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Hey everyone! I’m here today to talk about gauge. Once you’ve been crocheting or knitting for a little while, you’ve probably notice that on the patterns, there’s this little part that says gauge. Let me tell you about it.
What is gauge?
In crocheting or knitting, gauge is a way of measuring how thick or thin, tall or short your stitches are. So if it says 8 double crochet = 3 inches, that means if I measure the distance, 8 double crochet stitches wide that would be 3 inches on my tape measure or on my ruler. By the same token, if it says that like 12 rows is 4 inches, then if I measure 12 rows up, I would see on my tape measure that it’s 4 inches.
We all crochet just a little bit differently. If I had worsted weight yarn and a size 8 hook, and my friend had worsted weight yarn and a size 8 hook, even if we both made a piece 20 stitches wide with the exact same stitches, it wouldn’t be the exact same size. One of us would be crocheting a tiny bit tighter and have a smaller piece. The other person might be crocheting a tiny bit looser and have a larger piece.
Why is gauge important?
The gauge of your stitches, whether your stitches are bigger or smaller, affects two things.
First, it’s going to affect the amount of yarn you use. The pattern states the amount of yarn required that’s based off the given gauge. If your stitches are tighter and smaller, you’re going to use less yarn. If your stitches are bigger or wider, you’re going to use more yarn.
The second thing gauge changes is the finished size. If your stitches are smaller than the stated gauge, your finished piece is going to be smaller than the finish measurements listed on the pattern. What looks like a nice lapghan size is really going to be closer to a baby blanket when you’re done. By the same token, if your stitches are bigger or taller than the stated gauge, that newborn cardigan you make is really going to fit a 3 or a 4 year old. That’s why it’s so important to check your gauge and match your gauge to the pattern.
There’s more about gauge
In future posts , I will show you how to measure your gauge, and some ways and tricks you can use to match the gauge in a stated pattern.
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