It’s important to understand how to achieve the proper gauge in a crochet pattern. In this video, Corrina Ferguson explains how to read the gauge section of a crochet pattern, and how you go about achieving the proper gauge. The gauge listed on a crochet pattern is the exact gauge that the person who stitched the sample shown in the pattern got when making the piece. It’s important for your gauge to match so that your finished item will be the correct size.
Corinna starts by noting that the gauge is measured in two ways:
- Number of stitches over a specified length (usually 4-in/10-cm)
- Number of rows or rounds over a specified length (usually 4-in/10-cm)
The gauge swatch should be worked so that it is large enough to measure the gauge without having to include the edge stitches. If gauge is listed over 4-inches, it’s helpful to make a gauge swatch that is 5 or 6 inches wide and tall. This ensures that the gauge will be measured accurately.
Corrina looks at a swatch that contains single crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet. She notes that the number of stitches in each row is the same throughout the swatch. Each area looks different and even the width of the swatch changes due to the construction of the various stitches. Corrina then measures the gauge of the double crochet section. She measures over 2-inches and then multiplies to get a gauge in 4 inches, which is how it is usually listed in a pattern. Corrina also measures the single crochet portion and treble crochet portion of her swatch.
What if your gauge doesn’t match what the project is telling you? if you have too many stitches, do you use a larger crochet hook? if so, how do you know what size to switch to?
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Gauge is important for all projects because it affects look, fit, and the amount of yarn you use, but is more important on garments because even a small difference can have a big affect on final fit.
If you have too many stitches you use a larger crochet hook, if you have too few stitches use a smaller one. Gauge is more art than science so what hook I step up or down to may differ due to how much I am off stated gauge. If I am pretty close I may only change by one hook size, if I am way off I may change by two or three.
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