Posted in Crafting Corner

Why You Should Pay Attention to Crochet Gauges

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Photo by Imani on Unsplash

A few weeks ago I saw a pin for the pattern for this really adorable crochet child’s hoodie. I just knew my daughter would look super cute in it. Besides fall is right around the corner so why not make her something cute to wear once the temperature drops.

I quickly made my way to my local craft store to purchase some yarn. This was the first time I had ever tried to make an actual garment like a hoodie. Usually, I crochet scarfs, headbands, amigurumi, and shawls, etc. Things that don’t require a precision to make.

If you haven’t read my other crochet post you would also know that I’m notorious for just jumping right in and not following directions to the “T”. Which when your making scarves and headbands you can kind of freestyle it and things usually turn out alright.

So I did what I usually do. I just jumped write in and started following the pattern. After putting in about two days worth of work I made it to the part of the pattern to sew together the shoulders and the armholes.

I quickly stitched everything together, I was so excited to try it on my daughter even though it wasn’t completely finished. I got one arm in and with a bit of struggle her other arm went in. But it was way to small for her. It looked like it was going to pop if she moved to much.

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I was so disappointed. All that wasted time to create something that when completed wouldn’t fit her. Where did I go wrong? I looked back at the pattern. I had followed the instructions as they were written (for a change). So that couldn’t be the issue…then at the top, I saw the recommended gauge for the hoodie next to the words,” make sure you CHECK YOUR GAUGE!”.

The recommended gauge was 11 hdc (half double crochets) and 10 rows in 4” square. Obviously, since I had followed the pattern and it turned out too small my gauge must have been wrong.

If you don’t know what gauge is in crochet. Gauge is the number of stitches and the number of rows created per inch using a specific size hook and yarn. In most crochet patterns the gauge is determined by the number of stitches and rows within a 4” square of the work.

For some crochet patterns like dishcloths or other items where size doesn’t really matter. Gauge is not important. However, if you are going to create a hat or some other kind of garment then trying to replicate the gauge used is extremely important.

Every one crochets differently and if you want your garment to turn out right (and not wrong like mine did) then you need to check your gauge by making a gauge swatch. You should make your swatch using the same stitches in the crochet pattern.

You can create a 4” square swatch or you can make your swatch a little larger 5-6’ square to measure your gauge.

 

In typical fashion, I created my own gauge swatch, but instead of creating a 4” square I just crocheted 11hdc and 10 rows. Based on my swatch I was way off the mark. I tend to crochet tightly especially when using the smaller hook sizes. After 11 dc my width was only about 2.5” and my row height was only a little over 2.5”.

After learning the hard way. I’ve realized that when it comes to making clothing in crochet that gauge is very important. If you don’t follow the gauge in the pattern your item can end up being too small or too large.

I’m just glad that I didn’t complete the whole thing only to find out that it didn’t fit.

Until I’ve figured out how to fix my gauge I will have to put this project on hold, but when I’ve figured it out I’ll share my finished product with you guys.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Uncategorized

Those Along the Walk

It has been a while since I have written a blog post. The past two weeks seem like they have been impossibly long and full of every kind of excuse and distraction to prevent me from writing.

First, the kids were off for a week because of Hurricane Florence, which we didn’t get hit by. So the house we full of little people. Then the week after that I had to focus on getting my sermon prepared for Sunday, which is always a stressful process for me.

I am grateful that the kids are finally back in school and we are able to get back on a normal schedule.

At some point during all of this chaos, I started going to the track in the morning with my daughter to walk/jog. I try to complete a mile every day. However, I’m not going to lie. I despise walking. I ran track in high school and college.

So I tend to do a lot more jogging. I know we are all so busy going about our day and we don’t have time to stop and really look at anything. But have you ever stopped to look at the people around you when you are out? Or the people that are around you where you work?

It’s not often that most of us really observe our surroundings, but one day I began to really look at the people on the track around me.

There were young men, old men, young ladies, and older ladies. Sometimes there were mothers with their babies and kids in tow like me. Most of the time people either had on their headphones and walked alone, but there were a few that walked together and chatted with each other.

As I began to take notice of the people around me. I noticed something, their attire. Every morning when I go for our walk I put on a pair of tights, a t-shirt, and a pair of running shoes. Standard work out attire for me.

However, I’ve seen people walking dressed like me. I’ve seen a woman walk her laps in a dress. Men walking in nice polos. Young men dressed in sweatshirts. Older women wearing large hats. Some people had on sweatpants, jogging pants or jeans.

At first, this puzzled and irritated me, but then I began to think about life. And how we are all on the same path, but on individual journeys. Even though we were all walking in the same place at the same time our journey’s were not the same. Maybe for my journey, I need tights, a t-shirt, and running shoes. Maybe for someone else, their journey requires them to be in a dress and sneakers.

During our journey, we may walk along with friends and for other parts, we will walk alone. Sometimes we will walk and sometimes we will run. And sometimes were like the baby in the stroller or carrier being pushed/carried along by God until we can run on our own.

What observations have you made about the people around you? Have they ever lead to some deeper insight into life? I’d love to hear them.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro