Does crochet really use more yarn than knitting?

I’ve been asking what puts people off making garments in crochet a lot lately because I was researching a class about making crochet wearable and wanted to make sure I covered all the niggles. (I have.There are officially no more excuses for not crocheting yourself a cardigan!)

But one comment keeps cropping up again and again. Crochet uses WAY more yarn.

more yarn

I’ve made a fair few cardigans now, crochet and knitted and because they are all different styles it wasn’t possible to do a direct comparison but I had my suspicions. So, because I am dedicated to my craft and love my dear readers, I decided to test the theory out properly.

I made 5 swatches using the same yarn(Milla Mia 50g gives 125m) and the needle or hook size that I would normally use to make a sweater with (4mm knitting needles and a *5mm crochet hook) each swatch measures 11cm by 9cm (supposed to be 10cm squares but I made the first one a little wide and short so had to do the same for the rest. I am not really a proper scientist!)

*I always go up a hook size to the suggested needle size for garments because otherwise the fabric is too stiff for clothing IMHO.

more yarn 2Swatch 1 is knitted stocking stitch (knit the RS, purl the WS) and weighs 5g so uses around 12.5m

Swatch 2 is knitted garter stitch (knit every row) and weighs 7g so uses around 17.5m

Swatch 3 is double crochet (US single crochet) and weighs 7g so uses around 17.5m

Swatch 4 is treble crochet (US double crochet)  and weighs 6g so uses around 15m

Swatch 5 is half treble crochet (US half double crochet) and weighs 6g so uses around 15m

Obviously there is a margin or error as my scales are only sensitive to the nearest gram but you can see that crochet uses a little more than stocking stitch but the taller stitches use less than garter stitch.

Lets extrapolate the results out to a simple sweater made for a 100cm bust

drop shoulder simpleThe area of this simple sweater is about 8000 cm sq. So how much of this yarn would we need to buy to make it in these different stitches:

Stocking Stitch 9 balls

Garter Stitch 12 balls

Double Crochet 12 balls

Treble Crochet 10 balls

Half Treble Crochet 10 balls


So, in conclusion, it definitely is not true to say that crochet uses WAY more yarn than knitting. It may use a little more, than knitting in stocking stitch but only a little bit more. Myth debunked.

I confirmed my feelings on the subject but what did surprise me a little was how different the nature of the fabric is and it led me onto another conclusion. But more on that another day…

Do the results surprise you?



  1. says

    I think what surprised me the most was the difference between stocking stitch and garter stitch! Great post…..looking forward to what comes next!

  2. Helen Crosbie says

    Thank you for checking this out. I can’t knit and love to crochet so I’m pleased that it’s not too extravagant. Can’t wait to hear your findings on the different feel of each swatch.

    • notsogranny says

      Oh boy. The knitted swatches took way longer! But there are many more stitches.

  3. Mandy says

    I was going to ask the same and yes my suspicion was that knitting takes longer :-)

  4. says

    I alwayshought crochet used up more yarn than knitting, but lately i have been knitting and crochet 2 cardigans simple lay outs and the crochet only used slightly more, which surprised me,

  5. says

    Love of Crochet had an article on this (last year I think), which gave very similar results to yours.

    I think if you’re going to invest in a handmade cardie or other garment, one ball more or less ought not to make a huge difference (unless the yarn is wildly expensive). It seems more important to choose a craft / pattern that you are comfortable with, so as to increase the odds of actually finishing the project within a reasonable time.

    Crochet is generally much faster than knitting, which is one reason I like it so much. The instant gratification factor…. :)

  6. Vircher says

    That does surprise me…now I’m wondering if it feels like crochet uses up more yarn simply because you get through it quicker owing to the much speedier pace of crochet over knitting?

  7. says

    Definitely surprised but only because I have been told that crochet is more yarn intensive so often

    Reminds me a crochet cardigan is on my list of must makes this summer

  8. Bridget says

    More than the the difference between knitting and crocheting, I’m surprised by the difference between stockingette and garter stitch.

  9. Meme says

    No it doesn’t surprise me. I’ve tried this exercise myself and came to the same conclusion a few years ago (well maybe a wee more years). I do prefer crochet to knitting maybe because I think it is slightly faster at least for me. I do love knitting when I can and different yarn/wool feel different in crochet and knitting I found. I just love hunkering down and doing some work either knitting or crochet in baby wool as it feels so soft and the idea of babies is sweet.

  10. says

    Oooo a good investigation! I’ve always wondered this myself, but can’t say I’m hugely surprised. I wonder how much it would differ it you were to take on another knit stitch, e.g. moss stitch – that may shift the results slightly. Great post. :) Leanne x

  11. says

    Thanks for doing this–I always heard crochet took more yarn, but did sometimes wonder if that was really true. Now I know that it’s not quite accurate!