Sewing vs Knitting and Crocheting: Which should you choose?

Here’s a series of questions to help decide which is for YOU!

pinterest pin image for sewing knitting and crocheting post

Trying to choose a new hobby to learn?

I’ve been sewing and crocheting for most of my life, and have been knitting for quite a few years now. 

Let’s dive into the main differences between these common crafty hobbies!

This post will guide you through a series of questions to help you decide which hobby is best for you!

Plus, links to FREE patterns to get you started on your new hobby!

What am I interested in making?

​The most major difference between sewing and knitting/crocheting is this:

When knitting or crocheting, you are creating fabric that will result in your finished product.

When sewing, you are cutting and attaching already made pieces of fabric to create your finished product.

Both are great for different things!
This brings us to our first question to ask yourself: What am I interested in making?

​It wouldn’t be fun to spend hours of time (and money!) on something you wouldn’t even enjoy getting use out of.

So consider what you’d like to be making!

Are you interested in making your own dresses? Sewing is probably for you!

​Are sweaters your handmade garment of choice? You’ll want to consider knitting or crocheting! 

Do you love the look of handmade home decor? Perhaps you can pick up a little bit of everything! There’s noting homier than a home filled with handmade quilts AND crochet doilies displayed in a house!

Take the time to look at a variety of projects — not just for beginners!

Take a look at more intricate patterns. (Don’t become overwhelmed, the “how to” knowledge will come with time! But be sure you appreciate the look of more advanced projects, too!)

Each craft will result in different looks, and everyone will have different opinions on what looks “best!”

Above: Love the look of handmade sweaters? Grab this free pattern by clicking HERE

How much money do I want to spend?

​The next question you’ll need to ask yourself is how much money you are willing to spend on your new hobby.

​If you want to sew using a sewing machine, and don’t have one — sewing machines can be quite expensive!

​That being said, the help of a machine can make sewing look much more professional, and get the job done much more quickly!

Of course, you can always look for a thrifted sewing machine (Facebook marketplace is a great place to check!). My advice for a used sewing machine is to choose a newer, computerized sewing machine. Stick to Singer or Brother brands. The older, mechanical metal ones usually have lots of issue with tension (how tight or loose your stitches are), and are not beginner friendly.

​Long term, I would argue that sewing is the less expensive hobby in comparison to knitting and crocheting. Fabric can be found inexpensively — I often grab cotton or linen sheets from Goodwill for a couple bucks to use for fabric, and it works great!

Knitting and crocheting has a less expensive upfront cost. 

While you might be tempted to start with one crochet hook or a single pair of knitting needles, I recommend ordering a complete set from Amazon. You can get a complete set of crochet hooks or knitting needles that have all the sizes that are roughly the same cost of one size of a name brand crochet hook or set of straight needles. Once you decide the hobby is going to stick, you can always upgrade! I’m still using my off brand cheap crochet hooks and knitting needles and am even running a crafty blog where I design and release plenty of knitting patterns — all on my inexpensive, off brand knitting needle set!

Long term, knitting and crochet projects can be the pricier option.

Simple projects such as a sweater can account for 6 or more skeins of yarn, which ends up being much pricier than buying a sweater from the store!

Especially if you’ve discovered the beauty of natural fibers over synthetic yarns… those prices can really rack up!

putting snaps onto a cloth pad

Above: Learning a crafty skill can help you SAVE money, too! Get this free pattern for making your own cloth pads HERE

Which is the easiest to learn?

​From Easiest to Most Difficult, I would rank these three hobbies as:

  1. Sewing (easiest)
  2. Crochet (medium difficulty)
  3. Knitting (most difficult)

Let’s dive in a little deeper.

With sewing, all you really need to know in the beginning is how to trace and cut shapes from patterns, and how to sew a simple stitch. You can use a hand sewing needle, or sew with a machine. Modern computerized sewing machines are really user friendly and don’t take long to use. Keep your owners manual — I’ve had the same sewing machine for 8 years and still reference the manual occasionally! 

I’ve been both knitting and crocheting for years, and I have to say — crochet is the easier hobby to learn. Tension is less of a learning curve, and there is only a single hook to deal with. Between knitting and crocheting, crochet has become the more popular craft, growing rapidly since the 1960s. I speculate this is largely because it’s an easier hobby to learn.

Knitting has been around for much longer than crocheting — at least 1,000 years. However, knitting is a bit more tricky to learn than crocheting. Instead of one hook, you will be working with a pair of needles. Your two hands will simultaneously be performing 3 tasks — one hand each controlling a needle, and one hand also controlling the tension of the yarn. Knitting is made up of two basic stitches — knit and purl. However, the variation of these stitches, as well as the different techniques needed to know, knitting can be a bit more challenging to learn.

knitted chicken

Above: While knitting can be a trickier hobby to accomplish, it can certainly yield some fun results! Grab your free chicken knitting pattern HERE

Do I want a “sit on the couch” hobby?

Another thing to consider is this: what do I want my back to feel like at the end of the day?

Spending your day standing in front of your table, hunched over a sewing project can leave some feeling pretty sore by bedtime! 

Of course, sewing involves plenty of sitting, too — but if you’re using a sewing machine, that sitting will still likely be done in a stiff desk chair.

Crocheting and knitting can be done anywhere! You can relax on the couch with your yarn craft, prop yourself up in bed in the evenings and knit yourself to sleep… And, because knit and crochet projects are so easy to travel with, you can even bring your hobby with you to social events! (I’m a really exciting guest at parties, can’t you tell?)

I personally always have a sewing project “in progress,” and a knitting project going at all times. This way, when I find pockets of time to get my sewing machine out, I can. And when the evening rolls around and I’m able to relax a bit before bed, the first thing I grab is my knitting project (or crochet!). It’s lovely to have a hobby that can be worked into any part of my day!

happy birthday reusable banner

Above: Even though sewing generally can’t be done from the couch, you can create some really cool heirloom pieces like this reusable birthday banner party decoration! Get your free printable pattern HERE

How quickly do I want to complete a project?

​Generally, sewing projects will take much less time that a knitting or crocheting project!

​(Unless, of course, you’re comparing something like a quilting project to a knitted dishcloth.)

Keep in mind that a knitting or crochet will take a long time to complete! While with sewing you’re attaching already created fabric together, with yarn crafts you are starting from scratch creating your own “knitted fabric!” (or crocheted fabric!)

Fabric Reusable Fillable Easter Egg Sewing project free printable pattern and tutorial back sides of eggs

Above: Projects like these fillable fabric Easter Eggs are quick to make! You can whip up a bulk batch in no time! Free printable pattern can be found HERE

What do I like to look at?

​I was listening to a podcast that spoke about how the best way to figure out the design style of your home is to take a look at what you pinned on your Pinterest. What’s the common factor in your pins? Is there a certain rug that reoccurs in each pin that’s catching your eye without you even knowing it? 

A great way to figure out your personal preferences in the way of crafting is to look at YOUR Pinterest! What have you already been pinning? If you haven’t yet pinned any projects, it’s a great idea to scroll through Pinterest and look at the different “sewing projects” or “knitting projects” that are suggested to you. What catches your eye?

If you’re trying to decide between knitting and crocheting, it’s a good idea to look at both knit and crochet completed projects and think about which finished look you prefer. 

Crochet has a “permanent lace” sort of look, as it generally leaves larger gaps between each stitch. 

Knitting, on the other hand, has a more “neat and tidy” look to it. (personally, I prefer the look of knit “fabric!”)

Both can be beautiful, it just comes down to personal preference! Look at as many different knitting vs crochet projects as you can, because both are very different styles!

Above: On the Left, you can see the more lacy look of crochet. On the right, you can see the tighter stitches knitting creates.

Are there other similar hobbies to consider?

​Perhaps you’re reading this, and have decided that none of these hobbies are for you! 

That’s totally fine!

​Here are some other similar hobbies you might consider picking up instead:

  • Cross Stitch
  • Embroidery
  • Tatting
  • Rug Braiding
  • Spinning raw materials into yarn
  • Weaving
  • Macrame
  • Bobbin Lace
  • Leather Working

I chose a hobby! Where do I start?

​Whatever hobby you choose, it’s best to start with a couple of small projects. This will help you learn how to perform simple tasks in your new skill, and help you figure out what essential tools you’ll need to start collecting as you slowly advance to a higher skill level. There’s no need to go out and buy absolutely everything you might possibly need in the future! Just get what you need as you go with each new craft project! 

You’ll also want to start with simple sewing patterns, choose projects with the most common crochet stitches, and choose knitting patterns that use just purl or knitting stitches. 

As you advance through different projects, you’ll gradually learn new skills in your craft! 

I find that the best way to learn is by DOING, so when you get stuck, look up the new term, different stitches, or how to use different tools as they come along naturally in your projects!

folded white cotton knitted dishcloth on a white background with homemade soap and pink roses

Above: Learning to knit? These dishcloths are a quick and easy pattern, perfect for a first project! Get the free pattern HERE

By the way, I have plenty of free patterns on my blog!

​Having a creative hobby is an absolutely wonderful thing to grow in! You can create handmade gifts for others, and fill your home with personalized items that can never be purchased from a store! 

​Please, let me know down in the comments what crafty skills you have, and what crafty skills you are ready to learn!

​Lastly, if you’re interested in free patterns, please check out my blog. I have plenty of completely free patterns and tutorials, most of which are geared towards beginners! I love teaching people how to grow in these crafty skills!

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