Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

 

I apologize for the delay, I have been fighting with video editing software to try to share a video tutorial for both crocheting in the back loop and for alternate or chainless double crochet turning stitch. If you know of any good, free video editing software, please let me know in the comments. I hate using Macs, and video editing is about the only thing I would use one for. I am cheap frugal and can’t justify spending the money on a Mac just for editing videos.

If you would like to see the picture tutorial for the alternate, or chainless, double crochet turning stitch which I learned from Maria at Pattern Paradise, you can find it here. I also have it on my Tips and Tricks board on Pinterest. I will let you all know as soon as I have those videos available.

In the meantime, I recently conducted an experiment that has certainly aided me and, can hopefully, help you as well. Shortly before starting the blog, I became an entrepreneur. So many people had told me, “Your stuff is beautiful, you should sell it,” that I decided to take the leap and formed LuLu’s Yarn Art. However, when you decide to run a business, you really have to try to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. I was crocheting a blanket to donate (for every 9 items I sell, I make 1 for charity), and it was taking way too long to make and using waaaaaaaaay too much yarn. I flashed back to my middle school days and decided to conduct an experiment.

Scientific Method Graph
Remember this?

Side note: my son really likes Ready Jet Go on PBS so the whole time I was doing this their song about the scientific method was going through my mind. In honor of that:

One: Ask a Question Based on Observations

Which crochet stitch will give me the most area, while using the least amount of yarn, in the shortest amount of time?

Two: Make a prediction

A single crochet is very easy and very quick. Double and triple crochets take so much more time. My hypothesis: If I use a single crochet stitch, then I will be able to crochet the largest amount in the least amount of time.

Three: Experiment!

The experiment followed these parameters:

Crochet 3 rows of 10 stitches for each stitch being tested (I started with the chain already completed to reduce the variables involved). Use a stop watch to record the length of time for each stitch. Measure the length and width of the completed crocheted piece as well as the length of the yarn that was used. I chose the most common stitches I have used, single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet.

Four: Observe What Happens

Now is the time for lots of pictures and charts!

Single Crochet

Single Crochet Collage

Half-Double Crochet

Half Double Collage

Double Crochet

Double Crochet Collage

Triple Crochet

Triple Crochet Collage
And sometimes when you do an experiment you learn other things, like I really need to use a larger hook when I chain, especially on a triple crochet.

Crochet Stitch Comparison Chart

 

Five: Draw Conclusions

At first glance, you can see that my hypothesis was partly correct. With a single crochet you can get the most stitches done in the shortest amount of time. But number of stitches was NOT the only thing I was concerned with. I wanted to know what would use the least amount of yarn and give me the largest area completed in the shortest amount of time. So I started doing the math (Yes kids, you really do use this stuff later in life). The first thing I wanted to do was have the length of time the same so that I could compare numbers without any bias. To do this I divided 60 (minutes in an hour to make it easy) by the amount of time needed to complete each section. This gave me the Rate Per Hour column. Then, I multiplied each amount of yarn used and area completed by the respective hourly rate to figure out how much I would get done in an hour. At this point it was clear that my hypothesis was very wrong for the information I was looking for. With a triple crochet I could complete over 85 square inches versus just over 60 square inches with the single crochet! That’s a huge difference. I wasn’t done though, I still needed to know how much area was created compared to how much yarn was being used. I thought for sure this was where I would go back to a single crochet. I was shocked! By dividing the area of the fabric by the length of the yarn used (same concept as miles per gallon for cars), I found that the triple was the most efficient.

In conclusion, I frogged the blanket and remade it using a double crochet. Let’s face it, a triple crochet may be the most efficient, but not necessarily the most practical for a baby blanket. I used 6 skeins of Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn instead of 12, and it took 7.5 hours instead of 18 to complete.

Things to consider: 

This conclusion is based on my own crocheting habits. Your results could be different, but you are welcome to conduct the same experiment and let me know your results! If nothing else, you have a starting point from which to work.

Happy, and Speedy, Crocheting to You!

 

Baby Blanket.png
Finished Product

 

2 thoughts on “Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

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