We've all heard this conventional wisdom and maybe experienced it for ourselves; that your yarn goes further with knitting than it does with crochet.
But is it true?
Now, I'm no scientist, but I did almost get a minor in chemistry so I think I'm qualified enough to blog about this subject in a quasi-scientific manner. So here goes nothing!
Objective: to determine if crochet really does use more yarn than knitting
Methods: 5 equal sized squares of single crochet were made in 4in x 4in swatches.
4 of the 5 squares were unraveled. Then, using the recommended needle and hook size for the yarn (Vanna's choice by Lion Brand), each length of unraveled yarn was knit or crocheted using different stitches.
Swatches were adjusted to be the same width and tail length of the control 4x4 single crochet square so that the length difference could be measured.
Knit- stockinette, garter
Crochet- double crochet, triple crochet
The swatches were then blocked to lay flat(ish).
See graph and image below for the length differences in the swatches and ranking from longest to shortest.
Stockinette knit stitch was the longest swatch at 5.06in. Double crochet and triple crochet tied at 4.75in and garter stitch measured a quarter of an inch shorter than the control at 3.75in
**note** for crochet swatches where the final row could not be completed, the average height of the final row was taken by averaging the height of the finished half with the unfinished half.
The hypothesis that crochet uses more yarn than knitting is not supported by the results.
One knit stitch (stockinette) supported the hypothesis by "going the furthest" but it didn't beat double crochet by as much as some might have thought (Δ+0.31).
The other one stitch (garter) was the shortest sample of the bunch so it used the most yarn as compared to the most popular crochet stitches.
One interesting finding is that triple crochet seemed to tie with double crochet at .75 inches above the control, indicating that stitch density is an important factor but not the limiting factor to the experiment
Additional studies with different tension and yarn weights and stitches would produce valuable results to further test the hypothesis.
Limitations of the study: different knitting and crochet stitches have very different fabric characteristics so measuring the samples requires some finesse (fudging) so this experiment is best at illustrating trends rather than precise figures. All samples were hand produced, inevitably leading to variations in tension.
But for now, it appears this rumor is...
You guys! I'm shook.
I really thought crochet would go way less far than knitting. I can't believe how much crochet out performed garter stitch. And, while stockinette went the farthest, double crochet really gave knitting a run for it's money. Now this experiment wasn't an "exact science" at all, its actually really hard to compare stockinette to double crochet but I was not expecting them to be this close in length.
When it comes to planning my product lines this year, crochet is gonna get a second look. I thought I was keeping my margins down with knitting but it looks like crocheters aren't using up all the yarn after all ( even if it might feel like it sometimes😉).
I hope you enjoyed this fun little experiment. I think the takeaway here is that tension and density is way more important than the yarn craft itself so don't be afraid of those pricier yarns, crocheters!