Sewing vs. Knitting vs. Crocheting: What’s the Difference?

Sewing, knitting, and crocheting are all a way to make clothing and other items.

They each utilize stitches to create something, but they are not the same.

The main difference between the three comes down to the tools and types of stitches that are used for each one:

What’s the Difference Between Knitting and Crocheting?

Knitting and crocheting are much more similar to each other than they are to sewing. When you look at knitting and crocheting, they are both a way to create a fabric that you create out of yarn.

The things they have in common are that they both utilize yarn or fiber. They both work off of patterns that tell you what stitch to use. They also both take more time than sewing because you are creating the fabric instead of just sticking them together.

Knitting is different because it uses two straight needles that you pass the yarn between to make stitches. Knitting can be done by hand, machine, or loom.

One thing that distinguishes knitting from crocheting and sewing is that if you drop a stitch, you could experience unraveling.

Crocheting uses only one crochet hook that allows you to pull yarn through loops to create stitches.

The fabric created also have a different structure depending on whether they were made by knitting or crocheting.

Knitting has multiple active loops, but crocheting only has one active loop. For this reason, it is easier to drop a stitch while knitting. Crocheting can only unravel from the only stitch in use.

What’s the Difference Between Sewing and Knitting?

Sewing is entirely different than both crocheting and knitting. While both knitting and sewing use needles, they are different types of needles and are used in a different manner.

Sewing needs needles that are sharp and have thread fed through the needle’s eye. This is so that they can combine two pieces of already exiting fabric together.

Knitting needles are thicker and more substantial, they are not sharp, and they are not used to combine fabric together but to instead create fabric.

Like knitting, sewing can also be done by hand or on a machine. Most people sew using a machine because it is faster, but if they are doing intricate work or using a type of fabric that is delicate, they may opt to sew by hand.

Sewing, Knitting, and Crocheting Explained for Beginners:

If you have never done any of these activities, you might be wondering what precisely each activity is.

Here is a quick, beginner’s breakdown about each:


Sewing is where you combine two pieces of already crafted fabric together.

Sewing is used to create all mass-produced clothes and other items that are made using fabric, including furniture, pillows, blankets, and many other things.

Sewing, in essence, is joining two fabrics together with a sharp needle and thread. You can sew all types of fabric together with different strength needles and thread.

Sewing is more versatile than knitting and crocheting. Sewing can be done by hand if you are working on small projects or intricate projects that use delicate fabrics.

This is not the only option that is available to you if you want to sew. You can also sew using a small personal-use sewing machine, or there are industrial sewing machines.


Knitting is a method of textile creation used by manipulating yarn using a group of loops to create stitches. This is achieved by creating consecutive rows of connected loops that are all built on top of each other.

When knitting, you can change it up by using different yarns, needle sizes, and stitches.

There are two significant types of knitting that are called weft knitting and warp knitting. Weft knitting is the more common form of knitting.

Weft knitting allows you to create the entire fabric using one yarn. You can use more than one yarn to create color patterns, but it is not necessary.

Using warp knitting requires you to use a new yarn for every wale. A wale is a column of loops that run length-wise when you are knitting.

There are also a few different stitches that you can use while knitting. The two most common types of knitting stitches are a knit stitch or a purl stitch.

It is most common for people to knit by hand, but there are machines that can knit on a much larger scale that is generally used for commercial purposes.


Like knitting, crocheting is also a method of textile creating used by interlocking loops of yarn. You crochet using a small crochet hook that is usually made from plastic or wood.

The main difference between crocheting and knitting is that when you are crocheting, you have to finish each stitch completely before you start on the next one.

Crocheting is more stable than knitting because it is less likely to unravel. You can only crochet by hand using your crochet hook, meaning it is the most time-intensive.

There are multiple stitch types that you can use when you crochet. This can help when you are making patterns.

Some popular stitches include:

  • Chain stitch-the most basic and common stitch.
  • Slip stitch
  • Single crochet stitch
  • Half-double crochet stitch
  • Double crochet stitch

You also only need to use one spool of yarn to crochet, but you can use more than one skein. This can help you to make different color patterns.

Which is Easier to Learn First?

There really isn’t one type that is easier over the other. When it comes to knitting versus crocheting, each person has their own preference.

Some people think that crocheting will be easier because all of the stitches are made with your dominant hand, but both hands are needed to properly manipulate the yarn for the stitches.

People who have tried both knitting and crocheting have different opinions on what they think is easier to master, but it is different depending on the individual.

Sewing can be easier if you are just learning how to make small hems or easy projects, but there is a lot more to creating a full garment.

Sewing two fabrics together can be easy, but actually creating something can require learning patterns and other techniques that can be difficult. Sewing a straight line and making even hems can also be difficult for beginners.

For every option, you will need to continue to practice and get better if you want to get good at it.

Which Technique Produces the Fastest Results?

Of all the options, sewing has the potential to be the fastest. This is because you are not required to create the fabric that you are using.

Also, most people who are doing these activities at home both knit or crochet by hand, but a lot of people who sew at home have a sewing machine.

If you have ever sewed a seam by hand and by a machine, you know how much quicker the sewing machine can make things.

Sewing machines also make cleaner and more even seams than most people can manage by hand.

For this reason, you can make and finish a simple or even intermediate project in a day.

By comparison, knitting and crocheting projects can take days or longer. If you are crocheting or knitting a blanket, depending on how much time you can put into it, you could spend a year working on it.

Is it Most Useful to Learn Knitting, Crocheting, or Sewing?

When it comes to usefulness, sewing is more versatile.

If you learn to sew, you can do many different things that cannot be accomplished by knitting or crocheting.

Things that you can do with sewing that you cannot do with knitting or crocheting include:

  • Sewing on buttons
  • Hemming clothes
  • Fixing holes in your clothes or other items
  • Adding patches
  • Creating items with the already existing fabric

Just because sewing is more useful, doesn’t mean that you cannot do great things with knitting and crocheting.

The seams created by these methods are unique and create all kinds of cool items and patterns.

Do People Typically Learn Knitting or Crocheting First?

Many people think that learning to crochet will be easier than learning to knit. So most people start by learning to crochet first.

Crocheting is harder to mess up, so that appeals to most beginners. They also like the idea of only having to manipulate one hook versus two needles.

There is more versatility with crochet, and it also is generally quicker than knitting. This is also appealing to beginners because it is great to see a finished project and can be very encouraging.

This does not mean that everyone starts with crocheting. A lot of the time, people learn from someone they know. This could mean that you start with whatever method they know or prefer.

Each person has an opinion of which is easier to learn, and this can differ or vary for everyone.

One determining factor of which you learn first can depend on what you are working on or wanting to accomplish.

It is also possible that you have a project in mind that requires one method over the other, so you learn that method first.