In yesterday’s post, I shared 20 reasons why being a crocheter makes it easier to learn knitting. One of those reasons is that you already know what gauge is from crochet. Therefore, you can apply the skill to knitting. However, I know that some people do avoid dealing with gauge. Therefore, even as an experienced crocheter, you might not know how to calculate crochet gauge. I decided to share an older video with you here today so that you can learn or brush up on this skill.
What Is Gauge in Crochet?
Oftentimes crafters think of gauge as something really complicated. However, when you put it simply:
Crochet gauge is just a measure of the size of your stitches.
That’s all it really is. You calculate crochet gauge to determine how wide your crochet stitches are as well as how tall they are.
Everyone Crochets a Little Bit Differently
In theory, if you’re following a pattern correctly, then you should crochet a piece exactly like the designer intended, right? Wrong. Because everyone crochets a little bit differently. Even though you’re using the same crochet hook and yarn as the pattern suggests, your gauge might be different from the designer’s. In other words, the width and/or height of your stitches might differ from the designers.
After all, we each have different tension when we crochet. Some of us crochet really tight. Others crochet very loose. And these small differences can add up to huge differences when you’re working on a large project. That’s why designers calculate crochet gauge and share it in their patterns. When you begin a crochet project, you should do a swatch to check for gauge. Measure it against the designer’s recommendation. If yours is smaller, then you might go up a hook size to compensate. Likewise, if your stitches are bigger than the designer’s are then you might go down a hook size.
Why Is Crochet Gauge Important
It’s important to calculate crochet gauge at the beginning of a project for a number of reasons. These include:
- Your wearables might not fit if you’re gauge doesn’t match the designers.
- Even with non-wearables, you need to crochet to gauge if you want the item to be the same size as intended.
- If you don’t calculate for gauge, then you might run out of yarn. The recommended yarn amount is for the gauge the designer used. Therefore, if you crochet “bigger,” then you use more yarn.
Can I Calculate Crochet Gauge Once and Know What it Is Forever?
At first glance, it sounds like you can calculate crochet gauge once. Then you know how you crochet and can adjust to patterns accordingly.
Unfortunately, you have to do a gauge swatch every time. Your own gauge isn’t going to be the same each time. There are too many factors that go into it including:
- Your tension, which changes depending on your level of stress, tiredness, and whether you’re trying a new or familiar crochet technique.
- The yarn that you’re using. Even one worsted weight yarn can create different gauge than another in the same weight.
- Your crochet hook. You might crochet differently depending on the hook you’re using.
- The stitch pattern in the project. Your gauge is different if you’re working single crochet than if you’re working front post double crochet.
Therefore, you can’t just say, “oh my gauge is this.” Instead, you should gauge swatch every time that you start working on a new crochet pattern. Don’t worry; it gets easier with time.
How to Calculate Crochet Gauge
Now that you understand why it’s important to figure out your gauge for each crochet project, it’s time to learn how to do it. Here’s your answer: