We ask that emails regarding swaps not contain any unsolicited advertising. If you have received an email which contains advertising, please let us know at contactus@mumsnet.com.

Should I learn to knit or crochet?

(44 Posts)
rumtumtugger Thu 29-Nov-12 14:42:56

I'm a total beginner but have a deep seated desire to hand-make knitted or crocheted toys for my dd to snuggle with. DH has said he'll send me on a knitting or crocheting course for Christmas, yay! So which method is easier to pick up and to stick with (given I'll likely be doing it in front of the telly of an evening)? Which method would make decent-looking toys for this ham-fisted beginner?

FlyOverTheMistletoe Thu 29-Nov-12 14:57:24

I can't crochet, but knitting is really easy. Sign up to ravelry for both sets of patterns. To learn you can pick up the basics on youtube. Lots of places have knitting groups (local library etc.) and I'm sure they will gladly help you.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 29-Nov-12 17:10:35

I've never mastered knitting but I have learnt to crochet quite quickly using YouTube video's and everything grows so much quicker with crochet than knitting I think.

I'm two thirds the way through a scarf and I only started a week ago. If I was knitting it, it would probably be spring before I was at that pointgrin

alarkaspree Thu 29-Nov-12 17:16:28

I am biased in favour of knitting because I am completely baffled by crochet, but other people seem to think it's much easier. Could you get a friend to show you the basics of both and see which you prefer? I think, but am not sure, that if you mainly want to make toys, you will find more crochet patterns available.

[http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NgEHdwUQB00/SDmumdh44DI/AAAAAAAAAag/-yd1sXHhJ5k/s320/amigurumi%2Bhermit%2Bcrab.JPG&imgrefurl=http://knitting101.blogspot.com/2008/05/amigurumi-toys.html&h=289&w=320&sz=35&tbnid=mQeJtZAt5JJlDM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=100&prev=/search%3Fq%3Damigurumi%2Bhermit%2Bcrab%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=amigurumi+hermit+crab&usg=__6MtxU5AJu3cbF47gO4-ktaz4dss=&docid=5XEmk_NTDP09TM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-Je3UOnUCsqq0AGsuoHYBQ&ved=0CD0Q9QEwBA&dur=6097 This adorable hermit crab] is on my list. Dd thinks she is going to knit it herself but she will give up in disgust before she has even knit a row.

alarkaspree Thu 29-Nov-12 17:17:35

Sorry, bad linking. This.

sashh Fri 30-Nov-12 07:07:00

I do both. I think for a beginner try crochet - not so easy to drop stiches and yoou can crotched on an edge - er, if you are making a cardigan you can crochet the sleeve directly onto the body, with knitting you have to make the sleves and soe them on.

Crochet for me, it doesn't matter if you stop half way thiugh a row, it's very portable, I take small projects (ball of wool, hook, scissors) out and about with me in a pencil case. There are very few basic stitches, everything else is just a variation on those so once you have mastered them you can progress rapidly to more complex projects. It is very easy to crochet little cuddly toys. Have a look at Nikki French's book Cute and Easy Animals book, they really are.

duchesse Fri 30-Nov-12 07:30:04

Knitting for me all the way. I find crochet incomprehensible and most importantly don't like the way it looks. If I liked the look of it I might try to overcome my lack of ability to do it. I guess it boils down to which you like the look of best really- I think you'd be more enthusiastic if you actually really like what you're making.

SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 07:31:21

Crochet. Knitting is abhorrent.

SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 07:33:32

Seriously though, I think the answer to Which method would make decent-looking toys for this ham-fisted beginner? is crochet. it is very forgiving of mistakes and I found I was very quickly competent enough to make something acceptable.

Knitting! <pokes out tongue at soupy>

Theas18 Fri 30-Nov-12 07:44:55

" should I learn to knit or crochet?"...... the answer is yes!!

i'm mainly a knitter. However I think crochet probably makes toys easier/quicker...

Make a" monster" then noone can telly " you the arms are different lengths and it's a funny shape" LOL. Seriously a simple stuffed crochet shape with safety eyes is a cuddly monster and will be loved!

I knit and i love it. Can only do extremely misshapen basic crochet. I think you may have inadvertently started a debate worthy of bf/ff. grin

I think you should learn both. Crochet is generally faster once you get good at it but it uses up a lot more yarn for a project. Once you learn come back and tell me how.

SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 08:00:34

Unless you learn Crochet, you can't join Team Hooker.

And who wouldn't want to be a hooker?

grin

PurplePidjChickIsNotTheMessiah Fri 30-Nov-12 08:02:28

For clothes, knitting <hides from Soupy>

Toys are better crocheted - amigurumi - because crochet is naturally worked in the round

I say this as a confirmed hooker!

biff23 Fri 30-Nov-12 08:02:29

I've just learned to crochet and love it. I learned mainly from you tube but have also signed up to the art of crochet. You get loads of freebies and I'm also waiting on the kit for the soft toys coming through.

The thought of knitting makes me want to run for the hills, not too sure why.

Caerlaverock Fri 30-Nov-12 08:18:32

I love both. It is really fast and easy to make wee crochet toys, knitting is a bit harder for toys

I've just started crochet - it's really easy, my only problem is counting rows and stitches.

This book is good or easy little animals and explains how to crochet too.

FlyOverTheMistletoe Fri 30-Nov-12 10:36:21

I never ever thought I'd say this - but I tried really hard to be a hooker grin but I just don't understand the patterns, Theas is spot on - you could make a monster, so the odd mistake won't show. My knitting is portable too, but thats because I have a very big handbag !

Thistledew Fri 30-Nov-12 12:27:27

If you take to knitting you can knit one of these really cute cats or dogs

I am on my second cat pattern and find them really quick and easy to do, even though I am by no means an experienced knitter (I have only previously knitted one baby cardigan, a couple of scarves and half a sock- got bored with that last one).

rumtumtugger Fri 30-Nov-12 13:29:16

Oh dear, didn't mean to start a ruck! The amigurumi is EXACTLY the kind of thing that I'm looking for, so crochet it is. I'm joining the hookers club! Sorry to you knitters...once I get the hang of crochet maybe I'll try knitting?

SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 13:38:55

Yay! A new hooker grin

[pimp]

Deux Fri 30-Nov-12 13:49:31

If you are near a John Lewis, they run a great Beginners Crochet class. I had learned as a child but kept getting a bit stuck when I started to crochet again last year. I went to a JLP class and it was great. Just 4 hours and tea, coffee and pastries included. It was about £25.

I knit and crochet but much prefer crochet for 'things' and knitting for garments.

I find crochet much more forgiving and I don't have to concentrate as hard as with knitting. But then I am Scottish and do weird 'Scottish' knitting where one knitting needle is clamped firmly in the oxter. Y'all know what an oxter is, right? grin

PurplePidjChickIsNotTheMessiah Fri 30-Nov-12 14:32:46

Meh, classes, I teach for cake if you're in the area? smile

Oxter! Oh aye min!

YDdraigGoch Fri 30-Nov-12 15:16:58

Deux - I thought that was the French way.

I prefer knitting for clothes, but I am forever crocheting squares for blankets as that's really easy.

A vote for knitting here - still time to change your mind OP!!

It is a lot more versatile imo and there are more patterns for knitting plus there are a lot less stitches for knitting - knit and purl and everything else is a variation on those 2 stitches. There are more for crochet which makes it harder.

I am biased as I learnt to knit very easily as a child but only learnt to crochet with great difficulty as an adult. Also, much as I love crochet now, it does have a bit of a vintage old fashioned air about it, no matter how modern the pattern tries to be.

SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 16:40:52

[snort] @ old fashioned. You've not been looking at the right patterns smile

Deux Fri 30-Nov-12 16:50:24

Glaikit, I love that word. Such a brilliant descriptor. My DCs think oxter is the funniest word ever.

