Although sewing and knitting were once considered hobbies for elderly women, a large variety of people have discovered the relaxing and rewarding hobbies of sewing and knitting.
Those who may not know much about these crafts may consider them to be the same, but they’re actually completely different.
While these skills are incredibly similar, each one has its own way of completing its respective goals.
Sewing Vs. Knitting
Those who have never sewn or knit before may not be able to recognize the difference because both hobbies are capable of creating similar projects, such as clothing.
The more you dive into the world of sewing or knitting, the differences between the two hobbies become vastly clearer.
Sewing and knitting are both able to create clothing, but the types of utensils that are used in each hobby are completely different.
You could tell the difference between a sewing needle and a knitting needle even from a great distance.
The type of string being manipulated by each type of needle is visibly different, as well.
Each type of string pairs best with its respective needle and can’t even be used by the other type of needle.
You can even feel the difference between the string types.
The way each type of project is kept together varies greatly.
These techniques may be difficult to learn, but they’re vastly harder to master.
Both sewing and knitting may require you to learn different stitches, the way each stitch holds the project together, and how they end up looking unique to the hobby.
When deciding to learn to sew or knit, consider how difficult it is to learn each skill.
The skills may be similar but sewing is known for being more complex than knitting.
Those who sew and knit recommend learning the easier hobby first, which is knitting.
If you haven’t noticed the difference while getting ready, you’ll definitely notice when you start sewing or knitting.
Sewing will have you taking two pieces of fabric and stitching them together.
Knitting begins by creating a fabric through a variety of stitches.
The creations that come out of knitting and sewing look vastly different, which is why they’re used for different projects.
The Needle Types
Knitting needles are massive compared to sewing needles, which are rarely longer than your finger.
Sewing needles are also sharper and thinner than knitting needles.
Knitting needles can be as large as drumsticks.
1. Sewing Needles
Even within sewing, there are countless different types of sewing needles.
The most common are ballpoint, quilting point, regular point, embroidery, universal point, and topstitch needles.
Ballpoint needles are meant to be used on stretchy fabrics, but they can also be used for intricate knitting designs.
Unlike the other types of sewing needles, a ballpoint is big enough to push larger threads and even yarn through the holes in the fabric.
The quilting point needle is used to stitch together layers of fabric, with a bound edge that keeps fabric from being damaged.
They are some of the smallest sewing needles.
The regular point needle is the most common needle type of all and is normally the type of needle found in basic sewing kits.
They can be self-threading and are perfect for fabrics such as cotton or linen.
2. Knitting Needles
Similar to sewing needles, there are also different types of knitting needles.
Each type of knitting needle comes in different sizes, determined by the gauge.
The most common knitting needle types are straight, circular, interchangeable, double-pointed, and cable needles.
Straight needles are your basic knitting needles and are the most easily recognizable.
They look more like a nail than a needle, thanks to their shape.
Straight needles are best for small, flat projects like washcloths or scarves.
Circular knitting needles are used for large, flat projects such as blankets.
They have two, short knitting needles on both ends of a bendable cord.
Interchangeable needles are circular needles with a cord that can be taken on or off.
Double-point needles just have sharp points at both ends.
Thread vs. Yarn
When looking at the type of needles you use when sewing or knitting, you can figure out why you can’t use most needles interchangeably.
Knitting needles are too large to be able to manipulate the thread used in sewing, and sewing needles are vastly too small to do anything with the thick yarn used in knitting.
Sewing thread is a fine, sturdy piece of string that comes in a variety of material types.
There is a vast array of options when it comes to different types of threads.
Sewing savants know which type of thread is needed for each type of job.
Polyester thread is known as the “all-purpose thread” thanks to the versatility of the material.
It is best used to stitch up holes in torn clothes or other projects.
When looking at decorating a fabric, you will want to use embroidery thread.
It is strong enough to hold on light decorations onto fabric, but delicate enough not to ruin the fabric that the decoration is being attached to.
Similar to thread, yarn is categorized by the material it is made from.
Yarn is vastly thicker than thread, which makes it much softer as well.
Yarn is normally too large for sewing needles, but there is a thinner yarn that is used to make more intricate patterns and can be knitted with a ballpoint needle.
Wool is the most common material used in knitting and it is also the easiest to find.
The quality of wool yarn can vary based on where it’s from, which makes it difficult.
Cashmere yarn is incredibly soft and is perfect for chilly winter months.
You can create massive blankets that put their user right to sleep or one-of-a-kind fashionable sweaters.
Some of the finest yarn you can work with is angora or alpaca fur.
Type Of Stitching
When looking at different sewing stitches and knitting stitches, they may look incredibly similar to an inexperienced pair of eyes.
Sewing and knitting enthusiasts are able to name the type of stitch just by looking at the pattern.
The purpose of sewing stitches is to combine two different pieces of fabrics together and to have them hold tightly, while the purpose of knitting stitches is to create a fabric.
Sewing stitches are only a part of the whole project, but knitting stitches are what create the project.
The running stitch is often the first type of stitch that sewing hobbyists learn.
You start by pushing your needle through the back side of the fabric.
You then go back and forth until you have reached the end of the fabric.
The basting stitch is the same as the running stitch, but the thread is covering a much larger area, between ¼ and ½ inch.
This stitch is usually done by hand with fabric like silk and chiffon.
The zigzag stitch is normally only done by machines, but it can be done by detail-oriented hands.
