Posted on 11 Comments

Is Tunisian Crochet faster than Regular Crochet?

two hamds hold a large ball of warm yellow yarn on top of a painted white wooden surface. In the right hand is a crochet hook



This is a question I have been asked many, many times.
Which is faster? Which uses more yarn? Do they come out the same size?
I decided to find out once and for all.
Let’s get into it!

Say it with me; “A test is fair if everything about the things being tested is equal, except for one, measurable difference.”
My science teacher in school made us all memorise that little saying.

In layman’s terms it means that if you want to answer any of the above questions, you have to keep everything equal.
You have to use the same yarn, the same hook, do it on the same day, while sitting in the same chair, watching the same Netflix show, and use the same number of stitches for both swatches.

In this test, therefore, the only difference I’ve allowed is the one we’ll be measuring;
One swatch will be using regular, traditional crochet & the other will be composed of Tunisian Crochet.

I’ll be using a 5 mm hook for each swatch, and Aran weight wool/Acrylic blend yarn.
Each swatch will have 15 stitches across, and will be 15 rows tall.

two hands hold a swatch of traditional crochet in yellow yarn against a painted white wooden surface

This is my Traditional, regular crochet swatch.
It took precisely 13 minutes to complete which – if you want to get technical – means each stitch took me an average of 3.4 seconds to make.
It used a total of 6 grams of yarn
and it measures 10 cm across x 9.5 cm tall.

Sooo close to being a perfect square! So close!


two hands hold a swatch of Tunisian crochet in yellow yarn against a painted white wooden surface

And this is my Tunisian crochet swatch.
This little lady took a smidge longer to finish, clocking in at 14 minutes, 30 seconds.
With the exact same stitch count as the regular crochet swatch, that means each stitch took me on average 3.8 seconds to make.
It used a total of 7 grams of yarn, and it measures 11 cm across x 11 cm tall.

A perfect square, well done, Tunisian!



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So, in essence, the difference in speed is negligible.
A Tunisian Simple Stitch stitch takes .4 seconds longer to make than a traditional double crochet stitch (US single crochet), but that slightly slower speed could very well be eliminated and reversed if I had chosen to crochet the 255 stitches in the Tunisian swatch on a bigger hook. I found the 5 mm hook a little too small.

Tunisian is a denser fabric, so it’s no surprise that it used a little more yarn, but not nearly as much as I had assumed it would, which was an awesome surprise. The square also came out a little bigger, so when measuring by area, they pretty much work out equal.
So if Tunisian’s reputation as a yarn hog is what’s putting you off, it might be time for a rethink.

hands hold two swatches in yellow yarn against a painted white wooden surface


Both swatches turned out to be square (though, this Tunisian fan is pleased to see Tunisian come out bang on!)
The fact that both techniques have stitches that are as tall as they are wide makes them infinitely suitable to colourwork and charting using graph paper – and far more versatile than stocking stitch in knitting, which has stitches markedly taller than they are wide.

My conclusion, therefore is that between Tunisian and Regular crochet, the differences in yarn use and time taken are negligible, so feel free to choose the technique that YOU prefer and that’s right for the project you have in mind safe in the knowledge that it’ll all work out well in the end.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Tell me in the comments below!
And hey, tell your friends too!


— PATTERNS THAT INCLUDE TUNISIAN AND REGULAR CROCHET —

11 thoughts on “Is Tunisian Crochet faster than Regular Crochet?

  1. Thanks for taking the time to do this wee experiment Aoibhe. I’ve often assumed I use much more yarn with Tunisian stitches versus normal crochet – now I know that’s not the case. I’m delighted Tunisian also gives a perfect square. I think if there’s a curl to the work it can look the wrong size and shape till blocked.

    1. You’re right! That curl can be very misleading, can’t it?

      The nice thing about confirming that Tunisian Simple Stitch is a square is that it would also work well as a medium for cross stitch. The possibilities are endless!

      1. Yes, endless possibilities! I was thinking about the willow forest you are growing in your garden. It did cross my mind if anyone can find a way to combine basket weaving and Tunisian crochet, it was you! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! 🤣

  2. Thank you for doing this example! It’s so basic a question yet one never really takes the time to do the process. Just like the perception that knitting uses less yarn than crochet – logic says, it depends on the stitch!

    1. Very true!
      I might do a comparison between knitting and Tunisian next. I wonder how that will turn out!

  3. This is so interesting! I never really thought about it, but my immediate assumption was that normal crochet would be faster but also use more yarn than tunisian crochet.

    1. I’m glad I did the experiment!
      My assumption was that Tunisian would use a LOT more yarn, but it’s not really the case.

  4. Great read! Thanks for the experiment and results, and all the comments. Cheers!

    1. You’re very welcome, Jan! I’m glad I decided to give it a whirl.

  5. This is a great post! Thanks so much for sharing it.

    In my experience, I had to adjust my habits in order to get both my single crochet (UK double) stitches and my Tunisian simple stitches to be square. It took some practice, because my habit had been to pull up on the vertical strands until my stitches were significantly tall and rectangular.

    I’ve seen several videos by crochet experts online who pull their stitches up even taller than I did. So, I find it interesting that your stitches are naturally square.

    It’s also been my experience that making a hat with Tunisian crochet requires me to focus intentionally on keeping the return pass stitches wider than I normally would. Otherwise, the hat isn’t stretchy enough and is very uncomfortable to wear, even if I get the circumference measurement correct.

    1. Those are some very interesting observations, Cheryl.
      I’d imagine how I hold my hook has a part to play in how square my stitches turn out.

      Interestingly, I have a post planned in the not to distant future about Tunisian crochet ease and how to adjust your tension for better results!

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