Crochet vs knitting – what’s the difference?

Are you not sure what the difference is between crochet and knitting?

Knitting involves two needles with pointed ends, long enough to hold all the loops. The structure is very elastic. It is typically used for sweaters, scarves, socks and mittens.

Crochet is with one needle with a hook at the end. The structure is firmer and more compact and while it can be used for clothing, it is more commonly used when you look for a thick and/or firm structure. Think of bags, fine tablecloths, laces, oven mitts or puppets and figures.

There is also a technique called Tunisian crochet, which is like a mix of crochet and knitting: involves a long needle with a hook that holds all loops, and you move back and forth to the left and the right without turning the piece.

Both crochet and knitting allows for many different patterns and structures, and both can be used for metal wire.

For the kind of metal work I’m doing I have focused on crochet, so far. It gives a better control of where the wire is, as you can hold it more firmly, and you can easily make round shapes (looking like messy cobwebs), or any shape you want, really.

Do you do any craft involving yarn, and if so, do you have a favourite technique?
Do you know other textile techniques that you think would be worth trying with metal wire?

I have always liked the idea of mixing hard metals with soft techniques. This year, my theme for the A to Z challenge is “Metal meets textile”. From A to Z, I talk about work with metal wire, textile techniques like crochet and knitting, show some pieces I’ve been working on, share some thoughts on metal, textile and jewellery. I hope that you’ll find something of interest to you!

37 thoughts on “Crochet vs knitting – what’s the difference?

  1. Pingback: A2Z Reflections and Scavenger Hunt Results | Light Motifs II

    • It’s funny how the two techniques are so different, I can understand when someone has a preference for one or the other. I wish I could crochet (or knit) a blanket, but that’s a too big project, I’m afraid I would get tired of it before it was finished. Jewellery size is perfect for me!

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  2. I can’t say that I knit or crochet, though my mother taught me to knit when I was a girl. I can’t say that I have any suggestions for other techniques, either but I do admire the challenges you take and the way you think outside the box. As usual, you have explained something that I really didn’t know with such clarity and simplicity that I now understand it (the part about knitting vs. crocheting and structure/elasticity).

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    • I admire people who can do large projects! I have a tendency to give up before they’re finished. I guess jewellery is a good size for me! And yes, I have the idea that bamboo yarn is very soft, must be really nice to work with – good luck!


    • That’s a great drive, to want to find out how things work! I’m working with wire of 0,3 mm, that’s manageable as long as you don’t aim for a very dense structure. Thanks for popping by, I’ll come over to learn more about your novel – sounds exciting!


    • Weaving would be so nice to try! I could even mix metals to get different colours (silver/copper/brass).
      I got curious about tatting a while back, bought a shuttle and did some first attempts, but did not come very far. Would have to be much more persistent in learning! I don’t know if it would work with metal wire, but if I ever learn it properly, I can try!


  3. So interesting to see the metal versions of these ancient crafts. Interestingly I just recently bought myself some wool and a crochet hook so that I could teach myself to do this.

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    • Enjoying it is the most important! I have been doing both in the past. My conclusion is that I can better stick to small scale projects, I’d love a self-knitted sweater, but there’s a real risk I’d not get to finish it. 😉

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  4. All I can say is Wow! I can see from your photos how crocheting makes a firmer piece than knitting, and also how intricate Tunisian crocheting is. How on earth do you work that fine wire? What kind of wire is that silvery wire, and how malleable is it on the needles? I’m super-impressed because I never graduated very far from Knitting Nancy!

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    • How dense/firm a piece becomes also depends on the size of the needles/hook, so you can play with that too.
      What you see here is brass wire (yellow) and silver plated copper wire (the silver one). Copper is very malleable when it’s annealed. Brass is a bit sturdier. No bamboo needles for this, you can better use metal needles.
      And thanks (again) for expanding my English vocabulary, now I’ve looked up what Knitting Nancy is! I think that should work well with metal wire too, btw…

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    • I can’t remember how I found out about Tunisian crochet, perhaps because I had some of those needles, and then wanted to look it up…? All these different techniques that people (women mostly?) have come up with across the globe and over the centuries!

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  5. How fun to knit with metal! The result is pretty.
    My main hobby is quilting, and it’s always possible to add non-fabric materials! It’s named “Cray quilting”, a type of quilting where you add embellishments, like buttons, stones, mirrors, metal rings, everything not too big nor too heavy 😉
    Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué


    • I have a friend who does quilting. I had really wanted to do something about patchwork for letter P. But I realised I wouldn’t have anything to say about that in relation to metal… Cray quilting sounds interesting, I have to look that up!


  6. Ah this is how you crochet with metal!! Im trying out simple techniques. I’m also going to be working a saga pattern which is just single and double crochets and working in the round. Pretty patterns

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