YD, No idea how the French knit! It is really hard to find long knitting needles though which you really need to get it into said oxter. All my needles are ones belonging to my mum and granny. I've really tried hard to knit using shorter needles and it's a dismal failure.

The lady on the left in this short clip is knitting the way I was taught.
m.youtube.com/watch?v=sftAdfgZ0m8

Soupy, I have read lots of mags and even got that crochet bit part thing (can't remember what it was called) but I still think it is a teeny bit old fashioned I'm afraid. In a good way, like it has come around again and is sort of fashionable but retro. I don't dislike it at all, just think knitting is where it is all happening. smile (a knitted or a crocheted bobble hat - take your pick wink)

SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 17:00:54
SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 17:03:30
SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 17:07:22

wink

PeppermintCreams Fri 30-Nov-12 19:22:50

The WI's Denman College runs residential classes for crochet, and I think knitting. They are expensive, but they sound like crochet boot camp so you WILL come home being able to crochet!! My local yarn shop runs them sometimes as well.

I taught myself crochet a couple of weeks ago by watching you tube videos for a few hours. But still tempted by the WI's classes and a weekend away!

Soupy - I don't know really know how to respond to your to your pics - I don't if you are being ironic or not!blush

The blanket looks just like one my mum had when I was born 46 yrs ago so to me it is old fashioned. I do like it though - the colours are fab. The toys are toys and probably not something I can ever see myself making but teddies are as old as the hills and even the hat looks like something from the 1960's! I am not saying that in a disparaging way. Don't want to start a ruck on Arts and Crafts!

But knitting is still -- better--.grin

SoupDragon Fri 30-Nov-12 21:38:29

Pretty much everything that is knitted today looks like something my mother/grandmother knitted for me many years ago so that's not much of an argument is it? Hardly "where it is all happening".

Caerlaverock Sat 01-Dec-12 08:24:15

teva Durham changed my opinion of crochet.

rumtumtugger Sat 01-Dec-12 17:16:30

PurplePidjChick - would LOVE to stuff your face with cake in return for crochet wisdom but am unfortunately too far from you - I'm in East London.

Snowflakepie Mon 03-Dec-12 13:19:58

I love both, but found crochet much quicker and easier to learn. The first things I made were some amigurumi toys for DD, they were very simple as long as you have a stitch marker to keep tabs on things. I love the Amigurumi World books, the author is Ana someone... That and you tube to check things. A lot of patterns and books on crochet toys do seem to use American terms so just make sure what is what and you'll be fine.

My heart really belongs to cross stitch though, not so good for toys smile

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 03-Dec-12 13:24:45

It's not too late to change your mind! Knitting all the way!

I simply cannot understand how anyone can say crochet was easier to learn?!

Pidj tried to teach me - epic fail. But it was at the end of quite a long day. Maybe we need to try again Pidj with your baby so I can snuggle and pretend to be paying attention

jessiegeesusinamanger Mon 03-Dec-12 16:30:44

I was all fired up to learn crochet and signed up for a class in Sept. I just could NOT get the hang of it at all. I watched youtube videos for total beginners and still couldn't do it. I totally agree with Chipping in that I have no idea why it's got the reputation for being easier to learn than knitting.

Knitting is definitely easier to learn but I think it is because there are only 2 stitches and crochet has more. The other thing that it took me ages to grasp was that you had to crochet a certain number of stitches which was the pattern but then you had to do one, two or three more stitches depending on the sort of stitch you are doing - made no sense at all for ages.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 04-Dec-12 16:40:40

Now I have never mastered knitting but I've got to grips with crochet fairly wellconfused My mum always had to cast on for me and I've never got past garter stitch!

My mum knits very well and makes it look so easy but I don't think I even have enough hands to learn how to cast on properly....it just looks impossible.

I'm keen enough, I've got the knitting needles and I'd like to learn.....one day maybe I'll get it! My mum's not lived close enough to me to cast on for me for many years so I'll have to learn to do it myself!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now