Sewing for Beginners

How Hard Is It to Learn Sewing as Opposed to Knitting?

By Jessica Strohlson

When it comes to sewing and knitting, these are two very different skills and hobbies. So, you may be wondering, what is the difference between sewing and knitting? Which is easier or harder to learn? First and foremost, knitting and sewing involve using different tools as well as different techniques.

Sewing is typically done with a sewing machine, or by hand, as well as a sewing needle and fabric. Knitting only involves using needles and yarn. For this reason, knitting may default as the easier skill to pick up.

Although, how hard is it to learn to sew as opposed to knitting? Let’s go over the main differences between the two skills as well as what factors contribute to making the skill easier or more difficult to learn.

A picture containing object, thread, clothing, dressed

The main differences between sewing and knitting

Sewing and knitting are both useful skills to pick up and both involve making clothing and accessories for either you, your loved ones, or maybe even your pets! However, these two creative outlets are not the same. 

As previously mentioned, both sewing and knitting require different materials and tools. While both sewing and knitting require needles, a knitting needle is not going to be the same as a small sewing needle. Knitting also requires yarn whereas sewing requires fabric. Of course, many people also learn to sew by hand, however most sewers tend to sew more intense projects with a sewing machine. Knitting is more often than not done by hand, though you can also use a machine to do so as well.

Sewing Needles Vs. Knitting Needles

Sewing needles are sharp and small. These small but mighty needles are used to create very specific types of stitches when sewing on a machine.

Knitting needles are not sharp and they are not used to stitch together fabric but rather to create the fabric.

Techniques

When it comes to sewing and knitting techniques, sewing tends to be the fastest for learning. This is due to the fact that many knitting techniques are done by hand while sewing techniques are done on a sewing machine thus making things easier and quicker to learn. However, if we are talking about sewing by hand as opposed to sewing on a sewing machine, sewing by hand can be trickier.

Which Skill is Easier to Pick Up: Sewing or Knitting?

As previously mentioned, though there are a few similarities between the two skills, they are certainly not interchangeable. With that being said, both skills are a fun and useful tool to have and should not be compared in that aspect.

Now, the pressing question that keeps rising to the surface: which skills are easier to learn? Is it sewing or is it knitting? Many people have their own opinions but have stated that sewing was usually the easier skill to pick up. This is because sewing can be done relatively quickly and is known to be less tedious than knitting. With that being said, another factor that plays into the sewing vs. knitting debate can also be how much time you have in your day for these activities.

If you find yourself constantly on the go or on route to work, knitting may be a more fun option for you; not to mention, if we are still debating which is easier, sewing or knitting, knitting is easier for people on the go. 

That is, of course, unless you love handheld or portable sewing machines. While we are on this topic, may I give you some advice? If you do, in fact, love to sew on the go, allow me to recommend a portable sewing machine over a handheld sewing machine. This is due to the fact that while handheld sewing machines are relatively cheap and highly affordable, the product durability matches the price point meaning they tend to break very easily and cannot take on larger projects other than a quick hem or tear in your clothing. Portable sewing machines are much more durable and long lasting and yes, they can take on larger projects than those of a handheld sewing machine.

Lastly, I would like to round up the new knowledge we have learned on the topic of sewing vs. knitting as well as how much easier it is to learn one over the other. So far, we have learned that both hobbies, while both are fun and useful skills, are entirely different as they create fairly different projects.

Another thing we have learned is that knitting tends to be more portable whereas sewing is not; again, this is not always the case as there are, of course, portable sewing machines out there to make sewing more accessible and well, portable.

The projects, however, are the main difference between the two as well as between portability. Oftentimes, you tend to see someone knitting on a train on their way to work. It is certainly rarer to find someone carrying their portable sewing machine on that same train, though it is not abnormal. 

In conclusion, sewing and knitting should not be compared as they are both wonderful hobbies and excellent skills to pick up!

All in all, there is not one that is easier than the other if we are being completely honest; it all comes down to time. Do you have time to sit and truly learn your sewing machine? If so, sewing is the best option for you and you will most likely be able to pick up rather well as well as fairly quickly. Learning the tools of sewing, though it can take a longer amount of time depending on the person, is a quick thing to pick up.

Knitting on the other hand requires less tools, again, you only need a needle and yarn, however the techniques that come with knitting tend to be the part that throws many people off the hobby. However, if this is your passion, it becomes less tedious to learn these skills and techniques.

To sum up, knitting is without a doubt a more portable hobby and requires less tools than sewing, however, sewing tends to be the skill that many people find easier to pick up, despite the lengthier knowledge of the tools required to complete the project.

Helpful Videos and Tips

Now that you have a more advanced idea on the difference between learning how to sew and learning how to knit, here are a few short and helpful videos to further discuss the differences between the two skills as well as a few simple guides and how-tos to begin your own sewing journey.

  1. Knitting for Beginners | Hobby Lobby
  2. How to Knit: Easy for Beginners 
  3. Knitting vs Crocheting

Each of these videos can be found on YouTube and are quick, fun videos to take note of.

Of course, while this article is meant to be helpful and insightful, it is important to keep in mind that many different people will tend to have many different opinions when it comes to knitting vs. sewing as well as which is easier. With that being said, if you are looking to take on a good sewing project, we are here to tell you that sewing is an easy and useful skill to develop and have in your trust tool belt.


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