The Sewing Place

getting the crochet gauge right


getting the crochet gauge right
« on: March 27, 2018, 18:34:03 PM »
Hello all, I'm quite experienced at crochet, and have done  lot - but always the forgiving sort of shawls, blankets, scarves etc. I've taken the plunge and bought a book of clothes patterns, liking the look of a cardigan. It's a US book.
I have done my test pieces - I should be using a 4mm hook with double knitting wool, and a piece 14 st x 8 rows of double crochet (US) should be 10cms. square. I am now up to a 5.5 hook - 8 rows are 10cms but 14sts only 9cms.
I don't have a 6mm hook - happy to get one, but am feeling that I must be getting something wrong.
And yes, I am dojng the US double crochet stitch, not the British one!
I'd be very grateful for any pointers, otherwise I'll be doing extra stitches and/ or fewer rows. I would say however, tht with a 5.5mm hook the spacing does look about right.


Re: getting the crochet gauge right
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 20:35:56 PM »
I don't crochet but when I knit I often find my tension swatches are not quite square.  I think you have to compromise.  If it's a bit small on number of stitches I may knit the next size up but knit to the length I want - there's usually plenty of scope for adjusting the length.
Life's too short for ironing.


Re: getting the crochet gauge right
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2018, 09:33:50 AM »
I don't crochet, but as a machine knitter I have always found that even with apparently similar yarns you can get quite wide variations in the result after doing your tension piece. Even with identical yarns from the same manufacturer, two different colours can give slightly different results. Maybe you just need to adjust your stitches and rows as you go to achieve the size you want?


Re: getting the crochet gauge right
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2018, 10:54:53 AM »
Crochet tension swatches are like knitting swatches in that the edges are often wonky, so you should be making a square about 15cm x 15cm and measuring in the middle of it.

Wash and 'block' the square as you will the finished cardigan.

Are you using the exact same yarn as the pattern specifies?  Double knitting, worsted and aran weights of wool/yarn are all rather vague terms and merge into each other.  One DK yarn can be much thicker than another DK yarn.

If you really can't make row and stitch guage together then, assuming it's worked lengthways and not sideways, it's more imprtant to get the stitch count right if you want the cardi to fit and add in a few extra rows as necessary to get the required length.  That might mean a bit of maths when it comes to shaping sleeves  :o .
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.


Re: getting the crochet gauge right
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 14:37:37 PM »
Many thanks all. I am not  a good knitter (can't keep the tension) so couldn't translate the experience across.
I think the point about the yarn is a good one. I bought a cheap acrylic 'on offer' because I was uncertain as to how it would go (and I do like the colour very much). It says 'treat as DK' so that, I suspect, is where the main issue is. It it has hooked up nice and evenly, which is helpful
I'm going to try a 6mm hook, but no bigger, and will just have to practice my arithmetic! It is a very simple pattern so shouldn't be too difficult (!)
It's also a pattern that, if need be, I can edge in a different yarn, but I have bought some extra, so fingers crossed.
Thanks again, and all have a lovely Easter!


Re: getting the crochet gauge right
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2018, 16:51:56 PM »
Just to say that I have got the swatch just about right. 5.5mm hook, doesn't sag when I hang it up (6mm hook too loose) but now I have to do arithmetic - 16 stitches for every 14 in the pattern! But length is right.

I'm now actually putting it away - probably for most of the summer - I have a blanket to finish for Loving Hands, and have agreed to contribute to the huge poppy display planned in our village - I am a little dubious - but will show willing by contributing poppies, and leave the 'display' to those with the vision!

At least when that is done, I can pick it up and begin - many thanks all.


Re: getting the crochet gauge right
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 18:55:45 PM »
Just a thought - you mentioned it is an American book.  You probably know this so just ignore.

American crochet and English crochet terms refer to different stitches.  If you use English stitches with American terms the guage will be wrong.
See here for the conversions -


Re: getting the crochet gauge right
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 17:48:24 PM »
Thanks Morgan - yes, I'm used to using switching between American and English crochet terms, so I did check the stitches and the hook size! As I said, I have been rather lackadaisical about sizes until now.

I think that I must crochet rather 'tightly' as I was just given a poppy pattern for our village display,and hooked up to instructions, I produced a tiny poppy! However, my next go worked well - I don't know the size of the hook as it was given to me by my grandmother, who taught me to crochet, it is ivory (so can't ever be sold!) with a large hook at one end and a small at the other. I am glad to be using it, remembering her talking about her brother who died in WW1.