Gauge Checking Crochet

Yea, I Don’t Really Check Gauge, But I Should

I have to admit that I am horrible at checking gauge when crocheting. I also have to admit that I haven’t really made clothing. To me it would be super important to check your gauge when making clothing. Not doing so is how you get one sleeve longer than the other. I usually make toys and patchwork type of blankets where gauge is, perhaps, not as important. I also have been making these things for a very long time. BUT, and it is a big but, I am starting to check gauge, getting better at it, in order to start making some incredibly beautiful tops shawls and skirts I have been seeing all over Pinterest.

What is Gauge

So what is gauge? Gauge is the numbers of stitches and rows to the inch. Too few or too many, even one, can throw off the whole pattern. The designer of a pattern writes the pattern based on the hook and stitches they are using. We crocheters have seen it on patterns and even the sleeves on the yarn. Your gauge, however may be a bit different. You might need to change hooks to obtain the desired gauge.

picture of yarn sleeve showing gauge.
Gauge on the Yarn Sleeve
picture of gauge requirements on a pattern.
Gauge on a Pattern

Check It Once, Check It Twice and Your Project Will Turn Out Nice.

The easiest what to check your gauge is to start with a sample square. Crochet a square, (swatch, sample) using the desired hook. If it calls for two different hook sizes, use the larger size. Make it at least 4 x 4 inches. Lay your sample on a flat surface. Using a ruler insert straight pins at least 2 inches apart. Count the stitches in between pins. This is your gauge. Now change the direction of the ruler and mark 2 inches . Count the number of rows. If you have more stitches/rows in between the pin than the directions says, try again with a bigger hook. And, of course, if you have less stitches/row between the pins, you need a smaller hook.

drawn picture of crochet rows marked with pins and ruler.

Here’s another type of gauge…