Checking Your Gauge

What is gauge? Gauge is simply how many stitches or rows there are in an inch of crocheting or knitting using a specific hook or needle size. The gauge helps determine the size of your finished project, so do not overlook the gauge given at the beginning of the pattern. Otherwise your project may not be the correct size when you are finished.

To check your gauge, make a small swatch with the type of yarn and the size of hook or needles specified in the instructions. Make the swatch several inches square (usually 4"), block it, then measure the swatch. Count your stitches and rows carefully to see if they match the required gauge in the instructions. If you get more stitches to the inch than called for, you are working too tightly and need to change to a larger hook or needles.

If you get fewer stitches to the inch than called for, you are working too loosely and should change to a smaller hook or needles. Keep trying until you find the right hook or needle size that will give you the specified gauge.

Never start your work until you have obtained exactly the right gauge. If necessary, make several sample swatches until the gauge is correct. Also make sure to check your gauge throughout the project to ensure the correct size.