Differences of Knitting vs Crocheting Amigurumi
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.
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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.
My favorite yarns for knitting and crocheting amigurumi
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.
Check out the Ultimate Knitting Toys Resource!
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.
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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?
I love the look of knitted projects but I am SO intimidated by knitting. Your work is gorgeous! ALL of it😍
Thank you so much! I was intimidated for a long time too. I do believe it is more difficult than crocheting but it creates such a different fabric and that makes me excited!
So darn precious! Talented beyond what I could ever imagine:) You know I just love your work! One word – incredible! Keep it up!
Awww, thank you so very much, sweetie!
I just love these so much. I am a beginner at crochet. How long would it took you from first crocheting to being able to do more complicated project Stuff?
Once you are comfortable with the basic stitches, single, double, and treble crochet and can make a magic ring you are ready to crochet amigurumi. I highly recommend using something like a video tutorial like one from Wooly Wonders Crochet on YouTube to begin. Then you’ll be off and running!
I’ve knit many creatures, in the round and flat. You’re absolutely on point talking about the stuffing. I’ll hve to up my crochet skills and give that a try. I thought your video was great, too!
Thanks so much, Kym! The stuffing is so very different! For crochet you need to stuff it really full. I was surprised that I had to be so careful stuffing the knitted teddy!
The video was so helpful! I love to knit look but not so much the delicacy. I can’t wait to try out one of your patterns! Do you have any video tutorials for the basic crochet? It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done it and can basically just chain stitch.
I don’t have any tutorials but I highly recommend the ones from BHooked on YouTube. She has a full beginner crochet series and they are very well done!
These little guys are precious 😍😍
I am very much a beginner knitter, and I want to try something harder than the very simple blankets I’ve done. Maybe I should try those patterns/tutorials you mentioned.
I say go for it!! I found the Mary Jane’s Tea Room pattern to be very helpful. Any time I wasn’t sure how to do something I just watched a YouTube video, for the mattress stitch for example. I also don’t mind trying new things even if it doesn’t go really well!
Lovely and interesting post. I’m not a knitter but I thought knit Amis must be constructed flat rather than round, though I wonder if you can make a round shape on circular needles like a hat?
Thank you so much! Yes, most knit amis are knit flat and then seamed together! I have seen knit in the round amis but have not personally made them!
First time I have seen one of your videos. I like it alot and subscribed to your blog immediately.
Thank you so very much! Your kind words mean so much to me! Welcome! I hope you continue to enjoy my videos!! 😘😘😘
Thank you for your great blog! I have started knitting amigurumi after quite a few years of crochet and although it feels very different, I am getting there. One thing I am not sure about, though: the edges. Generally when knitting I create edge stitches for a neat finish, but the patterns never specify and sometimes have increases or decreases at the edge, so I omitted edge stitches but I don’t like the way these seams look. On my next project I am going to add edge stitches and then mattress stitch on the second stitch, leaving a ridge on the inside of the toy; do you think that would work?
I do think that would work. I always do the mattress seam on the second stitch from the edge to create a nice finished look. Mattress seaming for me has been a challenge and it’s something I have to keep working on! Good luck and thank you so much for commenting!