Friday, August 8, 2008

Crochet Gauge

The designer of a pattern, will create a unique gauge by default, to their specification just by the yarn and hook they choose. Gauge is also done by individual tension. Tension is just how tight or loose you hold your yarn/thread while you are crocheting. We can even add in an amount of guesstimating to figuring gauge. Even if you use the exact same supplies recommended by the pattern, the gauge could be off due to the unique tension of each individual. The designer has done the hard part by creating and shaping the pattern. All you need to do is figure your gauge and then work it in to the pattern.

Another thing to keep in mind when creating a project is to purchase enough yarn/thread for your project. It is better to have to much yarn/thread than not enough.

I know gauge can seem a big confusing. Gauge is a measurement between a beginning point and ending point. The best way to determine your unique gauge is to crochet a swatch of the pattern stitches that you will be using in the pattern. If you are making your project out of the shell stitch, then create your swatch out of the shell stitch. This is checking to see how many stitches you are going to have between a beginning and ending measurement, for the yarn and hook you are using. You can crochet a 4x4" or 6x6" swatch to get a fair estimate of the stitch size. It does not need to be fancy or very big.

An example will be if you have a sweater pattern that you want to crochet. It calls for 4-Ply yarn with an "H" crochet hook. You have some really pretty 3-ply yarn that you want to use with an "F" hook. It will take more stitches across with 3-ply yarn and "F" hook, since 3-ply yarn and "F" hook are smaller. You need to determine how many stitches you will need between the measurements that the pattern recommends. You can always adjust ending rows at any time. If you don't get your width correct in the beginning, you will be ripping or very dissapointed because your sweater does not fit correctly.

The images below show a swatch that I crocheted. The bottom section of the swatch is done with a G crochet hook, 18 double crochet and is approximately 5" wide. The top section is crocheted with an N crochet hook, 18 double crochet and is approximately 7-1/4" wide. Just by that example alone you can see the width change in size by using a different crochet hook. The gauge changed quite a bit, when I changed the hook size.



What we want to do is determine how many stitches we will need if we are making something 10" wide with each hook. In the image on the left, we can see that there are 4 stitches in an inch with the G hook. There are 3 stitches per inch with the N hook. 10 x 4=40 stitches(G hook); 10 x 3 = 30 stitches (N hook). You may feel you need a few more or a few less stitches in your 10" example. That is where guesstimating will play a role. There are 6 crochet hook sizes between the example hooks that I used. You may find that with some hooks you will have a 3-1/2 stitches per inch. You may even have 3-3/4 stitches per inch. You will need to adjust accordingly since you are not able to crochet half of a stitch or 3/4 of a stitch.

You measure the same for your rows which are a little more forgiving to adjustment. In the image to the right you will see that there are 2 rows per inch for the G hook which will give us 20 rows in 10". The N hook has about 1-1/2 rows per inch. Once again will be some guesstimating since we are unable to make half of a row. It would be a fair estimate that there will be 15 rows in 10" for the N hook.

To put it simply, I am figuring how stitches are in an inch. How many rows are in an inch. How may stitches will be in 10" of width? How may rows will be in 10" of length. Gauge is something that only you can determine yourself.







18 comments:

  1. A fellow crocheterApril 12, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    Teresa I'm very grateful for the abundance of knowledge on your blog, especially with the explanations of crochet, techniques and such.

    You save me alot of time googling that's for sure! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. fellow crocheter,
    Thank you very much. I appreciate the comment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A fellow CrocheterApril 13, 2009 at 8:35 PM

    Your Welcome!

    Kind regards

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would like to second what A fellow crocheter said. Your willingness and kindness to share with us your knowledge of Crochet truly is a gift, and for all of us who follow you on here and Youtube a blessing.

    I actually learnt to crochet through your youtube Channel and Crochet has come to be one of my greatest loves.

