• Gauge it

    English: crochet hook & green acrylic yarn

    English: crochet hook & green acrylic yarn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Gauge is very important for any crafter following a crochet pattern, because you want to make things that fit , are in proportion and useable.

    When you are new to crochet or knitting you wonder what is the big deal with working out the gauge, if you follow the exact stitch direction in the pattern,  you should come up with the same result as the designer. Not necessarily so, dear friend.

    Reason being is that you are an individual and yarn is not all the same manufactured either.

    Having said that I also suggest you do not go overboard on making the gauge work perfectly to to millimeter. There is a good balance of having fun and being a over the top “pickle pooper”. One stitch more or less with NOT break your crown of success.

    Gauge rulers are wonderful little tools and every crocheter should have one, but they only give spot measurements and not the true account of over all gauge. The key is your OVERALL gauge matches the pattern gauge.

    This is how you save time determining the gauge:

    Make a swatch of at least 4″ square using the recommended yarn and hook. measure across the row length of the swatch and divide the number of stitches in the row by it’s measurement. This is your stitch gauge. Now measure across a swatch from the first row to the last and divide the number of rows in the swatch by it;s measurement. This is your row gauge. If your gauge is too large or too small change the size of the hook accordingly: Too large gauge get smaller hook seize. Too small gauge: get larger hook size. An again: It is more important that you have fun and create, than it is to be overboard with accuracy.

    In my patterns I RECOMMEND a yarn and hook seize, but  I leave it up to you most of the time to choose. Sometimes you have a similar material from  a yard sale or second hand store, which will be just as pretty to use. The fun is to create, not to recreate necessarily. Crochet is a folk art and not a science.

    There is nothing wrong with making for example granny squares out of ribbons, instead of worsted weight, making a purple pig instead of a pink one, making a giant Christmas tree ornament instead of a dainty one.

    If something has to be absolutely matching or fitting, I always hold it against the counterpart and measure against it while I work. With doll clothes I measure it against the doll. If I make something for my husband that is trickier, because he might growl, when I constantly want to hold the half-finished sweater under his nose.

    Having made many tablecloths in one piece, I learned  to look back at after working 15-20 stitches and make sure I made them all correct, instead of noticing in the next row that I made a mistake. On a one piece tablecloth one row can take 1 -2 hours time to finish. What a wasted time to have to unravel it all, because you made a mistake 2 hours ago!

    With gauging a crochet pattern as with all things in life the motto is: You live and learn and best think ahead to prevent pitfalls.

    And with that thought ’til next time. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]