Monday, August 27, 2012


A couple of days ago I got a question from a gal who's London Crochet Bag had gone wonky.  It had turned out tiny!  I didn't put a gauge guide at the beginning of the pattern, since (for the most part) if all the parts are crocheted by the same person with the same tension the bag will work.  Unfortunately, this was one of those exception-to-the-rule times...

So I crocheted a swatch.  I thought you might be interested in swatching, so I'm going to share what I know.  As a bonus, you'll be privy to the awesomeness that is the 'correct' gauge for the London Crochet Bag! Ahahaha!

 Okay, so I made my swatch 20 stitches wide and 14 rows long.  You don't need to measure the entire swatch, the most accurate sample of your stitch gauge is found in the center of the swatch.

**If (on another pattern) you see that the gauge is telling you the number of stitches that you should have over a certain number of inches - like 8 stitches = 3 inches - start with more than 8 stitches.  I multiply the stitch number by 1.5 (which in my example would give us 12 stitches) to use for a sample swatch.  Those side stitches are not an accurate representation of your stitch tension.**

 On my swatch, if you count it in the picture, you'll see that I get twelve and a half stitches measuring from the 1" mark to the 5" mark.  I'm going to round that up, since it's more than 12. **This works for bags and scarves, but if you're crocheting a sweater that half stitch would be a big deal over a couple hundred stitches. Designers don't round up on clothing.**  So my measurement is 13 stitches = 4 inches.  This is the most important number in a gauge measurement.

 The row measurement is taken across the swatch in the other direction.

Measuring from the 1" mark to the 5" mark gives us a measurement of 10 rows = 4 inches.  This measurement is harder to control than the stitch measurement.  If your measurement is waaaaay off, you might want to adjust the yarn and hook, but if you're close (and the stitch gauge is dead on... or close to it) I wouldn't worry about this number.

So for those of you who are making a London Crochet Bag, and want to do it 'right', your correct gauge is:

13 stitches = 4 inches
10 rows = 4 inches


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