What Is Gauge and Why Is It Important? – A Lesson on Gauge

Crochet Tutorial Thursday: What Is Gauge and Why Is It Important? - A Lesson on Gauge | www.thestitchinmommy.com

Crochet Tutorial Thursday: What Is Gauge and Why Is It Important? - A Lesson on Gauge | www.thestitchinmommy.com

 

What is Gauge?

Have you ever seen “Gauge” listed in a crochet pattern and wondered what it was? Well I’m here to tell you! Gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch that is reached by using a specific size of yarn and crochet hook. Everyone’s gauge is unique to them because everyone crochets differently. Some crochet more tightly or more loosely than others. The measurement that you reach for a project may differ from what is stated in the pattern because your gauge may be different, even if you are using the same yarn and hook. If you are working on a project that requires specific measurements, it is always important to work up a swatch to make sure you have the right gauge before committing to an entire project.

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How do you determine gauge?

As I previously stated, everyone’s gauge is different. To determine whether or not you have the proper gauge for a project, you will need to work up a gauge swatch. Let’s look at an example:
If the pattern calls for a gauge of:
14 sts and 8 rows is 4″ in dc
Then we know that 14 double crochets stitches should equal to 4 inches and 8 rows of double crochet should equal to 4 inches.
Knowing this, you should work up a 4″ x 4″ gauge swatch using the yarn and hook size indicated in the pattern. Once you have worked up your swatch, get out the measuring tape. Lay your swatch out on a flat surface. Line up the measuring tape with your stitches (or rows) and count how many stitches (or rows) there are within the 4 inches.
Crochet Tutorial Thursday: What Is Gauge and Why Is It Important? - A Lesson on Gauge | www.thestitchinmommy.com
  • If you are able to reach the gauge using the same hook size that is specified in the pattern, then you can begin your project. 
  • If there are fewer stitches (or rows) per inch than what the pattern gauge specifies, you will need to use a smaller hook.
  • If you have more stitches (or rows) than what is specified, you will need to use a larger hook.
  • If you are unable to initially reach the proper gauge, you will have to keep working on the swatch, going either up or down a hook size, to ensure that you eventually reach the proper gauge.

Why is gauge important?

Not all projects require a specific gauge and that is ok. Projects such as blankets, sweaters, and other garments usually require gauge because they have specific measurements that need to be reached to obtain the correct sizing. Achieving the proper gauge can mean the difference of having a medium-sized adult sweater or a kid-sized sweater. Having the right gauge will allow you to always have the right measurements for your garments and other projects!


If you have any other questions about gauge or want to some other tutorials like this, leave me a comment below and I will be happy to help!

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks so much, Amy! This is most helpful as I was confused when it says so many stitches and rows. I crocheted in my 20’s and have taken it back up in my 60’s. I love all the beautiful yarn out there now and appreciate all you bloggers that post patterns and all these helpful tips.

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