Are You a Knitter or a Crocheter?

My friend Summer Larson is an avid crocheter and designs and makes baby hats for girls and boys that I admire.  (She’s got a great eye for color, too.)  Summer knits too but prefers crocheting. I am a knitter who can crochet but prefers to knit. (Picture from Abe’s Books. Synopsis of book (1930): Novel of the English countryside and the works of a modern day witch, who accomplished with gossip and innuendo what earlier witches did with spells and curses.)

Recently Summer showed me some of her new designs for baby hats and mentioned that she needed someone to test crochet her pattern. I immediately volunteered, thinking a crocheted summer hat for my granddaughter would be a perfect birthday present.

I left Summer’s house with some bright pink cotton under my arm eager to get started. That night I began. Her directions were clear, but I kept messing up the crocheting. (Something must have been wrong with the yarn or the hook!) I went back to Summer’s house the next day; she took one look at what I had done, ripped it out and gave me a different crochet hook. Then we sat on her back patio and crocheted.

I would like to say “crocheted in peaceful silence,” but given my regular grunting and exasperated sighs, it certainly wasn’t silent and undoubtedly not peaceful for Summer.

Over the next couple of weeks I dragged that crochet project with me wherever I went. It was slow going … I started to fear I would be unable to finish it in time. The picture at the left shows what I managed to crochet in 2-3 weeks. (What it doesn’t show is the stains from my blood and tears.)

Then the other day our fiber group met at Summer’s, and again I pulled out the hat. Apparently Summer also was concerned whether I would finish it in time, so she took the hat from me and finished it off in no time! She sent me home with some trim, and I sewed the trim on.

Now, as soon as I sewed the trim on my granddaughter’s hat, I knit this hat for my son-in-law in a short time – maybe a day – for his Father’s Day gift.  (The only time-consuming part was the pattern design and working out the gauge.)  The yarn is “Sensational” (100% superwash merino) by Fibra Natura in a lovely variegated called Garden Topiary (color 40855).

Summer is one speedy crocheter; I am a speedy knitter. I find the process of crocheting tedious; she finds the process of knitting tedious. So we started thinking about this and wondered if people who can both knit and crochet always prefer one to the other. Our hunch is that most people have a preference. Look at the picture to the right (from Habetrot‘s blog).  Does it look like Joan Crawford would rather be crocheting?! 🙂

So I came up with this poll.  Let’s see how right or wrong we are!

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Crocheting, Knitting. Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Are You a Knitter or a Crocheter?

  1. I have a friend who is a good knitter but prefers to crochet … Don’t understand that! 🙂

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  2. flora says:

    Interesting thoughts… I just wished I could crochet better… so of course I prefer knitting!

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  3. A lot of people go through “phases” – sometimes they like to knit more than crochet, other times it’s vice-versa! The important thing is to really enjoy it. 🙂

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  4. Stopping by from Weekend Knitter.

    I love both — just learned to crochet last fall. I am leaning more toward crochet simply because it is so easy to rip out mistakes! I do love the texture of knitting though.

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  5. I agree — crafters can make some amazing flower decorations in crochet! Thanks for reading my post. I’m glad you enjoyed the poll.

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  6. Don’t think of it as a disease – rather, hmmm, a RIVER that you must let run its course! 🙂

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  7. grimdreamer says:

    Haha, it’s inevitable! 🙂

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  8. I prefer knitting because I like the fabric it makes better for almost all articles of clothing. Except for little decorative flowers — crocheted flowers are infinitely cuter than the knitted ones I’ve seen. Very interesting poll!

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  9. streepie says:

    When crocheting, I always need to stop and check whether I inserted the hook in the right place, and whether the stitch turned out ok…

    Knitting I can do in the (semi-)darkness if need be (and if the pattern is not too demanding).

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  10. Vi says:

    Yeah, I have a friend who crochets and she always makes cute little stuffed toys! I’m so jealous that it’s so easy to whip up a cute little animal so quickly.

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  11. Curls & Q says:

    I was VERY annoyed at the red hat. The pattern wasn’t written correctly! Started over 4 times and just got a ruffled look. Once I used the black hat pattern, the hat was done in no time. The yarn we used was recommended, but had 6 strands plied together. The dang hook kept getting stuck in one strand a lot of the time. ARGH!!!! Then I found a mistake in the pupil for the red hat. More cursing. Knitting needles, for the most part, do not get caught in the plies! Mom said I crochet too tightly and that’s the problem. Knitting is not as frustrating! Taking care of mom right now – her Home Ec eye cannot be quieted! 😎 Shoving the darn hook through! Yeah, I don’t like to crochet very much. 😎

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  12. And do you get frustrated crocheting?! I almost told my grandchildren I know someone who’s making Angry Bird hats for her grandkids, but bit my tongue, afraid they’d clamor for them but even more afraid that I’d agree to crochet them! 🙂

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  13. If I crocheted at even an average speed I’d probably enjoy it more! 🙂

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  14. Oh I bet you’ll try picking up a hook after viewing some amazing pieces on others’ blogs! 🙂

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  15. Natch! (old slang for “naturally”)!

