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Ways To Improve Your Crochet Swatches

Did you know, I was making and measuring crochet swatches incorrectly since I picked up the craft?! You might be doing it too. When I finally started grading my work, there was material that told me how to measure a swatch. I thought to myself “why would you need to write that in this?!”, well, there was a reason.

Let’s jump how we can improve our crochet swatches.

Super cute Puff V-Stitch swatch.

Why should you make a swatch?

If you are making a fitted garment, you will benefit by having the correct gauge. If you don’t swatch and your gauge is off, you might end up with a stiff, tight garment OR it’ll be big and baggy. This will also determine how much yarn you need. The tighter the stitch, you don’t need as much and the looser the stitch, you’ll need more. So it’s a crucial reason why you need to swatch.

When you are about to make your swatch, read the designer’s pattern carefully. Does the item need to be blocked or unblocked? When measuring an unblocked swatch, you won’t get the gauge for a blocked swatch. When it’s blocked, it’ll be bigger than intended and you might be using more yarn!

How to make a swatch.

When a pattern says you need 18 stitches x 10 rows for your 10cm/4inch of SC for your gauge, don’t just make a swatch with 18 sts and 10 rows of SC. When you make a swatch like this, you are actually measuring and including the beginning and end of each row. The start of every row will most likely be a chain which is a different stitch to your SC. When measuring the height of rows, it doesn’t include another row going through the top of the stitches, which creates stretch.

I recommend adding 2-4 stitches and 2-4 rows extra to your swatch, allowing you to measure the middle.

How to measure your swatch.

Ever noticed the space between your stitches? When you make the last step of your stitch it creates the loop at the top and the space underneath it. This is actually part of your stitch and shouldn’t be excluded when measuring your swatch.

When measuring the stitches in your swatch, start from the 3rd stitch to the left of your work. With your measuring tape, ensure your tape starts at the gap before your 3rd stitch. Follow your tape to the 10cm/4inch mark. In my tutorial (link below), I have 4 and 1/2 stitches, as the 10cm mark lands in the gap after the 4th post.

When measuring the rows in your swatch, ensure you start from the 2nd row and find the top. Remember, the 1st row was inserted into the second. To see a visual, I have a tutorial link below.

To see how this is done, check out my YouTube video here.

I hope you found this useful, if you have any comments or questions or suggestions, comment below.

Happy Crafting! xoxo


Disclaimer: Any tips I share in my blog posts are my personal experiences and my own opinion.

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