Tunisian Delight Sampler – Gauge

Today is Day 1 of our Rohn Strong May 2020 Crochet Along! As a reminder, we are crocheting the Tunisian Delight Sampler Afghan Crochet Along and I couldn’t be more excited! For all the information you need to get started including dates, yarn amounts, and more please head to this blog post HERE or watch this video below:

Today, we’re going to work our Gauge swatches and chat a bit about why gauge is so important, even on an afghan like this!

So, what is gauge.

Gauge, sometimes referred to as ‘tension’, is the number of stitches and rows per inch. This is listed in the pattern near the beginning and usually given in a 4 inch by 4 inch multiple.

For example, most of the blocks in this pattern have a gauge of 3 sts per inch and 3 rows per inch. Given in the 4 inch by 4 inch multiple, the pattern reads, 12 sts by 12 rows.

So, why do we try to match gauge in a pattern?

  1. You want to make sure your afghan comes out the right size.
  2. You want to make sure you have enough yarn!

Yarn is the biggie here. Because we are working from stash, ensuring we have the right gauge will mean we don’t need extra yarn. A tighter gauge than that I used will mean you need more yarn. A looser gauge will mean you need less yarn.

Why wouldn’t gauge match?

Chances are you are not using the same yarn and hook as me. You might hold your yarn a little different. You might even crochet different than me! All those things have a big impact on your gauge and can change the stitches and rows per inch.

So, keep that in mind!

Making the Gauge Swatch

The pattern below is what we will follow today. Remember, there is a video tutorial that covers all this info and shows how to work the gauge swatch, step by step. You can find that below!

Gauge Swatch Pattern

Ch 20

Foundation Row: With yarn in back, *insert hook in next ch, yarn over and pull up a loop; rep from * across. (20 loops)

Return Pass: Ch 1, *yarn over, pull through next 2 loops on hook; repeat from * until 1 loop remains on hook.

Row 1: With yarn in back, insert hook from right to left under next vertical bar, yarn over and pull up a loop; rep from * across. (20 loops)

Return Pass: Ch 1, *yarn over, pull through next 2 loops on hook; repeat from * until 1 loop remains on hook.

Rep Row 1, 8 more times. This will give you a total of 10 rows including the foundation row.

Last Row: With yarn in back, insert hook from right to left under next vertical bar, yarn over and pull up a loop, pull first loop near head of hook through loop on shaft of hook; rep across row.

This final row is called a tunisian slip stitch!

Image (C) Annie’s Publishing

That’s it! That is your gauge swatch!

Now, we need to get a ruler and measure our stitches and rows per inch. Count the number of sts and rows over four inches.

Now, if you have fewer stitches per inch than I do, you’re a tight crocheter and need to go up in hook size. If you have fewer stitches per inch than I do, you’re a loose crocheter and need to go down a hook!

Really, that is all there is to it!

But…what if I’m off?

It can be hard as heck to get the right gauge in tunisian crochet! Don’t fret though. I’m going to share my three tips for getting gauge in tunisian crochet the first time every time!

  1. Use the right hook. The general rule of thumb is that corded hooks will give you a slightly tighter gauge whereas straight hooks will give you a bit looser gauge. This isn’t universal but it’s one of those ‘rules’ that I’ve always followed. If you are typically a tighter crochet, stick with a straight hook. If you are a looser crocheter, try a corded hook!
  2. Rows vs Stitches. Typically it’s easier to change the row gauge versus the stitch gauge. Why? Well, the stitch gauge is, in part, determined by the row gauge. So, a tighter row gauge will often mean a tighter stitch gauge. Simply going up a single hook size won’t have the much of an impact on your stitch gauge, if you’re having trouble matching it. If your stitch gauge is really tight, you’ll want to go up two hook sizes, minimum.
  3. It’ll block out. What? Yes. I promise. Tunisian crochet has a touch of horizontal stretch which will make it easier to block your swatch and make it a touch wider. Have you ever heard the saying, “It’ll block out”? It will! I promise! This will only work if you’re less than an inch from the desired width. Anything more than an inch will not block out. It’ll result in a warped piece.

Getting gauge is tough, I know. It can be super frustrating but it is really really important to make sure that the piece you are working on is just the right size and you won’t ruin out of yarn. There is nothing worst than making a project and running out of yarn when you are nearly through! A correct gauge will make sure that doesn’t happen in the long run.

18 thoughts on “Tunisian Delight Sampler – Gauge

  1. Good morning Rohn!
    I am very excited about starting this project but I am Completely New to Tunisian Crochet and so I am hopefully looking for the video link for working the gauge swatch 🙂 I don’t see it listed in this blog post? Can you point me to it – thank you!

    1. Hi ECUTSINGER,

      I don;t know if Rohn has a how to start video but you can search in your tube for it. Good Luck and have fun.

  2. Hi Rohn,
    I am so excited to start. I am working on my gauge swatch and after reading the instructions I wanted to mention that I think you should mention that the last stitch on the forward pass needs to be under the 2 loops. Thanks Rohn for all you do.

    Cindy

  3. Hi Again Rohn,

    I finished my gauge swatch and I’m getting the 3 x 3 per inch. But I am using a 8 mm hook. Yesterday I did 3 little swatches to see what size hook I wanted to use for the fabric to come out the way I wanted. And I am using Caron one pound. Just a FYI for everyone.

    Thanks,
    Cindy

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