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View Full Version : Beginner: Do I start with knitting or crocheting?



AbielleRose
10-10-2011, 06:27 PM
I've been doing embroidery for years now and would like to move on to a new hobby for the winter. My main goal is to make hats, scarfs and blankets, but I can't decide if it would be best to start knitting or learning to crochet.

I plan on teaching myself with books and internet websites- do any of you have advice on which would be best to learn first? I do best when I focus solely on learning one single new task at a time and then move on after I'm comfortable with the technique and movements.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :)

DeleyanLee
10-10-2011, 06:35 PM
For hats or scarves, either knitting or crocheting works well.

If you want to make blankets, I'd highly suggest crocheting since it's really hard to get needles big enough to hold a blanket, or even a reasonable section of a blanket.

It really is up to you, if you want to stick with a single hand active or two hands active. I learned both about the same time as a child and it wasn't confusing because the motions are so different.

Good luck and have fun with it. :D

moth
10-10-2011, 07:18 PM
I started with crochet when I was 7 and learned knitting just recently (maybe a year and a half or two years ago). Knowing crochet helped me a lot with learning to knit, since I already knew how to count stitches and "read" my work, handle yarn, figure gauge, read patterns, etc., but I imagine it would work the other way around too.

But I liked learning crochet first for other reasons, such as having only one live stitch at any time and the (relatively) instant gratification. Crochet goes fast, especially in-the-round projects like hats where you don't have to work into a chain.

I truly love both crafts and I hope you will too, whichever you decide to learn first. They're so much fun and there's always something new to learn or discover about each of them, when you're ready for it. Good luck with it, and have fun!

P.S. If you haven't already, get thee to Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com). ;)

NinaK
10-10-2011, 07:26 PM
I also learned how to do both when I was a kid and they are easy to learn. I’d suggest trying both to see which one you like the best. I completely agree with learning one at a time but the basics for knitting and crocheting are simple enough for trial purposes.

You might want to consider picking up a ball of yarn, pair of knitting needles and a crochet hook at a local craft store; these supplies would probably cost around ten dollars. I would suggest purchasing medium to large sized needles and hook; they make larger stitches that are easier to see.

There are tons of YouTube videos out there for beginners. I think a scarf is a great beginner project. You don’t have to worry about increasing, decreasing, dropping or adding stitches.

Good luck and have fun.

CACTUSWENDY
10-10-2011, 07:36 PM
I taught myself to crochet many years ago. Tried my hand at knitting and my favorite of the two is crochet.

You can turn out an object so much faster. I enjoy it so much more. Makes no difference if it is a small item or large. Have done both. I could turn out a full size blanket in just a couple of days.

Best wishes. :D

AbielleRose
10-10-2011, 07:44 PM
Thanks :) I think I'll pop by the local Michael's later and just pick up both needles and decide from there. Most of my problem is that I tend to go off on my own path instead of following patterns (that's why I like embroidery- I can do my own thing.)

I've also been making handmade rosaries for years and am used to the little details of chaining. Hopefully that experience will come in handy.

Confession- I really LOVE little croched dolls/animals/random objects. It would be fun to make holiday decorations or just ransom things like this:

http://musthavecute.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/cute-kawaii-stuff-snuggle-bee.jpg

Jersey Chick
10-10-2011, 08:33 PM
I learned to crochet as a kid - my mom did it. But I wasn't any good at it (kept pulling the stitches too tight and everything curled up as a result.)

I taught myself to knit about 4 years ago - and everyone around me has an afghan to show for it. :D I did an Irish fisherman sweater-style blanket for my MIL that took me about a year (you knit individual panels, then sew them together) but it's the nicest thing I've ever knitted. Circular needles are key for things like blankets. I've done hats and scarves (not brave enough to try sweaters yet), but blankets are my favorite thing to knit. I'm running out of people to give them to.

cray
10-10-2011, 10:50 PM
i'm just here because i'm following nina around. :D





:idea:

actually, i might mention this,...


aw's own k1p1 (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=8743) (maggie) might be a good place to start!!

