Posted in Crafting Corner, crochet

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  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 right 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  the shoulders.

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 obviously to small for her. It looked like it was going to pop if she moved to much.

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Needless to say I was 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 recommended gauge 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

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