knitting or crochet...which is easier to learn?

pencharlaApril 9, 2005

I am trying to teach myself to crochet from a book that was given to me. Or is this a craft that should be taught by another? Which is easier to learn? Crochet or knitting? I am interested in making afghans to start out with or is that too much at first?

Thanks for your help


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I think crochet is easier.

You need to make some practice swatches of the various stitches (single, double, triple, chain) and become comfortable with crocheting. Also study the stitches to be sure you know what they look like.

You should be able to make an afghan. Just be sure it is marked "easy" or "beginner." Read through the pattern before you start to be sure you understand all the directions. Sometimes the yarn wrappers have easy patterns on them.
Have fun!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 1:24AM
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I agree that crochet is easier mechanically, but I think the instructions are harder....maybe because I started off with string/thread crochet back in the late 1940's.

Do make swatches of different stitches and just practice until you feel comfortable handling the yarn and hook. If you don't, and you are working with blocks, they will change size as you relax.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 5:58AM
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Maureen Janda

I learned crochet (left-handed) from the Leisure Arts book last year. I'm also just starting to get back to knitting after knowing just the basics many years ago. I'd be classified as a newbie in knitting. I don't know which is easiest to learn, but I think it's much easier to get in bad trouble very quickly while knitting, with dropped stitches, etc.
If you decide on crochet, I'd recommend you avoid doing the squares type of afghan as your first. It's very difficult to make the squares all come out the same size when you're just learning.
What do you more experienced crocheters think?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 1:33PM
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I think crocheting is easier. I also think there are more patterns for crocheted afghans than for knitted ones. For some reason, I usually prefer the crocheted patterns for afghans. Also, for a beginner, making something that is crocheted takes about 1/3 the time of knitting the same thing. And a fast reward of a finished project is a good enticement to keep going.

I agree, avoid the crocheted blocks or strips that are sewed together to make the afghan for your first effort. By the time you finish the first afghan, your stitches will be uniform and a design of squares that are sewn together will work out fine. Have fun.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 3:06PM
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I learned to crochet when I was 10 years old from my mother. She did beautiful crochet items but never knitted and never made sweaters but did trim clothes with crochet. I taught myself to knit when I was in my 30s because I wanted to make sweaters, etc. It took so much time to accomplish anything that I never really finished anything I could be proud of. I took up the threads again last December and I'm almost finished my first sweater jacket. I practiced on scarfs, both knitting and crocheting and agree with posters above. Crocheting is much faster. What takes a couple of evenings or a day in crochet will take at least aweek to knit unless you drop stitches. If someone has some tips in how to speed the process up I would really appreciate a post in that regard. I switched to continental and it goes fairly fast for me now but I think it's still slower than crocheting. I am now finding beautiful garments one can crochet and they are not granny squares! Although at this age I can appreciate both crafts and their beauty. And sense of accomplishment while watching TV.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 4:47PM
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Thanks for all the help! Lots of great advice here! I will keep practicing and hold off on the afghan for now. I feel very awkward and although I try to maintain proper "form" on my right hand, I soon notice that I have changed positions. I am left handed (using a left handed self teach book by the American School of Needlework) but can't seem to keep the yarn flowing over my middle finger and under my ring and pinkie fingers on my right hand. I have done a couple more small practice rows and it does look better than my first attempts. All good things in time I guess! Again thanks for all the great advice! I will be "lurking" and learning...and probably asking more questions!


    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 9:49PM
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I learned to have the yarn flow through the fingers, but OVER the pointer finger to the crochet hook. The pointer finger feeds in the yarn and maintains tension of the yarn. I weave the yarn between each finger, but if I have just put on handcream or done the dishes, I find it too stickey and will run the yarn only over the pointer finger and maybe between other fingers or not.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 11:17PM
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A single-crochet baby afghan that I made took a while. I think speed depends a lot on the size of the needles or crochet hook, the thickness of the yarn, and the complexity of the pattern.

An afghan is a big project. It demands persistence to get it done. You might want to look for a pattern that involves thick yarn or doubled-up yarn strands to make it go faster. You will probably enjoy it more that way and not be frustrated with how long it takes. I'd like to recommend the book Afghans for All Seasons (Crochet Treasury Series). It has a lot of easier crocheted afghans, and they are pretty! I made an afghan from this book for my brother for Christmas using doubled-up Plymouth Encore.

Here is a link that might be useful: Afghans for All Seasons

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 10:08AM
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I think I would start out with a smaller project, for example a scarf. By the end of that, you will have perfected your stitches. If you pick an afghan that's worked in strips or back and forth rather than in rounds or in squares, you can use the afghan instructions to make a scarf to practice the stitches.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 7:10AM
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After crocheting for 30 years (taught by Grandma when I was 10) I have finally learned how to knit and have just finished my first project--a tote that I'm about to felt (Fabulous Felt Totes by Fiber Trends). I've made just about everything that you can in crochet--doilies, beanie animals, sweaters, afgans. Even with the confusion of learning a new craft and one that uses 2 needles as opposed to one hook (I couldn't get my left hand to do anything right at first!), once I got the hang of it, with a bit of modification from the teaching book I used (for instance, I hold my yarn in my left hand instead of my right--old crochet habits die hard!), I was astounded at how much faster knitting went! I have used both metal and bamboo needles and find I have better control with the bamboo, so will stick with them in the future. Of course, the knitting lingo and abbreviations are different, but it'll come in time and experience. I'm just bummed I waited so long to finally start!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 12:45PM
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Good for you, kindrat. Have fun!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 12:56PM
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