The Thread Race

Often I ask myself, when beginning a stitched cloth, ‘Have I got enough thread for this?’  I often use my own hand-dyed threads, and usually there’s only a fairly small quantity of it.  The answer is usually, ‘Well, it depends.’  It depends on what stitch you use, how thick the fabric is, how thick the thread is, and various other conditions.  I thought it would be interesting to compare thread usage across a range of stitches, under some controlled and arbitrarily artificial conditions.  And so the Thread Race was born:

The thread is mercerised cotton crochet thread no. 10 – and I only chose that because I have a lot of it.  I took a 15″ length of thread in each case and, beginning from a ‘start’ line (the vertical axis you see in the picture), made a variety of stitches to see how far the thread travelled.  I didn’t knot the thread ends, so just over an inch each end was taken up with starting/finishing.
From the top, we have: couching; running stitch; back stitch; split stitch; split back stitch; herringbone stitch; blanket stitch; fly stitch; feather stitch; chain stitch; French knots (in the interests of economy, thread was wrapped just once for each knot); cretan stitch; coral stitch and rope stitch.
Fairly obviously, couching and running stitch travel the furthest.  But some of the runners up are quite surprising.  Results tomorrow.  In the meantime, feel free to place your bets.
And thank you to everyone who joined in with my Friday fun on stitch personality.  A very revealing exercise!
Finally, I’ve now finished the Sketchbook Project (apart from the covers)  – I added the pictures to the Project page.

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4 Responses to The Thread Race

  1. What a neat idea! I wouldn"t be surprised if the next most economical is chain stich. I say that only because that's about the only stitch I can execute without needing to refer to instructions, [and therefore my typical stitch choice] and I often find myself in the same situation, of not having very much of the only thread that I need to use, and it seems to go a long way in the end.

  2. Oh way to go … your blog is fun. I shall look for the results :o)I added myself to your stitch game, what fun!

  3. Brilliant idea! I look forward to the results.

  4. arlee says:

    perfect since the thread race is also on a machine đŸ™‚ and we know how fast bobbins run out!

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