AbielleRose
10-10-2011, 10:58 PM
Oh Cray, we all know you have a thing for tea cozies. :)

cray
10-10-2011, 11:00 PM
who doesn't? :Shrug:

BenPanced
10-11-2011, 12:05 AM
Thanks :) I think I'll pop by the local Michael's later and just pick up both needles and decide from there. Most of my problem is that I tend to go off on my own path instead of following patterns (that's why I like embroidery- I can do my own thing.)

I've also been making handmade rosaries for years and am used to the little details of chaining. Hopefully that experience will come in handy.

Confession- I really LOVE little croched dolls/animals/random objects. It would be fun to make holiday decorations or just ransom things like this:

http://musthavecute.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/cute-kawaii-stuff-snuggle-bee.jpg
Lion Yarn has some great beginner's kits to make simple projects, like a hat or a scarf. You get everything you need in them and those are probably your best bet to try your hand. They also have pages on how to knit and crochet, plus a HUGE online library of free patterns (registration free, but required).

http://www.lionbrand.com

I taught myself how to crochet when I was about 13 or 14 years old. I later tried knitting but couldn't quite get the hang of it, so I stuck with crochet. There's plenty of room to improvise in either, so have fun with it.

moth
10-11-2011, 02:59 AM
I tend to go off on my own path instead of following patterns (that's why I like embroidery- I can do my own thing.)
When you've got the basics down, you can try freeform crochet, which is crocheting whatever your heart desires, patternless. Different stitches next to each other however you please, change yarns whenever you want, stab your hook in places all the learn-how instructions tell you not to, go off in weird directions. I don't know if there's such a thing as freeform knitting, but there might be.

I'm much better with a pattern I can mod or not as I choose; I stink at freeform crochet and find it...not stressful exactly, but definitely not relaxing. But other people love it.

bearilou
10-19-2011, 05:40 PM
My favorite site. (http://freeamigurumipatterns.blogspot.com/)

I learned crochet first. I'm picking it up again after many years of not touching one hook. Once I get my groove back, I plan to tackle knitting.

roseangel
10-20-2011, 12:39 AM
I know both, learned them with in a year of each other, so I say try both.
Fave patterns sites:
http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/
http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/

Yeshanu
10-21-2011, 06:22 AM
I have done both, and enjoy both. I'd go with the folks who suggest learning crochet first, for all the reasons they mention, but it really doesn't matter.

Just don't crochet anything like the items on this site:

What Not to Crochet (http://whatnottocrochet.wordpress.com/) (Warning: Not always safe for work or the kiddies...) :D

Carmy
10-30-2011, 11:51 PM
I do both. The beauty of crochet is that it grows darned fast and needs fewer needles of different sizes.

Smish
10-30-2011, 11:58 PM
I learned to knit during a lunch hour a few years ago. One of my colleagues knitted every day at lunch. It was easy to pick up the basics.

I never moved far beyond the basics, though. I made several scarves that year for Christmas gifts, and haven't done any knitting since.

I'd like to learn to crochet. I think I'd like it better.

AbielleRose
10-31-2011, 12:23 AM
I think both are going to be learned in time, but after an hour in the craft store I think it would be nice to have somoene show me rather than try to learn from one of those books. There are so many different size needles and designs... it was a bit intimidating, TBH.

Scarves would be a wonderful Christmas present. I have a favorite rainbow knitted one that I got years back and its better than any I've ever found in a store. :)

Shadowflame
11-07-2011, 10:24 PM
I agree with Abielle.

I can crochet (though been told I hold the hook wrong) and have started doing fancier patterns -- more than just the basic single and double crochets.-- but haven't learned to knit yet.
I do much better with a visual instruction to start out with.

AbielleRose
11-08-2011, 09:34 PM
One of the girls doing NaNo in my town works at Michaels. She actually teaches crocheting and knitting classes so I'm going to have her teach me. :D

If any of you are still checking this thread, I'd love to see some projects you've done if you've posted them elsewhere on this form or if you'd like to post your pictures.

nicolethegeek
03-13-2012, 01:14 AM
Just flogging a dead horse... err.. thread here...

I taught myself to both crochet and knit from books. I have never been able to view videos on YouTube, so that was useless, but the videos on knittinghelp.com were extremely helpful for me with specifics like kitchener/ grafting.

If you are someone that needs "someone to show you how", I strongly suggest joining Ravelry and seeking out SnB groups in your area. It's a great way to meet others, as well as get help from them in learning.

