19th centuries. The method of using loops and chains can be linked back to ancient embroidery techniques. It has more in common with embroidery than it does knitting. Although these days we can combine the techniques and make crochet look like knitting, they are not similar.
Is one easier than the other?
To put it bluntly, no. Some people find that holding two needles feels more natural than holding just one hook. Others feel that holding two needles is complicated. It really depends on you.
I wouldn't advise believing anyone who tells you that one is easier than the other. I would say that crochet is more accessible than knitting as the techniques and the tools are fewer. For example, you only need one hook. For knitting, you will probably need at least 2 sizes of knitting needles to complete a project. A hat for example might ask for 3.25mm needles for the brim and 4mm needles for the body. A crochet hat pattern might just ask you to do a different stitch for the brim to differentiate it from the body. This will still only require 1 4mm hook.
The other issue with knitting is that a pattern can ask for a range of notions in the materials list. You might need stitch holders, spare needles, stitch markers and circulars as well as straight needles. This could be a setback for a beginner with a tight budget.
When it comes to crochet, there is only one way to do it. You pull the loops through with a hook. You can hold your hook in different ways and it's still just called 'crochet'. Some crocheters hold their hook like a spoon, others like a knife. There's no 'correct' way to hold your hook as long as the job is done. There are no official names either.
With knitting, there are several ways to knit and they have different names. There's English, Continental, Japanese and Portuguese just to name a few. Then there's different ways to do purling... It could be frightening for a beginner.
With crochet, there are two types of terms: US terms and UK terms. A beginner can easily confuse the two which could understandably make crochet seem harder than knitting.
They both sound hard
While they each have their strengths and weaknesses, I advise you to try both. I do both and enjoy both. Other people prefer one and stick to it. The choice is yours.
They are both wonderful, rewarding skills to develop. Enjoy the journey!
Have you tried both? Do you think one is harder than the other?
Other useful articles:
US and UK crochet terms explained
I’m a self taught knitter and crocheter. I started with knitting and did the typical thing of knitting long plain things for a while and it was when the ruffle scarf yarn was all the thing so I made loads of those. I found the idea of shaping complicated and also struggled with reading my knitting so if I dropped a stitch I couldn’t really pick it up again tidily and couldn’t unpick a couple of rows, so would have to frog a whole project. I did knit a men’s sweater with a friend’s instructions and it was actually really neat until it came to sewing up the seams. I made a right mess of that and that put me off knitting. So, I started to crochet which I found so much easier. I could make baby garments really easily and there’s no ‘dropping stitches’ with crochet. So, I mostly crocheted for a bit. Then a lovely knitter put out a step by step guide to sock knitting. Up til then I’d only seen a lady at my knit group make a sock with dpns and it looked so difficult and fiddly. Once I realised I didn’t need to use dpns and could buy a short circular needle, it already seemed a better prospect, so I gave it a go. One pair of socks down and I was totally in love with sock knitting. Then I realised there were lots of garment patterns written in the round, rather than knitted flat and I figured, if I can knit socks, I can knit anything. Now the only thing I crochet is blankets. So, I used to think crochet was easier, but now I realise they’re just different crafts requiring different skills. Both are incredibly enjoyable and I’m so glad I taught myself both.
Thank you for opening the discussion!
I do both and I don’t think crochet is easier than knitting, however, for me at least, it is much faster than knitting and always has been. Therefore, my need to see results is satisfied more quickly. :)
A couple of other differences are: 1) crochet uses more yarn than knitting, so if you have a special yarn but only a limited amount, it may be better to knit; 2) crochet is more forgiving of mistakes or at least easier to fix or frog them and you can more readily set it down in the middle of a row and still pick it back up; 3) crochet cannot be done by machine.
I enjoy both arts, and now have time to improve both! Next challenge is to learn Continental knitting, if I can get past 30 years of muscle memory with English style!