What is the difference between crochet and knitting?

Recently a friend of mine said to me, knitting and crochet - they're the same thing aren't they? To the craft novice both probably look like a flurry of wool and hands! However, to any one who knits or crochets they are two very different crafts. Here's a few of the basic differences and similarities between the two.

1. Crochet uses hooks and knitting involves needles. Both come in a variety of sizes and materials. Knitting needles are pointed and depending on what you are making you can use two long needles or three or four short double pointed needles (pointed at both ends). It's also possible to use circular needles which are two short needles connected by a cable.  Double pointed needles are normally used for socks and similar projects where you knit in circles and don't want a seam. Circular needles also let you knit in circles, again creating a seamless fabric, or you can use them for knitting large projects that don't fit the length of standard needles. I often use circular needles, especially when knitting on public transport, so I don't elbow or poke the person next me!

2. Crochet uses one stitch on the hook which the yarn is pulled through. Different stitches are created by looping the yarn round the hook a varying number of times. Knitting begins with a slip stitch, then a row of stitches are created on one of the needles.  Your fabric is then created by moving the stitches from one needle to another.

3. Both can be used to create intricate patterns, lace effect and different items and garments. Crochet tends to be a thicker fabric due to the way the stitches are created, but as you can see in my pictures, you can get tiny hooks that create a delicate light fabric.

4. Both are created using some kind of thread - normally a type of yarn, but the material can vary from wools to manmade fibres.

Take a look at my pictures to compare the two - do you think you would be able to tell the difference?

crochet hooks
crochet hooks
crochet hook
0,6 crochet hook (very small!)
crochet square
traditional granny square crochet pattern
crochet in straight rows
crochet flower
crochet flower

knitting needles
straight knitting needles
knitting needles
top (clockwise): straight knitting needles, circular needles, double pointed needles
knitting with lace pattern
knitting pattern with two colours
knitted leaf

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