My mom taught me the basics of knitting when I was a little girl. One summer I was bored on the beach. I still don’t understand how that was possible but when you’re 10 and your friends are not around, the beach can be pretty boring. She taught me to make a scarf for the coming winter and I was hooked. Since then I have been knitting knitting knitting. I learned all the rest from blogs and youtube and keep learning every day.
I never considered learning crochet until a few years ago. In fact, I got tricked by the cutest elephant toy knitting pattern ever.
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I made all of it until the ears and that’s when I realized they were crocheted and not knitted. That will teach me to read the instructions before starting. I have to admit I have this very bad habit not to read any instructions before the pattern. I used to but then there were always things I didn’t know how to do that got me scared and I wouldn’t do it. One day, I decided to always jump in and learn what I don’t know along the way.
So here I was with my adorable elephant without ears. I tried to knit some but didn’t like the results so I went to my favorite low-cost option Amazon and looked for a crochet hook. For a few dollars, I could have a basic set of the most common sizes so I purchased these, finished my elephant and fell in love with crochet.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still knitting. I wouldn’t give that up for anything but I discovered a whole new world! And I don’t want you to spend years before you figure this out for yourself!
Some of us both knit and crochet but a lot of us are in the dark like I have been all those years. This post will help you see the benefits of doing both knitting and crochet.
- Knitting and Crochet use the Same Logic
- Love of Yarn
- Crochet is Very Affordable to Try
- A Whole New World of Possibilities
- On the go
- Bonus Reason: Time
1. Knitting and Crochet use the Same Logic
Before you start panicking about the idea of starting from scratch you need to know how easy crochet is to learn, especially if you know how to knit (even if only the basics). You know what a stitch is. You know we use rows or rounds to create a project. You know we make increases and decreases to give shapes to our projects. You might not know how to do these in crochet, but you know the logic behind the craft, and that is already 50% of the job done. Because you already know how to think for crochet
As you are a knitter, you probably know how to read a knitting pattern right? Well, the good news is crochet patterns work in exactly the same way!
Have a look at my Pretty Spring Dress crochet pattern for example and compare it to my Simple Mittens knitting pattern. They are not that different. They follow the same structure and the same logic of rows, increases, decreases etc. Of course, there are differences, crochet and knitting are different crafts using different tools and techniques, but the main ideas remain the same.
In crochet you will also come accross crochet charts, these are a bit different from knitting charts, but once again the main ideas behind it are the same : A graphical representation of the pattern using different symbols to represent different stitches and techniques.
2. Love of Yarn
If you’re anything like me, when you walk into a store and they have a yarn aisle you can’t stop yourself from spending at least half an hour there looking and touching all the pretty pretty yarn and dreaming of all the beautiful projects you want to make with these. And very probably coming home with yet another big bag of yarn goodies. The good news is, you can use the exact same yarn for knitting as crochet! Doing both gives you one more excuse to indulge.
3. Crochet is Very Affordable to Try
Most of the tools you need for crochet are the same as for knitting:
- As already mentioned, you can use the same yarn. No need to buy new yarn straight away, try crochet with some leftover yarn you have in stock. A good pattern to start with are my Sunday at the Pool Coasters. These are small and quick so if you make mistakes, you can start over without needing to rip to much work.
- Stitch markers: As both crafts use stitches, you need stitch markers for both. I don’t use stitch markers very often for knitting but much more for crochet. I like the very basic plastic ones, they are very easy and it doesn’t matter if I lose them as you get so many for so little money. If you don’t have any, you can use a short piece of yarn or a safety pin.
- Tapestry needles: In both crafts, you will have ends to weave in. Tapestry needles are a must, thankfully they’re not expensive. This set of stainless steel ones has been my go-to for years.
The only thing you need to buy is a crochet hook. This will replace your knitting needles. You can get just one for the size of the first project you selected or for a few dollars you can get this basic set with common sizes and be good to go for your next few years of crochet.
I was really surprised how few things I needed to buy to start crochet. Before I started I would have tought I needed to buy so much stuff, but I was completely wrong. All I needed was a crochet hook and I was crocheting.
4. A Whole New World of Possibilities
When I think knitting, I usually think sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, baby clothes, etc. Usually, I visualize mostly garments and mostly winter stuff. Just have a quick look at my knitting board, you’ll see what I mean.
