Today, I will be writing about a common misconception in crafts, which is that knitting and crocheting are much the same. While it is true that they do both involve making something out of wool, how the crafts are approached and the technique itself is very different. Much of this misunderstanding stems from the fact that, to the casual viewer, both knitted and crocheted products will look much the same. I’m going to look at the differences between these two crafts, as well as the similarities, to give a broad overview of both, and hopefully to get you interested in these skills yourself.
The first obvious similarity between the two is, of course, their core ingredient, which is some form of fibre (generally wool). However, the use of wool is another common misconception about both of these crafts, since wool is only one medium that can be used for knitting. In fact, anything that is long, threadlike and can be rolled up into a ball can be used for knitting, including unconventional materials like metal chains or torn up plastic bags. Wool from other animals than sheep can also be used such as Alpaca wool which will give the final product a different texture and feel. On top of this, the two techniques are generally used to make the same sorts of products, and the patterns used to make these products are notated fairly similarly. On top of this, both techniques take quite a long time, and so probably attract a similar sort of person, who has the patience to continue at a long project like this.
Now it’s time to look at the differences between the two techniques and what makes them distinct from one another, and then why this might lead you to choose one over the other based on personal preferences.
Firstly, the two techniques differ in what tools they use to achieve their effect. Knitting is done with the use of long straight needles that come in pairs. They are found in varying sizes, enabling knitters to create tighter or looser knits. It is also possible to get needles connected by a cord, which can be of varying lengths, known as circular knitting needles, and these can be used for knitting circular objects as well as for normal knitting. Knitting can also be done by machine, with different types of machine being used for different types of project. These range from home knitting machines for small projects, to large scale industrial machines. Many other fabrics are also in fact knitted, just from such a light thread that it does not appear so. The knitting in these fabrics is so fine that it must be done by machine.
On the other hand, Crochet is done by using crochet hooks. Just one is required for a project, rather than a pair, as is used in knitting. This also comes in varying sizes and can be made from a number of different materials, such as steel, bone, plastic or wood. Also crocheting cannot be done by machine, as knitting can, since no inventor yet has managed to work around the intricacy of the crocheting technique.
The technique also differs itself between these two styles. In knitting you must focus on a large number of loops of stitching at a time, so it involves much more constant concentration on what you are doing, since dropping a stitch can result in the whole project going wrong. On the other hand, crocheting involves focussing on only one or a couple of loops at a time. Besides from this, the two techniques also obviously differ considerably in the actually stitching method, due to the completely different tools used.
I hope that this article has got you interested in these crafts and made you want to go out and try them yourselves, and with crafts like this, the possibilities really are endless. You can knit anything you like, from clothes items to cuddly toys, and the more you do, the better you’ll become. These are also great methods for making gifts for your loved ones, since the things you knit for them really will be completely unique. Now that you know about both types, you can go away and decide which you want to try first, and remember, there is no better technique for making any one thing. It all comes down to whichever method you prefer. For more information you can look up videos and information online, and I may also consider further articles on the technique itself, so keep your eyes open for them if this is an area that you want to know about in more detail.
Images from: http://www.theknitter.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/67/2012/06/combinationknittingstep10.jpg, http://katieskitchenblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/scrappy_crochet_blanket.jpg