IMNSHO, crocheting is much faster to complete a project and has a less steep learning curve than knitting. What did you end up doing after all?

AbielleRose
03-13-2012, 01:27 AM
I ended up learning knitting and am doing pretty well so far. A friend has been showing me the basics (pearling is our next lesson). Its a wee bit hard learning at her place though... there are certain... distractions. :)

This is the start of my first project from my first lesson a few weeks ago. The cat is Severus. Yes, he makes evil look cute. He kept attacking my needles and yarn until I put it down, then he calmed down. (The blanket in the background is what my friend was knitting. I can't wait to get to that level!)

http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j363/AbielleRose/000000-1.jpg

Literateparakeet
03-13-2012, 01:37 AM
Knitting!

But I admit, I only say that because I do both and I prefer knitting. My philosophy is to always start with the harder one...for example, my children will learn to drive a standard before they drive automatic, and they learn to tell time on an analog watch for a year or two before they can "graduate" to digital. Knitting is harder in the beginning, but so worth it. Crocheting is fun too, but if I had to pick one...

Knitting!

P.S. Another vote for Ravelry.com!

nicolethegeek
03-13-2012, 05:43 PM
We have a kitten that I not-so-affectionately refer to as Crack Kitty who thinks that my yarn has been put on this earth simply to amuse her. Our other cat, whom we've had for about 6-7 years now, can't be bothered to waste the energy to go after my stuff... he saves it for the mice, birds, and moles around here!

I'm glad to see that you've gotten started, and would love to hear updates as your lessons progress.

moth
03-13-2012, 05:58 PM
My cats don't understand why I get to play with the shiny sticks and the pretty string and they don't. :tongue

VanessaNorth
03-13-2012, 10:51 PM
I prefer knitting too--I just like working with both hands at once, it's more relaxing for me. I'm kind of on a lace kick lately. Just finished a pair of gloves (actually finished them last fall, just sewed the buttons on them, rendering them wearable, this weekend): (they haven't been blocked, so my tension is a hot mess)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/420246_363996283641102_100000922002479_1118790_149 2469309_n.jpg

JoyceH
06-14-2012, 02:16 PM
I knit and crochet, and have taught knit and crochet, and from what I've experienced, crochet is easier to learn and also easier to produce something usable and attractive with your beginning projects. Knitting has a rhythm to it, and yarn tension is very important. It has always struck me as more of a physical skill than crochet. With crochet, if you grasp intellectually how to do it, you can do it. With knitting, you might understand how to do it, but you still need to practice it before you can do it comfortably - like swimming or skating, where knowing what to do doesn't automatically mean you can do it.

justbishop
06-14-2012, 04:12 PM
I learned crochet first. An Aunt taught me when I was really little, but I don't remember learning anything but a chain stitch. I picked it up again a couple of years ago, and taught myself everything from single crochet through triple crochet and increases/decreases using the diagrams on the Lion Brand yarn site.

I'd tried to learn to knit a few times over the course of about 5 years, and it always ended in frustration until this latest try last fall. It was tougher to "get" for me, and I don't fully understand the mechanics of WHY it works, but I prefer it to crochet. It's more challenging, and it uses less yarn than crochet (which is nice when you're addicted to $20+/skein yarns).

I tried to teach my step sister both not too long ago, and she found knitting to be easier, so I think it just depends on the person. I say try both.

And I know that the OP has already chosen and begun, but my advice for anyone else in the same indecisive boat is to buy a decent worsted weight yarn (stay away from Red Heart Super Saver), a metal size 5 or 6 crochet hook, and a pair of 10" size 8 WOODEN (bamboo is nice) straight knitting needles. I prefer metal for crochet hooks, because you want the slickness. But metal knitting needles are often too slick for beginners, and they get restarted because the live stitches slide right off the end, whereas the wood has more "stick" to it.

As for what to knit/crochet as a first project, I say do a practice swatch to get the hang of your basic stitches, and then jump into something that you're actually excited about. I didn't get happy about crochet until I jumped into hats, and my first knitting project was striped fingerless gloves (and I tackled cabled mittens for my second). I learned so much more about techniques like increasing/decreasing, picking up stitches, working in the round, etc. by actually doing them on a project than by doing them on a practice swatch.

