CROCHET GAUGE

Crochet Gauge and Why Is It Important!

Gauge is a crucial technique to learn when it comes to crochet or any other yarn-related craft where one needs to account for different sizing. Learning crochet gauge can be quite daunting with all the numbers and frankly understanding what it all means. But if you wish to make awesome fitting garments from a smexy pattern you just bought or if you are designing something new; then crochet gauge is the first thing you want to nail.

Gauge is a crucial technique to learn when it comes to crochet or any other yarn-related craft where one needs to account for different sizing. Learning crochet gauge can be quite daunting with all the numbers and frankly understanding what it all means. But if you wish to make awesome fitting garments from a smexy pattern you just bought or if you are designing something new; then crochet gauge is the first thing you want to nail. 

CROCHET GAUGE

What is Crochet Gauge

Gauge in short is a measurement. Gauge measures the number of stitches per inch, and rows per inch for a specific pattern and hook combination. You most commonly find gauge listed in patterns in the front matter of the pattern. The pattern notes gauge over an area or dimension; normally over a 4” x 4” area. However, this does not exclude other dimensions that are larger or irregular (not a perfect square).

Why Does Gauge Matter!

Okay so now we know what the crochet gauge is, but why does this matter to me.  Well, after spending HOURS on a pattern and working through hand cramps and pinching nerves…I would hope that you would want the project that you were working on FITS. The best and 100% guaranteed way of making sure your project matched the listed measurements and getting a fleeky finished project is to MATCH YOUR GAUGE! 

Now you may be asking: “MillennialMaker how do I do that?” Don’t worry, I got you boo were going to go into the steps below.  

STEP 1: MAKE A CROCHET GAUGE SWATCH

First things first, is to make your crochet gauge swatch. You do this by following the instructions listed in the pattern for gauge. It will usually read like this:

Gauge

10 sts x 9 rows = 4” x 4” sq. in hdc stitch with 5.0mm hook. 

Follow the instructions exactly!

STEP 2: EVALUATE [MEASURE] YOUR SWATCH

According to our “dummy” gauge, the stitch gauge means that if we made 10 half-double crochet stitches with a 5.0mm hook and called for yarn then we should end with a length of 4”. More specifically this means that 2.5 sts will measure about 1”. 

Also, our crochet gauge instructions tell us that if we make 9 rows of half-double crochet stitches with a 5.00mm hook and called for yarn then we should end with a height of 4”. More specifically this means that 1 row will measure to about .6”.

5 QUICK CROCHET GAUGE TIPS

TIP 1: BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER

Making a larger crochet gauge swatch then what the pattern dimensions call for is ideal as it gives enough space to properly measure the gauge of your swatch and match it to what is listed in the front matter of your pattern.

TIP 2: MATERIALS

When it comes to yarn use the same yarn the pattern calls for or as close to the yarn as possible. Pay attention to the weight and makeup of the yarn. A different weight will severely affect the crochet gauge of your project and swatch.

TIP 3: TENSION 

Check your tension! Are you crocheting too tightly or are you a little too loosey-goosey? Adjust accordingly and re-check your swatch and gauge.

TIP 4: CHANGE YOUR HOOK

If at some point you finish your crochet gauge swatch and you follow the instructions to the T; and still the measurement does not match or fit then change your hook. Go up a hook size if the stitches are too small or down a hook size if the stitches are too large. The opposite is helpful as well.

Sooo…What did we learn?

Gauge is absolutely important. And beyond that taking a few moments before starting a potentially week-long project to check crochet gauge will save frustration and time. So as Ice Cube says: “You better check yo self before you wreck yo self”.

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