>The Trouble with Gauge

>I am a big proponent of doing gauge swatches for knitting and crochet projects. I know sometimes that’s not what people want to hear, but when it’s a question of getting the right size or something that’s too large or, worse, too small, gauge swatches are extremely important.

But, what happens when you’re going out of town, and you pack a project that you want to start, but you only pack one needle or hook? You wing it! That’s what I did when I went to DisneyWorld this past weekend with my son and his friend. I took a crochet project, the crocheted Maid Marian hat by Grace Akhrem. I want to make this as a Chemo Hat (check out my previous blog post on that), so I chose a worsted weight yarn that had no wool or other scratchy fibers in it – Classic Elite’s Classic Silk. It’s a lovely yarn, and it would be perfect for a chemo hat. I took the hook size recommended in the pattern – a #7 (4.5mm) which is between a G and an H hook. And, away I went.


Well, I knew pretty soon that my gauge must be off. You start this hat by doing to the bottom portion from side to side. The pattern said I should complete 32 repeats of the 2 rows that make up the stitch pattern. I stopped at 28 repeats, because that’s what fit around my head (and I have a big head). So I went ahead & started the top part of the hat, making a few adjustments to the pattern to accommodate the fewer repeats. After the first decrease round for the top, I decided to try it on:I have several rounds to go before the end of the hat – and I already look like a cone-head! I can only image what the hat would have looked like if I had done 32 repeats!

So what does it all mean? I’m back to the drawing board. I’ve decided that the yarn probably would be too thick and stiff if I went down one or two hook sizes; so I’ve abandoned the Classic Silk. (Don’t worry, it will get used for something else!) Next, I’m going to try a lighter weight yarn – a DK weight instead of the called for worsted weight. I’ll try it with the same hook size. And, guess what? I plan on doing a gauge swatch first!

Lesson learned! For the umpteenth time!

And, just in case you didn’t see this on FB, here’s a photo of me knitting in line at DisneyWorld. Aren’t we knitters and crocheters lucky that we have something to occupy us while we have to wait?

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