AbielleRose
07-22-2012, 10:35 PM
I prefer knitting too--I just like working with both hands at once, it's more relaxing for me. I'm kind of on a lace kick lately. Just finished a pair of gloves (actually finished them last fall, just sewed the buttons on them, rendering them wearable, this weekend): (they haven't been blocked, so my tension is a hot mess)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/420246_363996283641102_100000922002479_1118790_149 2469309_n.jpg

Those are so pretty!

I've finally decided to venture out of my size 11-10 needle comfort zone and try some smaller ones. I bought size 6 needles and my hands are cramping up... or at least they were before one wrong move took the 4 rows I had done right off the slippery metal needle. :(

Think I'm going to set the small ones aside for a little longer and keep focusing on the scarf I've been knitting.

rebekahmichel
07-23-2012, 01:15 AM
Personally I found crocheting easier. I taught myself with videos I found online (for free) :)

justbishop
07-23-2012, 04:04 PM
Those are so pretty!

I've finally decided to venture out of my size 11-10 needle comfort zone and try some smaller ones. I bought size 6 needles and my hands are cramping up... or at least they were before one wrong move took the 4 rows I had done right off the slippery metal needle. :(

Think I'm going to set the small ones aside for a little longer and keep focusing on the scarf I've been knitting.

Get yourself some bamboo needles.

nicolethegeek
07-23-2012, 09:21 PM
I bought size 6 needles and my hands are cramping up...

In my experience, the cramping can be caused by too tight of tension; or by using the "wrong" material of needle for the fibre. It can also be helped by changing how you are holding on to the needle slightly. You also may need to get "used" to how to work with smaller needles and yarn. I know that after I've been working with a lot of worsted and bulky yarns that my hands complain when I grab some fingering or lace weight! Also the changes in motion between knitting and crocheting can either help or hinder my CTS/ tendonitis. My 2 is to keep trying... even if in little bits! :D

Kitty Pryde
07-23-2012, 09:59 PM
A beginner chiming in! I've made a few small projects before, but I find knitting to be hard! I am good at sewing, embroidery, knots, etc, though. My friend said it's better to try a more complicated pattern of stitches, because it helps you pay closer attention to what you're doing. So it's easier to do, like, a cabled scarf, than a plain old scarf. Any advice? I would like to make some arm-warmers, like a sleeve with a thumb hole in it!

GiddyUpGo
07-25-2012, 10:33 PM
You've probably already had plenty of feedback on this, but I love knitting so I wanted to throw in my opinion ...

Knitting is harder to pick up than crocheting, but the learning curve is actually pretty small and after a little bit of practice you'll find it pretty easy. I prefer knitting because I like the look better, but that's entirely my opinion.

The only thing I do suggest is that you learn continental instead of English. In continental knitting you don't have to keep dropping/picking up the yarn. It is harder to learn but I think it's a lot faster once you do learn it. And personally I like to knit fast because I get impatient. :-)

Here's a good link that explains the differences between the two styles: http://knitting.about.com/od/knittingquestions/f/knitting-styles.htm

Have fun!

moth
07-26-2012, 03:29 AM
A beginner chiming in!
Yay! :D I've only been knitting for 2-ish years, but I've crocheted since I was 7 so I had less of a learning curve.


I've made a few small projects before, but I find knitting to be hard! I am good at sewing, embroidery, knots, etc, though. My friend said it's better to try a more complicated pattern of stitches, because it helps you pay closer attention to what you're doing.
It helps you learn to 'read' your knitting as well, but that kind of thing (in my experience) is best done when you can both knit and purl pretty confidently.


Any advice? I would like to make some arm-warmers, like a sleeve with a thumb hole in it!
Ooh, I have a torrid affair with fingerless gloves! :D Have you tried working in the round yet? I have a gazillion patterns in mind, both in-the-round and worked-flat-then-seamed, and I could list a bunch of either kind so you could pick and choose what you might want to try.

(Better yet, if you haven't already, get thee to Rav (http://www.ravelry.com) post haste and start in on the Patterns tab.)

