Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between knitting vs crocheting amigurumi? Maybe you’re already an experienced “amigurumist” (a clever term for making amigurumi) but you’ve never tried knitting them before. Or maybe you’ve been knitting toys for years, but all the new crocheted toy patterns have piqued your interest.
Knitting vs Crocheting Amigurumi
At first glance, knitting and crocheting amigurumi seem fairly similar. You use yarn to create both. They actually look pretty similar. And in the beginning, you can’t even tell the difference between the two.
Take my quiz: Should You Crochet or Knit?
My Story of Knitting & Crocheting Amigurumi
My personal journey began with crochet. I fell head over heels in love with crocheting when I began making granny square blankets. To this day, I still love granny squares and almost always have a project on my hook.
I don’t even remember when or how I stumbled upon crocheted amigurumi, but I do know that once I did, I was hooked (literally).
Learning how to crochet amigurumi was a bit of a challenge, but I was bound and determined. Something about those adorable toys tapped into my creativity and had me longing for more.
Learn the fundamentals in my Amigurumi 101 series.
I continued crocheting amigurumi and improved my techniques. I made patterns over and over again and noticed that each one got a little better. My confidence grew and so did my yarn stash.
A year and a half after I began crocheting amigurumi I was in a local yarn shop when the store owner showed me an Instagram account I had never seen before.
The toys literally took my breath away. It sounds a bit dramatic, but they were the most delicate, beautiful creations I had ever laid my eyes on.
That day I decided that I would learn how to knit toys. It didn’t matter that I didn’t particularly like knitting and found it much more difficult and finicky than crochet.
I had to knit those bunnies and the sooner the better.
Even though I’d crocheted dozens of amigurumi, knitting them was totally intimidating. At the time I considered myself a basic knitter and was unfamiliar with the techniques used to create knitted amigurumi.
Learn the fundamentals in my Knitting Toys 101 Series
But just like with crocheting amigurumi, I practiced and then practiced some more until I was comfortable with knitting toys.
General Differences – Crocheting vs Knitting
There are several differences between crocheting and knitting in general. The main one is in the way crocheted stitches are completed before moving onto the next stitch.
Whereas in knitting the stitches stay on the needle until completed in the next row. The fabric each produces is also quite different. If you are nerdy like me and like learning about these things check out the fascinating Wikepedia article all about crochet and the differences between it and knitting.
The texture and attributes of the fabric
The differences in the fabric these two techniques create is striking.
Crocheting creates a knobby, thick fabric while the knitted fabric is finer and smoother. But the biggest difference is in the quality of the stretch of the fabric.
Single crochets create a nice tight weave for making amigurumi, but there is very little stretch at all. The stockinette stitch knitting creates is a very stretchy fabric which in turn changes the entire structure of the amigurumi animal or doll.
In the round vs. flat construction
Before making this pattern I had only crocheted amigurumi in the round. Those patterns typically either start at the top of the head and work down, from the nose and work in, or from the feet and work up.
The teddy bear pattern from Mary Jane’s Tea Room (you can find a link to the pattern at the bottom of that page) is knitted flat and then seamed together.
For quite some time this technique kept me away from attempting to knit amigurumi. It seemed so incredibly foreign to me and I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge. But I found that its like any skill that just takes practice and a desire to learn.
Seaming: Joining vs Mattress stitching
With crocheted amigurumi attaching snouts, limbs, and heads is a fairly simple technique. There is however a delicate balance between pulling the yarn tight enough to hide the stitches and not causing the fabric to pucker.
Here is a link to a great Youtube video showing the way I like to join my crocheted amigurumi pieces: How to Join Amigurumi Pieces.
For knitting, mattress stitches are used to close the flat sections to create the rounded parts. This stitch has proven to be a little tricky for me causing the joined sections not to look as neat as I would like.
I did improve as I continued working the pattern. I found that using stitch markers to identify which rows should be joined together helped in making the seams more even. (Link to Youtube video tutorial for mattress stitch: Mattress Stitch Tutorial )
In my book, this is the most important difference.
With crochet, stuffing typically will not change the shape of the amigurumi toy.
It is quite important to make sure that it is stuffed really well, it actually feels overstuffed. Over time stuffing will deflate a bit and an an under-stuffed toy will not look its best.
In knitting, stuffing is part of the shaping process. The pattern may even specify which areas need more stuffing to create the desired shape. Because of the stretchy fabric knitting creates, strategic stuffing is imperative.
If you add too much Polyfil to a knitted toy it will distort the the entire shape.
Knitted and crocheted amigurumi may both be toys but the process and final product are quite different.
The crocheted toy is solid, sturdy, and structured. The knitted toy is typically soft, squishy, and supple.
Both are adorable and both have their challenges. I do not have a preference and believe that both are worthy of making. I plan on making many more crocheted and knitted ami!
I’m so glad that I didn’t let my fear of knitting amigurumi stop me from trying. My little teddy is far from perfect but he is perfectly wonderful!
There are a plethora of great amigurumi toy patterns (Check out my Amigurumi Pattern Directory to find some of my favorites) but I have not found as many for knitted toys. Be sure that I will be on the hunt for them and will share them with you all!
Thank you so very much for coming to my blog! I am so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you! I would love to know if you have crocheted and/or knitted amigurumi! Do you have a preferred method?