Tuesday Needlework: The difference between crochet and knitting

Have you ever been quietly enjoying your coffee (tea, latte, frappe, insert beverage here) in your favorite coffee shop while working on your current crochet project, dressed in your awesome asymmetrical cardigan and slouchy hat (that YOU made, btw) only to have some person obviously uneducated in needle arts come up and ask you, “What are you knitting?”

As the hair on the back of your neck raises and you feel your blood start to boil, you ever-so-patiently take a sip of your beverage with the cozy on it that YOU crocheted, look up and say, “I’m not knitting. It’s crochet.” And inside your head you’re thinking, “If it was knitting I’d have two needles to jab you with.” Yeah, don’t act like you’ve never thought this a time or two.
I pursue both knitting and crochet because I find they have their purposes for different items. I don’t necessarily like to make clothing such as sweaters from crochet, but that it is great for scarves and hats.It is too bulky for my taste preferences.

Crochet stitches for a hat
Knit stitches for a hat

I have made cardigans and such, but as for sweaters, gloves, and socks I just think the stitches are too big and it looks too “homemade.” Before you string me up, remember, this is just what I feel about it and that I have nothing against homemade. I think knitting has a smoother look and the closer stitches make for a much more appealing fabric for clothing.

However, if you want something done faster, your best choice is crochet. I can work up a crochet piece in half the time it takes me to knit something. This is also because the stitches work up about twice the size of a knit stitch. I think it may have a lot to do with only using one hook as opposed to two needles, too.
So what is the major difference? Well, if you do one or the other you probably already know the answer to this. I’m hoping to reach out and educate those that may not know, and hopefully one day the world will be a much better place when the two are not confused, inciting violence in the mind of an otherwise peaceful needleworker.
If you take the time to notice, crochet is performed using a single needle with a hook on the end of it. The crocheter is usually in a very rhythmic trance with yarn in one hand and a hook in the other. Knitting uses TWO needles. These needles DO NOT have hooks on the end of them, but are rather sharp and pointy. The knitter will also have a rhythm down but it will not be the same as the crocheter’s.



Interrupting a crocheter usually means you will interrupt their counting. This is not a good thing. If they sigh audibly and visibly start counting stitches with a louder voice (not the voice inside their head) you had better back away slowly and never, ever speak to them again. To repeatedly ask questions is not wise.
The same could be said for a knitter, except that for some reason they have a tendency to use stitch markers more often and once they are sure of their stitch count, rarely have to repeat counting. This is not a guarantee, though. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to mess with or upset someone that can use sharp, pointy objects with obvious skill and grace and how much does she/he really value that yarn they are using? Would they mind a bit of blood?”
If you feel you MUST talk to the knitter or crocheter while they are working, it is best if you sit patiently and watch them work. You may pick up a thing or two in the process. When they stop their hand movements to take a sip of their beverage, it is probably safe to talk to them. Hopefully you are intelligently armed with the correct question of, “What are you knitting/crocheting?” If you get it right, the needleworker is usually more than happy to speak with you about their project.
I hope this has reached someone in time to avoid serious injury. If, however, you are sitting in a hospital bed with puncture wounds and reading this, I hope that at your next encounter you will be better informed. Cheers, and quick healing…

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wendy Lee
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 19:21:32

    Love it… and I at times when I was still doing both, have thought the same thoughts. Very informative too.


  2. Trackback: Tuesday Needlework: Using Crochet in Sewing | Freckle Dots
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