Advice -- be fearless! Even as a beginner. If a pattern you like has cables or colorwork or something else you've never done, try it anyway. Most patterns are clearly written enough that anyone with basic knit/purl knowledge can complete them. (That's how I learned Fair Isle and chart reading...because no one said I couldn't :tongue )

It's only yarn, after all. You can always rip it out and start over.

And there are so many helpful videos online. I also highly recommend verypink.com (http://verypink.com).

dirtsider
07-26-2012, 03:45 AM
It seems this year is the year for endings and beginnings. Like my writing group, my knitting/crocheting group has pretty much went kaput. Sigh. I guess because there are so many knitting groups out there now. When this group started, it was pretty much the only one or at least one of the few groups out there. So now I think I'll either try and figure out when my local prayer shawl group gets together in the evenings or check out one of the local libraries for their group.

But I want to learn how to knit. First I'll start off with a scarf but I want to eventually 'graduate' to socks.

Jersey Chick
07-26-2012, 03:51 AM
Cables only look difficult. They are easy as anything in actuality. I made an Irish fisherman's pattern blanket for my MIL that looked about 1000x more difficult to knit than it really was. It was time consuming, but easy.

Someday, I'm knitting myself a pair of alpaca socks. :D

moth
07-26-2012, 04:47 AM
Awww alpaca...*cuddles*

ETA: Sorry, got off topic. :o

I agree about cables only looking difficult. I have yet to make a pair of socks, but I'm lusting after using alpaca one day...

AbielleRose
07-26-2012, 05:03 AM
From someone who can pretty much just go in one straight line... cables look very intimidating. I would love to be able to make hats and socks and maybe even a sweater someday so learning them is on the list... but... *gulp*

Jersey Chick
07-26-2012, 04:47 PM
That's the thing about the cables - they look so difficult, but it's just a matter of holding the cable needle in the front or back of the work. Same with twists. They are deceptive. :)

Gretad08
07-27-2012, 08:09 AM
Hey, just saw this forum, and felt compelled to chime in. I bought size 10 knitting needles and some yarn and watched some youtube videos two nights ago. I've never been taught to knit or crochet, so this is my first rodeo.

Well, now I have one of those needles full of stitches, but I haven't quite figured out what to do next. Anyway, I'm now gonna go check out all the links people have posted in this thread :).

Jersey Chick
07-27-2012, 08:21 AM
I taught myself to knit from a book I bought at Michael's. I found it on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Yourself-Knit-Leisure-Arts/dp/1574866370/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1343362743&sr=8-4&keywords=how+to+knit++by+leisure+arts) just now. My copy is missing somewhere in my house, but it was a godsend. It teaches both methods, continental and English. I think Continental is geared more towards lefties, but although I'm a lefty most of the time, I knit right handed, so English worked just fine for me. :)

Gretad08
07-27-2012, 08:44 AM
I guess it's gonna be English for me...the videos I've watched so far have used English.

Jessianodel
07-27-2012, 10:40 AM
I love knitting although I am still a beginner. I have mastered a scarf however, and know how to change colors and create patterns in the scarf. I'm getting there. However I tried to learn to crochet soon after I started knitting and it was really confusing. I tried again later and it was once again too confusing. So knitting is easier to me.

Jersey Chick
07-27-2012, 06:06 PM
I can't crochet. My mom taught me when I was little (she used to crochet all the time - everyone in my family has at least a dozen blankets from her over the years. Unfortunately, she's no longer able to do it. :() and I have the basics down, but I pull the stitches too tight, so everything curls.

cryaegm
07-30-2012, 07:10 AM
I recently started knitting. Taught myself, came up with a pattern for leg warmers the first two weeks since I started. I used knittinghelp.com to help teach myself, and recently got two of Elizabeth Zimmermann's books and The Principles of Knitting (which I learned how to cast on double point needles from, though the instructions seem a little intimidating/confusing).

I've always wanted to knit, but never really learned until now. My mom, my grandmother, and my great grandmother knit, and my mom didn't want the "tradition" to die at her, so I took up the task. :D

I found it pretty easy. I want to learn crochet once I'm more advanced in knitting. Right now, I'm making my friend fingerless gloves for her wedding and a jacket, using a pattern I found on Caron's website. Now I don't have to spend money on knit clothing at stores. :D