By Pam McNeely
For most people who have not worked with either knitting or crocheting, there appears to be little difference between the two, and even more confusion about what the process actually is. Most people at least know that both involve a needle and yarn, but the understanding usually stops there. For those who have done one and not the other, there is usually confusion about what the other method actually does and some of the things that are possible to be created with it.
The basic idea of crocheting is that you start with a long, continuous strand of yarn and use a single hook that is for manipulating the yarn into loops. The loops get connected together and form rows. The rows get built up and make up the actual blanket or whatever it happens to be that you are making. Some of the many things that can be made by crocheting are scarves, hats, socks, gloves, Afghans, throws, vests, stuffed animals and much more.
Knitting has the same overall idea as crocheting does, but throws in a few changes. Metal objects are used in both to manipulate a continuous strand of yarn. The most obvious difference in knitting is that instead of a crochet hook, two needles are used to make rows of stitches that form together to make up the project. One of the most common knitting projects is the sweater. Many people prefer sweaters that are knit because of the way that color patterns can be put together. Nearly anything that can be made from crocheting can be made by knitting as well.
The reason for people liking one method over another often has to do with difficulty level. They feel that one is much harder than the other. The reality to these theories is that neither method is inherently more difficult than the other, but people might find that one is easier for them to master. Knitting tends to be more about following a very specific pattern while crocheting is slightly less strict and requires a bit of intuition when creating rows.
Often fans of one method tout theirs as the most versatile and beautiful, but the truth is that there are many advantages and qualities to both. Both methods are versatile and can be used for creating different things. People may develop a preference for one over the other but should definitely not shy away from at least trying them. Knitting and crochet are both excellent options for creating beautiful afghans, articles of clothing, etc. You may want to go to you local knitting store for more advice. Simply put, the best way to know which one you prefer (it may be both) is to try for yourself and find out!
Pam McNeely is an expert in both knitting and crochet and owns http://mcneedles-la.com, a New Orleans based yarn and supply store.
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