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  16. gossycrafts says:

    No, just tears! :p

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  17. Contessa says:

    I definitely agree on the thought that crocheting is easier than knitting. I figured it’d probably have been much better to learn crocheting first. I have to wonder how that would work out for others?

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  18. randipants says:

    I’m a thrower, not a picker. I’m left-handed so when I started knitting holding the yarn in my right hand made the most sense. I also have a very sensitive left wrist, which is why the constant rotation crochet requires was starting to become a problem, so giving my left hand as little to do as possible felt good. I’ve tried to learn continental a few times but it just doesn’t feel comfortable to me.

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  19. randipants says:

    I used the Klutz book! I figured if it’s designed for an 8-year-old to teach him/herself, I could probably handle it at 27. And I do love the look of crochet for some items as well, but lucky for me they mostly weren’t the items I wanted to make. I do miss how quickly a crochet afghan goes, though!

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  20. That’s interesting – crocheting bothered your wrist but knitting does not. Do you knit Continental or UK method?

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  21. I just might be so slow because after each couple of crochet stitches, I stop and gripe and moan. 🙂

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  22. I envy you! And I thought people’s responses were interesting, too! What fun to compare!

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  23. Hmmm, muscle memory. I like that term! With crocheting the pink hat for my granddaughter, I got slower and slower – but that may be because I was belly aching more and more!

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  24. I understand completely! I learned without any kind of patterns (written or graphed), and then when I used patterns, they were Norwegian and graphed. If there’s an interesting written-out pattern I like, I graph it first! Using knitting graph paper is also quite handy when desiging your own patterns. 🙂

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  25. I am envious … I think I could complete a Fair Island sweater in less than I would take to crochet another hat. 🙂

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  26. I think the crochet folks would disagree with you re variations, but I am on your side of the fence! 🙂

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  27. Are your knit projects spotted with blood and sweat like my crochet projects are? 🙂

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  28. I love the symmetry and art of doily making … but there’s only so many doilies we can use. 🙂 Hmmm, so it is the weight of the cotton that aggravates your carpal tunnel – I will have to mention that to a friend of mine who’s dealing with that. (Thanks!)

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  29. The first time I tried the English method (which I had always thought of as “the American way”), I thought it was insane; I was so frustrated. I finally learned to do it when started knitting with lots of colors in a row so ended up holding three colors in my left hand and two colors in my right. (I got a little crazy wih it for a while!)

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  30. I think it was my friend Summr who first pointed out the parallels between holding a crochet hook and Continental knitting. As I was practically weaned on Continental knitting I had never thought that. While I agree with you re drape/fabric of knit garment, I think crochet maybe be better (more durable?) for bedspreads, curtains, table cloths, etc. ?

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  31. I never thought of how crochet is probably easier for things like amigurumi. And I have seen really cute stuffed animal shapes for kids too. But, alas, the process of crocheting makes me want to rip my hair out. 🙂

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  32. I think kniting is harder to pick up than crochet but, for some odd reason, I find the hooking process tedious. So I thinkI will content mysef with drooling over other people’s crocheted creations. 🙂

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  33. My first impulse is always needles – until some crochet piece grabs my eyes. Then I think, I should crochet more! Two hours into the projct I am kicking myself! 🙂

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  34. I like both the process and created product of knitting. I like many finished creations via crochet, but I maybe it is the process itself I don’t enjoy. ?

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  35. I like crochet but, like you, for certain things. I think it’s great for curtains, tablecloths, bed covers, and many blankets!

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  36. Yes, isn’t it strange? Though I am a SLOW crocheter and a fast knitter, I always thought crocheting was easier than knitting – but, like you, I preferred knitting.

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  37. I hadn’t thought of that-it is faster and easier to rip out crochet sections. (I wonder why.)

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  38. That’s how I think about tatting! 🙂

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  39. I am so impressed that you taught yourself to knit! i like crochet for things like curtains, bed covers and the like but not really for clothing.

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  40. That’s up to Summer Larson. I was test crocheting (or at least that’s what I was SUPPOSED to be doing!) her hat pattern. I think she will be finalizing some of her patterns and putting them on her Ravelry site.

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  41. It wasn’t taught in US schools when I was a child (so it probably isn’t now 🙂 ) but I learned both around the same time … I never forgot how to crochet but knitting – I think I just enjoyed it more even though I thought crochet was easier.

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  42. I must be inflexileor something … after my granddaughter’s hat, I don’t think I will be picking up a hook again any time soon! 🙂 Thanks for reading my blog!

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  43. kyred says:

    I enjoy both equally, but I have been doing both off and on for over 20 years. For me it depends on the project and my mood. I think some items turn out better in one or the other, but I can be rather flighty about it all. I can do either rather quickly depending on the pattern.

    What a fun poll! Love seeing everyone’s thoughts

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  44. streepie says:

    I learned both crocheting and knitting in primary school – but I only stuck with knitting. I can crochet, but I am really slow at it, and I always need to check what I am doing.

