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HOW DO I MEASURE THE SWATCH?
~Leave your swatch to relax overnight before measuring. This is because you have put tension on the yarn when crocheting, the yarn needs time to relax.
~Place swatch on a firm surface. Some people prefer to pin to a padded firm surface like a firm cushon or a folded towel/ blanket. Others prefer a flat hard surface. For slipply yarns I have used sand/ glass paper (no need to use pins, just be careful of distorting the swatch and removing it from the sand/ glass paper). Try the different methods till you find the one you like.
~Using pins as markers measure 10cm (4inches) across the centre of your swatch, count your stitches. Repeat this two more times approx. 5cm (2inches) each side of your centre measurement. Use the average measurement ie. if your centre is 20 stitches, your next measurement 21 stitches and your final measurement 19 stiches. You add the 3 measurements together 20+21+19=60 than divide by 3 (because you made 3 measurements) 60/3= 20 So your stitches would be 20 stitches = 10cm (4inches)
Repeat same method for the rows starting at the centre pin measure and count rows. Repeat twice more.
This might seem long but it will only take a few minutes.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CROCHET TOO LOOSELY?
~Use a smaller hook size, until you get the desired measurements.
~This might seem strange but make sure you are not putting to much tension on your yarn. This can pull the stitch you previously made too much making it loose.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CROCHET TOO TIGHT?
~Use a larger hook size, until you get the desired measurements
~Make sure your yarn goes around the barrel (the stitch should be the same size as the hook barrel) of the hook not just the end of the hook. This is a common problem with tight crocheting. Tight crocheters also tend to wind the yarn several times around their fingerers, this is not only very bad for the nerves and blood flow in those fingers but also bad for your crochet. Try and wind less, it may feel strange at first but it will improve your crochet and less pain in the hand and fingers. Relax.
MY PATTERN SAID 4 STITCHES AND 4 ROWS = 1INCH (2.5cm) CAN I MAKE A VERY SMALL SWATCH?
~No still make a large swatch..
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TENSION AND GAUGE?
~Tension is used in English patterns and Gauge is used in American patterns. So both words mean the same thing.
WHAT DO I DO WITH THE TENSION (GAUGE) SWATCH WHEN I HAVE FINISHED MEASURING IT?
~If you are not going to use that yarn again you can undo your stitches and use the yarn for sewing up your item.
~Or keep swatches until you have enough to make a crazy patchwork type quilt.
~Or (I recommend this) keep your swatches in a file with your patterns, pictures of your finished items and your notes (if you needed to use a smaller/ larger hook than recommended etc.) You never know when you may need the pattern again and you will have a good visual record of your work.
~If you a designer and/ or maker you should keep a record of your work. A loose leaved file will keep everything neat and tidy. Remember to date items and keep receipts too. I recommended for the designer you also file your ideas and costing sheets. Michelle Ryan 2000 For personal use only
Crochet Tension or Gauge Swatch
WHAT IS A TENSION OR GAUGE SWATCH?
~Basically a square crocheted to determine the stitches, rows, look and feel over a set measurement, normally 10cm X 10cm (4inches X 4inches)
~Think of the tension (gauge) swatch, as not only a way of measuring but also a way to get a feel of the yarn you will be using.
WHY SHOULD I MAKE A TENSION (GAUGE) SWATCH?
~Most patterns will have a suggested tension or gauge. The designer has written the pattern so the finished item will be a certain size, look and feel. So its not just size affected by the wrong tension (gauge). ~Loose crocheting will hang (drape) differently and can look untidy.
~Tight crocheting may not only make an inflexible too firm fabric but when washed, because yarn absorbs water and swells making the fabric even tighter, this can cause damage and holes.
~If you are thinking about designing your own item/ s. Start getting into good design practice now, always make a tension (gauge) swatch.
HOW DO I MAKE A TENSION (GAUGE) SWATCH?
~Before you crochet sit in a chair with a cushion supporting your lower back. Relax. Have a notepad and pen ready in case you have a problem with the pattern or yarn. Also a good idea is to write yourself a note about how you liked/ disliked using the yarn. If you dislike the yarn making a swatch and have to make a large garment maybe it is better to plan a different project?
~If you are following a pattern it will give you the stitch or pattern repeat, the required hook size and the measurements. If a pattern has 20 stitches X 16 rows = 10cms (4inchs) DO NOT make your swatch 20 stitches wide add approx.4-6 stitches extra. The edge stitches always have a different tension to the main fabric, you should measure over the main part of the pattern not the edges. The same goes for the rows add a few extra rows so you are not including the start chain and last rows in your measurements.
Take time to read the pattern. You are now ready to make your swatch.
~If you are making a swatch for designing purposes it is always a good idea to make a much larger swatch, you can than see and feel the drape of the fabric . This will improve your design knowledge.
Copyright 2002-2015 | Michelle Ryan and Nezumiworld | All rights reserved | For personal use only
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