A knot is used to join two ropes together or a rope to itself. If done correctly a knot will hold shape regardless of it being fixed to something else. A hitch is used to fix a rope to another object, such as a carabiner or pole, and relies on that object to hold. You can see this easily by tying an eight follow-thru onto a carabiner. Do the same with a clove hitch. Now take the carabiner away and see what happens – it will fall apart. Some sources classify a hitch as a class of knot but the general distinction remains the same.