Crochet does not use 1/3 more yarn than knitting.
I hate that people go around saying we use 1/3 more yarn than knitting, mostly because it falls into one of my pet peeves: Repeating information as if it were fact without investigating the truth of the matter.
It’s kind of like saying, “The world is flat.” How long did people go around assuming the world was flat, before someone actually decided to do some math on the matter?
About 8 years ago, I had heard this statement repeated so often that I actually believed it to be true as well, until I noticed that when my friend and I created our handspun skeins of yarn which were very similar (she taught me to spin) in both weight and yardage that we tended to get the same size projects out of the yarn, she knits. So, I put my thinking cap on and decided to test the statement of “Crochet uses 1/3 more yarn.”
Ann Hopkins and I both used 80 yards of the same fingering weight wool yarn. We choose stitches that are comparable in crochet and knitting; I used a single crochet and she used the stockinette stitch. We both used tools that gave us a similar gauge, sorry but I just don’t remember if I used an E or an F hook.
We chose to make 3.5 inch scarf and we figured that we’d go until we had no more yarn left. We ended up with having almost exactly the same length scarves, the difference was less than 1/8″ in length. Both scarves were about 26 inches long and for us we solved the issue. BTW we finished at about the same time too, she’s a fast knitter and I’m a fast crocheter, so that whole slow/fast myth really just depends on the individual. (To Ann’s credit she does
knit socks with her eyes closed, but hey she’s been doing this for about 60 some years.)
So here’s what else I surmised in my pursuit of FACTUAL information.
1. Chain stitch such as in this mesh pictured on the right, uses far less yardage than any knit stitch.
Yes, it can be used for garments, I made a very fine mohair lace weight yarn into a mesh sweater vest for a friend. The cotton mesh pictured on the right is a spring shrug.
2. SC is pretty comparable to a knit stitch in use of yarn.
3. The more yarn overs the more yarn used per stitch. So dc, tr c, bobbles, bullions etc use more yarn.
Now let’s get to the important part, our ancestors who started this compare and contrast fiasco had little imagination in my humble opinion. Let us put it this way, crochet and knitting are very different media. There is no compare and contrast, it’s apples and oranges, no one compares knitting and weaving, right? Ok, well, they are two separate media, in fact they are inverse operations. The whole compare and contrast keeps us in the dark, keeps us away from innovation, and frankly it’s a pointless discussion.
Next, if someone doesn’t want to crochet on the off chance they use 1/3 more yarn or a yarn store discourages the employment of crochet in garments because of the potential of using more yarn, then holy moly move on and just do your own thing. Seriously, for yarn stores to discourage sales is plain idiocy, in fact I will say this plainly: If you are a yarn store owner and you tell people not to crochet something because it uses more yarn,then you need to sell your store. You have a business, your business is to sell yarn, if by the sheer off chance that this calculation is correct and I were to use more yarn why the heck wouldn’t you want to sell more yarn to me? After all you are in business, the goal of business is to make money, you make money by selling goods and services. Sorry for being Capitaine Obvious here, but it amazes me that such non-sense is touted by so called professionals.
Crocheters, I’m talking to you lastly. WHY DO YOU PERPETUATE THE MYTHS?! Think, question, and TEST the myths before repeating them as facts!!
Don’t believe me? Test it out for yourself.