I know you can do much more than that with knitting, but some things are harder such as lacy dresses, toys, objects for home etc. Luckily for us, these type of projects are much easier in crochet!
A few types of projects for which I now choose crochet rather than knitting:
- Crocheted toys are much much easier than working with double pointed needles and only a few stitches on each needle while changing color every couple of rounds as was required for the elephant. This kind of crochet projects are called Amigurumi (apparently, it’s from Japanese origin). You have patterns for them in all shapes and sizes.
- Lacy projects such as the Pretty Spring Dress below. In knitting you need to keep increasing and decreasing to create a lacy effect while in crochet it is as simple as just skipping a stitch.
- Flat round projects. I haven’t figured out how to make something flat and round in knitting. I’m sure it is possible but it is definitely tricky. And if you want to add a lacy effect to create things such as the Mandala Placemats (on the left) or Coasters (on the right) below, my head hurts only to think about such a knitting pattern.
- 3D objects, mostly for home, such as baskets, pen holders, coozies, etc. Crochet stitches use more yarn and therefore can make a denser fabric which will hold its shape better compared to knitted stitches. This makes it very easy to make 3-dimensional objects in crochet. Have a look at the Chair Socks for example.
5. On the go
Crochetting on the go is much easier than knitting on the go. Sure, it is do-able, especially if you use circular needles, but crochet is more convenient.
- You need much less room to crochet than to knit. In knitting, depending on the style of knitting you use, usually both your hands need to move and you need some room to move your needles. Have you ever poked your neighbor in a train or car while knitting? no more with crochet, you only have one hand doing a small movement and your hook is about 15cm long, not 30 as most standard knitting needles.
- I usually do small projects on the go so I don’t have to carry to much yarn and have the WIP take so much room. Crochet hooks take less room and are easier to store in a bag than knitting needles. Amigurumi are my go to on the go project right now because they take a lot of time to make but take very little room in my bag.
- Have you ever stored your project in your bag, just to find half of the stitches of the needle a few hours later? Even if you secure them with your yarn, when you are on the go, things easily move in your bag and you can lose these stitches. Of course, many seasoned knitters have found there own tricks to avoid this but with crochet, you only have one stitch that can come of the hook. Only one stitch to secure to make sure your project isn’t unraveled, sound like a dream? A simple stitch marker through the stitch and you can stuff your project in your bag and be sure it won’t get ripped by accident.
On the other hand, for certain occasions, knitting is more convenient. For example, I find knitting easier while watching a movie because if I’m doing a simple stitch (what I usually do), I don’t need to watch what I’m doing. Because the stitches are held on the needles I can just feel them while for crochet I need to see where I need to insert my hook. But maybe that is just experience. I have been knitting for much much longer than I crochet.
6. Bonus Reason: Time
When it’s the day before Christmas Eve and you still haven’t finished all your gifts, picking a crochet project for this last-minute gift will save you tons of time. Crochet is much faster because the stitches are bigger. One row in crochet covers from 1 to 5-6 rows in knitting depending on the stitch you use.
Even for an experienced knitter, when I started to crochet I could not believe how fast my projects got done!
One thing you should be careful about is that crochet takes up around 30% more yarn. When you are used to knitting and eyeballing how much yarn you’ll need, this can be very time-consuming. So if you want to finish up some of your yarn, you’d better pick a knitting project.
Now that you know what you are missing out on, grab yourself this cheap crochet hook set and give it a try!
My preferred method to learn a new skill is to pick a project and start from there. You can start with one of my crochet patterns here or there are a lot of amazing website with hundreds of thousands of free crochet patterns. Some of my favorites are:
You knit? Crochet? Both? Have I forgotten something? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Andrea SmithFebruary 13, 2020 at 7:27 pm
Thank you for this article. I have been a die hard knitter for the last two years. I love it but wanted to try crochet so I could make a basket. It’s good to know that someone else expanded their love of yarn with both techniques.
Betty CutlerFebruary 15, 2020 at 7:32 am
My Grandmother taught me to knit but I don’t remember how I learnt to crochet. maybe just watching Grandma. Tatting I taught myself from a book!
A Doctor told a friend of mine, after she had a stroke, that she could still do her crochet work but NOT anymore knitting. I don’t know why…possibly the weight of all those stitches on the needles, but I found it interesting.