Crochet Gauge: The complete guide with 7 important things you need to know

crochet gauge measure
Is crochet gauge an alien term for you?

Does Crochet gauge overwhelm you?

I completely get you. I have always tried avoiding gauge measurement and swatching for as long as I can remember. But not anymore. I guess now I understand the reason, it was because I did not clearly understand what it was and how to go about with it. There is tons of information on it on the net but I never bothered looking😬.So I thought that after so many years of crocheting it was time for discussing the topic that overwhelmed me the most.

Let me start with the list of 7 important things that I will cover for you here today on crochet gauge measurement

  1. What is crochet gauge measure
  2. How to measure gauge
  3. Why is gauge important
  4. When is it a must to measure gauge
  5. When can measuring gauge be ignored
  6. What are the tools for measuring gauge
  7. How to fix slight gauge difference for any pattern

1. What is crochet gauge measure?

First of all it is really important to understand what crochet gauge is in simplified terms. So it is nothing but a count of number of stitches and number of rows per 4″ or 2″. That is just measure 2 inches horizontally and count the number of stitches or pattern repeats and repeat again vertically and count the number of rows. This will give you the gauge. Alternately this can also be done for 4inches, or whatever the pattern calls for.

2. How to measure gauge?

Now that you know what crochet gauge measure is, let’s see how to actually measure gauge.

Gauge is usually measured before the start of the actual project. You need to make a test swatch slightly bigger than 4 inches in width as well as height.

Measure the gauge on it and compare it with the requirement on the pattern and make adjustments as needed to match it correctly.

3. Why is gauge important?

The important question now is why do you need to measure gauge.

Well, all the crocheters are different with different style or crocheting as well as different tension of work. This makes measuring gauge so critical. I crochet very loose which gives all me crochet projects good elasticity and drape. But again because of this I usually end up making oversize pieces. So in order to match the gauge I need to go down the hook size or the yarn size.

Same goes for those who crochet tight. They might end up getting smaller crochet piece than the intend to make.

So in order to get the correct size and a perfect fir at all times it is really important to measure crochet gauge before you start doing the actual project.

For me I always feel making a test swatch will wast the yarn and I vaunt be able to use the swatch later on. But that is not true I learned that the hard way. Making something without proper gauge can waste a lot of precious and hard work. And it feels really sad to frog(Unravel) something that you put in so much effort crocheting.

Therefore in order to save a lot of time and a lot more hard work it is always the best to make a test swatch first to be sure of the tension and then start working on the crochet project.

4. When is it a must to measure crochet gauge?

All this being said, it is not always very important to measure gauge. There are certain projects where it is a must and there are a few where it can be completely ignored and there there are some where you can choose to ignore it.

Here are a few examples where it is a must to measure gauge:

  1. Sweaters, vests and jackets
  2. Hats and beanies
  3. Gloves and mittens
  4. Blankets
  5. Cushion covers etc.
These are just a few examples. the basic idea is that anything that needs to be fitted or should have a particular required size should be made after measuring crochet gauge properly.

5. When can measuring gauge be ignored?

As I said before, it is not always important to measure crochet gauge. There are a few projects where you can ignore measuring gauge if you do not desire an exact size product.

Some examples are:

  1. Earrings, necklaces, rings.
  2. Hair-clips, hair bands, hair combs
  3. Book marks, planner tabs
  4. Doilies, coasters
  5. Scarves, shawls
  6. Amigurumi
This being said here you can choose to ignore measuring gauge. Like I don’t mind wearing bigger or smaller earrings. When doing scarves sometimes I get super scarves instead or normal one but I absolutely love super scarves so that works for me.For example if you want to do a crochet shawl, is it is a particular shape then I would advice to measure gauge. But there is always an option of increasing or decreasing the pattern repeat in rows as will as number of row repeats to adjust the length and width of. rectangular shawl.

I usually do this adjustment rather than stitching to the gauge ant a stiffer fabric.

This is something that varies person to person. So before starting a project give it a thought what you want the end result to be and decide accordingly if you want to ignore crochet gauge measurement.

6. What are the tools for measuring gauge?

The truth is you do not need any specialised tool to measure gauge.

Just a simple measuring tape or a ruler would be enough. But there are a few gauge measuring tools available out there for knitters and crocheters that you might want to try.

There are common for both knitters and crocheters. You will get these with 2 inches slots as well as 4 inches slot. Both will serve the purpose.

Other than the above two stated tools you can also make a DIY gauge measuring tool with plain cardboard piece and a cutter or pencil knife. All you need is a 5 inches square of cardboard. Cut out exactly 4 inches by 4 inches piece from the inside of it. Thats it. Place this frame on your swatch and count how many stitches and rows are falling inside the frame.

7. How to fix slight crochet gauge difference for any pattern?

If you are following a pattern or designing one on your own, there is usually a slight variation in the gauge. Fixing this variation is fairly easy.

If your swatch is bigger than what you want go for a size or two smaller hook. If it is smaller increase the hook size.

Other than this try using bigger yarn. like use size 3 instead of size 2 to increase the gauge or go down the size to reduce.

These are the two ways of getting the correct gauge: by adjusting the hook size and by adjusting the yarn size.

I hope you found the post useful.

In case you want to save it for reading later here is a pin for you to save on your Pinterest board.

Happy crocheting!

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