Understanding gauge in crochet is one of the most important things a beginner in crochet can know! If you have found yourself here you are probably wondering what the term “Gauge” means and why it is so important to following crochet patterns.
What is Gauge?
Gauge in crocheting refers to the number of stitches inside a specific length of pattern. For example, a pattern might say:
There are 12 stitches or 4 three double crochet clusters for every 4 inches.
This means that if you have more or less than 12 stitches inside 4 inches (~10 cm) of your crocheted item, then the final size will be either larger or smaller than the designer intended.
Why is Gauge Important?
A gauge is a great tool for making sure all your crocheted pieces have a similar unified look when finished. If you skip the gauge part of any pattern, you more than likely will have a hat or blanket that is either bigger or smaller than the designer intended.
When following the recommended gauge in patterns it will help guarantee that you will get the correct size as indicated by the pattern you are following.
Gauge is important to follow so you don’t end up with a finished crochet project that is too big or too small. It tells you the number of stitches that you will need in a certain measurement of a project.
How to Check Crochet Gauge
Gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch in a pattern. Gauge is a way to make sure the pattern you are crocheting works out to be the size it was intended.
I would suggest making a practice swatch (a smaller version of the pattern) which is usually a 5-6″ piece to make sure your stitches are correctly meeting the required gauge for the project.
There are many tools like this Susan Bates Gauge Tool to help you out. Sometimes your gauge may be bigger or smaller than the required gauge so you will need to use a smaller or larger crochet hook to obtain the correct gauge.
Where Do I Find the Gauge in Crochet Patterns?
Most crochet patterns today have a section near the top for gauge. When reading patterns you may have seen something similar to:
- “(X amount) of ST’S for every (X amount) of inches“
- “4 ST (stitches) for every 2 inches“
What the above example, means is… You will need to make sure that you have 4 ST’s (stitches) for every 2″ of the pattern you are working on. Sometimes patterns will even have how high the rows should be.
The same measuring rule will apply to rows also. To help with measuring I like to use a tape measure to make sure my gauge is spot on with every project.
When reading a pattern and you see that the crochet designer says ST’s in the gauge that will mean whatever stitches they have used to make the pattern with which may be single crochet, double crochet depending on the design.
I hope this explanation helped and if you have any questions, please feel free to join the Easy Crochet Facebook group where a group of lovely crocheters will be more than happy to help you out.