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  45. Julia says:

    Soooo are you going to share the hat pattern? =D

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  46. randipants says:

    I learned crochet first but had to give it up when it started to make my wrist hurt too much. I had also started to get the urge to make sweaters and didn’t see any crochet sweater patterns that I liked. I was staring at the knitting forums on craftster more than the crochet forums. So I taught myself to knit and have barely touched a hook since.

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  47. psalmboxkey says:

    Never learned to knit . . . maybe one of these days.

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  48. I prefer knitting, but I remember being surprised at how fast crochet moved. Faster to rip out huge sections to fix mistakes, too. o_____o

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  49. Contessa says:

    I prefer knitting to crocheting, though I am a much faster crocheter than I am, knitter.
    I also learned to knit first, and both were learned using books (UGH).
    I wish I knew why I preferred knitting, but I just don’t have an answer. :p

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  50. I learned to crochet first but prefer knitting. I actually like the fabirc better in most knitted items. The openness of crochet has it’s place though. When I want a fast project I look for a crochet pattern.

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  51. Northern Narratives says:

    I learned to knit and crochet about the same time. I don’t know why I fell in love with knitting.

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  52. marissafh says:

    I learned to knit before crochet, but crochet is still the first impulse when I want to start something with new pattern or yarn. I do find that I am picking up or planning a knit project more often now, so maybe it’s just a matter of practice and learning how to knit the patterns, etc. and getting comfortable with the process.

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  53. I learned how to knit first, but was never able to pick it up. When I learned how to crochet- it was like nothing. I’ll try knitting once again, but not anytime soon.

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  54. Vi says:

    I learned how to knit first and tried crocheting for the first time this past winter. I just could not get the hang of it! I think I would prefer crocheting for the speed and ease of making shapes (e.g. for amigurumi) but I can’t function with just one stick. So knitting it is.

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  55. Dina says:

    Like a few others before me, I also learned to crochet first before I learned to knit, but my preference is for knitting — I love the drape and fabric of a knitted garment. As with ethgran, my crocheting lessons helped me ease into Continental knitting, too. I won’t forget my roots and do appreciate that I got “hooked” into knitting 😉

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  56. ethgran says:

    I learned to crochet long before knitting and it works up faster for me but I much prefer the process of knitting – so much more relaxing and easy on my hands. Because I crocheted first, when I learned to knit I naturally carried the yarn in my left hand and thought I had discovered a new way to hold the yarn for knitting (I was taught the English method) —- until I picked up Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “Knitting Without Tears” and the library. >,<

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  57. Deborah says:

    I was taught to knit first, then crochet. My actual preference is dictated by the time of year (winter is for afghans), the circumstances (am I going to be traveling or spending a lot of time in waiting rooms?), and also my health – since I have carpal tunnel I have to switch back and forth when I’m making something heavy, because my wrists can’t handle a lot of crocheting when I’m working with yarn. But summertime is doily time. I can crochet for hours when I’m using bedspread cotton..

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  58. gossycrafts says:

    Knitting is SO SLOW for me while crochet zips along – I felt an immediate sense of recognition as you described your crochet project. I wish I could be like my grandmother, who can comfortably switch between the two and willingly does should to project call for it. I knit only under duress. :p But I think she’s a natural knitter because crochet isn’t immediately clear to her like it is for me.

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  59. Suzy says:

    I learned crochet first, made my first attempts at knitting a couple years later, did neither for most of 15 years then picked the yarn back up and discovered I’d been doing things improperly with BOTH since my early days learning them! Corrected the technique issues, did a good combination of both, but ultimately pursued knitting as the long-term time suck. It ultimately comes down to the finished fabric for me. I love what the simple manipulation of yarn can become when you tweak the stitches ever so slightly. Not enough variation in the crochet I’ve done to really hold my interest.

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  60. Vix says:

    I love to both knit and crochet but I do find that crocheted items are often quicker to complete (depending on the project, the yarn and the hook/needle size obviously) Personally, I’m always working on at least one knit and one crochet project at a time (although sometimes more!)

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  61. bubblegirlout says:

    I learned to crochet at school. I taught myself to knit. I like both but I am really good at reading patterns and usually knitting is described (in words rather than symbols) which makes it harder for me. Does this make sense? LOL I love them both even after grunting and sighing a lot 🙂

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  62. I actually was taught to crochet first, but I really “got good” at knitting first and had to relearn crochet when I was a teen. Generally I knit faster, but when I’ve been doing a lot of crochet it rapidly increases in speed. I think it’s mostly just a matter of what I have the muscle memory for.

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  63. Curls & Q says:

    I prefer knitting. I find crocheted items are too “stiff” and do not drape as nicely as knitted. My opinion. 😎 I am crocheting the Angry Birds hats right now though. 😎

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  64. Russell Farr-Jones says:

    For a man who has a blog called ‘The Man Who Knits’, I have to say I prefer crochet. Every so often I fall back in love with knitting but I knit so slowly that I quickly lose patiences again. I’m a speedy crocheter! 🙂

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  65. grimdreamer says:

    I can’t crochet so knitting it is! 🙂

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  66. tgonzales says:

    Thanks Karen for providing this poll. I’m sure you can imagine which I prefer even before I voted. LOL

    Hugs,
    Tamara

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