Crochet: the yarn gobbler Part 1

Ever since I started crocheting I have been interested in the fact that crochet used more yarn than knitting.

This is fairly simple to explain: crochet is a technique in which the yarn is knotted to create stitches, whereas knitting is a technique where the yarn is simply looped in order to create the stitches. This is also the reason why knitting unravels when the needle is removed.

I’ve seen the statistic which states that crochet uses 1/3 more yarn than knitting but I wanted to do my own comparison.

I wanted to find out how much yarn is used with various crochet stitches, compared to knitting.
So, I started by making four swatches with 20 stitches and 20 rows each.
I made one knitted swatch and then one swatch each of single crochet, half double and double crochet stitches.

For each swatch I used the same yarn, Vinnis Colours Nikkim, in the same colour. I also used the same size hook, 4mm and knitted using 4mm needles. Those were my constants for each of the tests.

These first swatches were very interesting, as you can see.

Knit Vs Crochet Comparison


20 rows of knitting does not create much fabric but obviously uses up less yarn than 20 rows of crochet, no matter which stitch you use.

Interestingly, each stitch used (almost) 4g more yarn than the previous stitch.
The knitted 20 stitches x 20 rows swatch weighed 3g, the single crochet swatch weighed 7g, the half double crochet swatch 11g and the double crochet swatch weighed 14g.
The double crochet swatch only weighed 3g more than the half double crochet swatch, which might be due to slightly tighter tension resulting in slightly less yarn being used.

The Vinnis Colours Nikkim yarn I used comes in balls of 118m/50g, which means that 1g is approximately 2,36m.
That means that the knitted square used 7.08m, the single crochet swatch used 16,52m, the half double crochet swatch used 25,96m and the double crochet swatch used 33,04m of yarn.

Obviously this comparison is not very scientific, since the different swatches are not the same size.

It is an excellent visual for showing the differences in stitch sizes though.



Knit Vs Crochet Comparison

The second set of swatches I made were proper swatches, i.e. 10x10cm squares.

Again I made one knitted square, one using single crochet, one half double crochet and one double crochet stitches.

Again I used the same yarn, hook and needles for each square and used 20 stitches. I only changed the colour of the yarn.

Knit Vs Crochet Comparison
For the knitted swatch I did 38 rows, the single crochet square has 22 rows, the half double crochet square has 13 rows and the double crochet square has 9 rows.
In terms of weight the squares all ranged between 6-8g, which isn’t really much of a difference at all. Especially when considering that the knitted square and the double crochet square both weigh 6g.

This is very interesting because it makes me wonder where the statistic of 1/3 more yarn for crochet comes from.
All I can think of is that it is dependant on the type of stitches used. Strangely the single crochet swatch was the heaviest at 8g.

It’s all a bit inconclusive really,  so next week I’m going to be looking at different stitch patterns, ranging from lace patterns to cables and basket weave stitches.

29. October 2014 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tried and Tested | Tags: , , | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. Pingback: Link Love for Best Crochet Patterns, Ideas and News |

  2. Interesting! The 10cm x 10cm swatches are the ones of interest because they compare apples with apples – same dimensions. I’d also heard that crochet uses so much more yarn but I wasn’t totally convinced because I hadn’t tested it out.
    The knitted square and the hdc / dc squares are probably closest in density; more so than the sc square. Interesting! Nice to know that there isn’t that much of a difference.
    Thanks for this.

  3. Pingback: Crochet: the yarn gobbler part 2 | a bag full of crochet

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