A few weeks ago I saw a pin for this really adorable crochet child’s hoodie. I was positive that my daughter would look super cute in it. Plus, it would double as a fall and spring jacket.
I quickly made my way to my local craft store to purchase some yarn.
Needless, to say I was really excited. This was going to be my first time making an actual crochet garment.
I’ve made scarves, headbands, and shawls before, but none of them had to be an exact fit.
If you haven’t read any of my other crochet posts you would know that I am notorious for just jumping right in and not following directions to the “T”.
Which is fine, when the fit doesn’t matter.
So I did what I usually do.
I jumped right in and started working through the pattern.
After putting in about two days worth of work, I made it to the part where it was time to assemble the shoulders and arm holes.
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 a struggle the other arm went in.
Sadly, it was way to small for her. It looked like it was about to burst at the seams if she moved any more.
I was so disappointed. All that time wasted creating something that wasn’t going to fit her.
Where had I gone wrong? I looked back at the pattern.
I had followed the instructions as they had been written (for a change).
That couldn’t have been the issue…then at the top of the page I saw the recommended crochet gauge, for the hoodie. next to the words,” make sure you CHECK YOUR GAUGE!
What is a Crochet Gauge?
If you don’t know what a crochet gauge is, you’re not alone. I had to do a little bit of research before I understood what it was.
A crochet gauge tells you the number of stitches and the number of rows you should have in a 4×4 in square using a specific sized hook and yarn.
This square is known as a gauge swatch.
For some crochet patterns like dishcloths or scrubbies, 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.
How To Make A Gauge Swatch
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,yarn weight, and crochet hook used in the crochet pattern.
You can create a 4×4 in square swatch or you can make your swatch a little larger.
The recommended gauge for the hoodie I was working on was 11 hdc (half double crochets) and 10 rows in a 4x 4 in square.
Obviously, since I had followed the pattern and it turned out too small my gauge must have been wrong. I just didn’t know how wrong.
In typical fashion, I created my own gauge swatch, but instead of creating a 4” square I just crocheted 11 hdc and 10 rows.
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”. Based on my swatch I was way off the mark.
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.
Have you ever crocheted something and it turned out too small or too large? How did you fix it? Thanks for reading!
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Until Next Time,
The Crafty Afro