When hemming thick materials like denim, you use the zigzag stitch in order to clean up the edges of the fabric.
While sewing may use different stitch types to achieve different goals, knitting uses different stitch types to give projects different looks.
When planning your knitting stitches, it is important to count out the rows of stitches you’re using.
The first stitch that most knitters learn is the garter stitch.
When done correctly, both sides of the project look the same, which makes it perfect for flat projects like blankets and scarves.
The stocking stitch is the type of knitting stitch that is normally seen on socks.
It alternates between knitting the first row and purling the second row.
How Projects Are Started
When gathering materials for your sewing and knitting projects, you will notice that sewing requires many more supplies than knitting.
At the core of knitting, all you really need is some yarn and your knitting needles, but sewing can require an arsenal of different tools and supplies.
For most beginners, veteran knitters recommend that you have your yarn, a pair of scissors, and a blunt-end yarn needle.
You could reasonably carry all the items you need to begin knitting in your hands.
You can even carry your hobby around in a purse or small backpack.
The yarn is cast on the knitting needle by wrapping it using the wrap method or the knit method.
The casting of your yarn on the needle is what will determine how well your project will turn out, so it is important to do it as well as possible.
Knitting projects are essentially just held together by fancy, consistent knots through the entire piece.
By creating the shape of the knots and directing where the knots go, you are able to make a cozy-looking pattern.
Sewing has a completely different starting process.
The first thing you have to do is decide whether your project would be better hand-sewn or sewn together by a machine.
Both ways take an incredible amount of skill and patience, each having its own strengths and weaknesses.
Before you can start sewing, you’re going to need some needles, fabric, a sewing pattern, a pair of fabric scissors, pins, tape measure, a seam ripper, an iron, an ironing board, and some kind of marking tool like a chalk pencil.
Sewing also requires a hefty amount of space in order to spread out fabrics or whatever needs to be sewn.
The worst part about the sewing process is cleaning up all of the mess.
Due to the starting processes, stitches, and the materials that are used in knitting and sewing, you will get vastly different creations from each hobby.
While you can make some things like blankets and clothing by both sewing and knitting, the way the products come out make it very easy to tell which method was used.
Knitting is almost always going to result in heavier products.
Yarn is much thicker and heavier than thin sheets of fabric, even when they’re made from the same material.
A knitted wool sweater is going to be heavier than a sweater that is sewn together.
Unless you’re using incredibly thick materials while sewing, knitting will normally create the warmer goods.
There’s nothing comfier or warmer than a knitted blanket or knee-high knitted socks.
This is why most cold weather clothing is knitted and why you see knitted outfits in the summer.
Items that are sewn tend to have a sleek look and tend to have more variety than clothing that is knitted.
People who sew have a lot more options for what they can make their projects look like.
Knitting is rarely used to fix holes in clothing, blankets, or children’s beloved toys.
Sewing is used instead because of the way it is more easily hidden.
When sewing, you can make just about anything you can think of.
Knitting is limited to what can be made out of yarn and what can be heavy enough to handle the weight of yarn without getting in the way of the creation being able to function.
Knitting is perfect for when you want to create garments or home goods with a rustic or cozy aesthetics.
Sewing can create whatever look you want based on the materials that you use, such as leather for sleekness and chiffon for elegance.
Those who both knit and sew will tell you about how the difficulty spikes between knitting and sewing.
While neither skill is easy to pull off well, knitting is known for being easier than sewing.
Those who are looking for the easiest introduction into the two hobbies may actually want to pick up crocheting instead.
Knitting is a repetitive process that you get better at the more you do it.
Those who look over their knitting projects thoroughly and frequently will be able to spot mistakes quickly and undo them by undoing the work they’ve done after the point where they messed up.
Many knitters find that the process helps them relax and gives their hands something to do while watching a movie or listening to music.
You can make knitting more difficult by switching up patterns and using more complex techniques.
Knitting is one of those skills that is easy to understand, not difficult to put into practice, but is incredibly hard to master.
While many knitters claim that they started by reading books or watching tutorial videos, those who want to learn how to master the art of knitting will want to seek out a teacher.
Unlike knitting, sewing is difficult to understand, even harder to put into practice, and takes a lifetime to master.
Those who are looking to learn how to sew will want to start by having someone show them the basics in person.
Part of what makes sewing so difficult is all the technicalities that go into making even a single part of a project.
Those who are looking to make wearable clothing know how hard it can be to get the proper look you’re going for.
When you mess up sewing, you may not notice until the very end and need a seam ripper.
The Arts Of Sewing And Knitting
Sewing and knitting are two different art forms that use similar techniques and tools that look like one another.
While sewing and knitting can create a lot of the same creations, what they are capable of making is vastly different.
It takes a long time and a lot of dedication in order to be able to knit or sew.
Those who look to master the arts spend their entire lives working on new projects and rapidly learn more as they hone their skills.
When you begin to knit or sew, don’t expect your first project to look like it could be sold at your local clothing store.
Expect that you’ll be restarting projects as long as your sewing or knitting career persists and try your best to learn from these mistakes.
Don’t rush your projects when you are beginning to learn to sew or knit.
You can tell a project has been rushed by just looking at it.
Instead, give yourself plenty of time to create your projects and potentially make multiple versions of the same project.
You’ll notice as you create more things through knitting and sewing that you are getting better with each piece.
Learning to sew or knit is such a useful skill to have because it can help you create new things and fix things that you love.