    Thank you Teresa



    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous,
    Thank you for leaving a comment. It is always great to hear from everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hai Teresa
    I'm doing gr8 projects n learned a lot more easier from ur explainations.
    i hope u'll help me here.
    I'm little confused with the gauge.
    i dont have a size N hook (9mm),
    in the specification it says 9sc+8rnds=4in(10cm)
    i used a 5mm hook and i got exactly the half of it.
    if i double my work will i get the proper one
    for example it says
    Rnd 1: Work 8 sc in ring, join with sl st in beg sc.
    Rnd 2: Ch 1, work 2 sc in each sc around,
    join with sl st in beg ch - 16 sc.
    so if i start with 16sc in ring
    and continue on, will i get the required o/p.
    this is a backpack am doing for my son.
    i've actually started n little confused with my
    own approximation.
    thanx in advance

    ReplyDelete
  7. farha,
    You are going to have to modify and add more stitches and rounds to get your circle larger. You can try doubling your work but there is going to be trial and error involved.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for clearly explaining gauge. That can be a nightmare for most of us who love to "invent" garments and things using our hooks. I have also noticed a difference between plastic and aluminum hooks. They might not be the same size even if they claim to be. My Plastic G and H hooks are NOT the same size as my aluminum hooks of the same size. Something to keep in mind.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Teresa,

    You are a blessing in disguise. You help us a lot to learn what we love to do. All your tutorials are not just helpful but inspiring too. I thank you for all the videos and help.

    Surekha

    ReplyDelete
  10. Teresa
    can you show me an example of a pattern adjusted to fit the gauge i live in India and have yarns that are nearly equal to sock quality . i also have 3 friends who are expecting and i would like to gift all of them with baby items. can you help me on this same

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Teresa for your explanation on gauge here. It certainly helped me to guesstimate as you call it. I recently got an order for a baby jacket and I had the same concern for the gauge since the thread available is much much thinner than the one in the pattern. After calculations I managed to get number of stitches, amount of thread and also how many times the pattern repeatsin the front and back. I am excited as it is my first baby jacket project!

    ReplyDelete
  12. hi Teresa,
    so glad that i found your blog, really useful since i'm just started my new crochet hobby recently.
    thanks so much, may God bless u always :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello!
    I want to say that I love your videos onYouTube and that, thanks to you, I now have a new hobbie ^_^
    My mom in law taught me the basics: the chain, a single crochet, a double crochet. At the end of the day I wanted to do so much more! And thats were I found your awesome videos. Its so easy to follow and so well explained. I appreciate your hard work and dedication to this. And because of you, Ive learned to make beanies. My mom got laid off and Im actually selling them to help out at home. People like them a lot! If there's anyway possible I could send you pictures (if you're interested) so you can see what I've done thanks to you. :)

    -Yayi Mermaid

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you so much for everything you do on here! I just discovered your blog and it has already helped me so much! I began crocheting last year and haven't had much time for it because of school. I've had the "itch" lately and couldn't remember how to do much of anything. So I YouTubed and found you! I'm confident I won't have any problems anymore! I'm only able to do the basics, but I will definitely improve quickly. Thanks for all the videos! And thank you for posting slow motion footage. A lot of other videos I've seen don't have slow motion and I can't figure out what they're doing.
    You are awesome! I subscribed!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Teresa, I am like many of the people that follow your blog and YouTube channel..... so very grateful for all the effort you put into your videos, instructions and patterns.

    I have been recently make hats for a fund raiser that my dog rescue organization is having "Hats for Hounds". Anyway, I have a question/issue..... I have tried to vary the size of several of the hats you and others have posted patterns for - trying to make a variety of hats for children and adults. When I use the same weight of yarn, but a smaller size hook - say a D, F or G in place of I or J..... I often end up with a hat that could be used for a feed bucket! What in the world am I doing wrong? One would think that by using a smaller hook, but same size yarn, the end result would be smaller - not so big a horse could feed out of it! I have had this occur multiple times, with multiple different patterns. I am very consistent with the tension on my stitches, so I know that isn't the issue.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Shelley Moseley

    ReplyDelete
  16. Shelley,
    It sounds like you may be continuing to increase since the hat is getting larger with a smaller crochet hook. Compare your stitch count to the row to see if they are close.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi there. I keep having a problem with determining my gauge - my stitch count matches up but my rows never do. For instance, my pattern has a gauge of 10 stitches and 8 rows in dc = 3" square. I get 10 stitches in 3" but only 5 rows in 3". Do I decrease my needle size until I'm midway between each measurement or am I crocheting completely wrong or something??

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Please help I am trying to figure out big or small my table cloth will be using the thread and needle I am, the pattern call for a gauge of 2.25 x2.25 mine comes out 3 stitches wide and 4 rows to 1 inch, will my project be to big or to small? according to the direction it should be 52.5 wide and 80 long. Thank for your help

    ReplyDelete

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