Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Size matters when your hooking....

Same yarn, exact same pattern, diffrent sized crochet hooks. The Square on the right was crocheted with a 3.00 mm Japaneses 'Fenq C' brand hook, the square of the right was made with a Boye 1.8mm steel hook. The square on the right is roughly 3/4 the size of the left square, they are both 2 rounds of a granny done exactly the same way.

The yarn I am using is a two ply cotton, lace weight that I picked up from the thrift store near me, it was nearly a 1/2 full cone but no brand lables just a sticker on the inside stating 100% cotton.

This is one way to adjust a 'pattern' but you don't want to change the hook size to much or you will wind up with  something that just looks scraggly and will not hold it's shape.  My tension also gets tighter as my hook sizes gets smaller its something I personally need to work on.

Knowing your gauge for different weights of yarn can be helpful when you want to do a project but dont have the right weight yarn, or if your new to crochet and dont happen to have the right sized hook.    On the larger square with my 3.00mm hook I got 6 stitches per 1 inch where as with my 1.8mm hook it was 8 stitches per 1 inch,  this lets me know if I wanted to match the size of the larger square but I only had the smaller hook I would have to adapt and work 3 rows of the granny square pattern to = 2 rows done with the 3.00mm hook.

Now these examples are done with my small set of hooks that I normally reserve for tiny crochet but the theory applies to larger hook sizes.  Say you want to make my penguin pattern, but a 3 to 4 inch tall toy is to small you want something to cuddle with, instead of using a E/3.5mm try working it up in a H/5mm hook and that should make it roughly 8 to 10 inches tall it will also eat up more yarn.  Now if you tried working it up with a Q/16mm hook it would have gaps, you would need to adjust and used a more bulky yarn or even held 3 strands of worst weight together because a Q hook is more then 5 times the size of the original hook intended for the patter and there for the yarn which means you will need 3 times the amount of yarn as well.

You can use this information to help adjust any pattern!  I am a large person and more often then not I find cute shrugs or cardi's that I would love to make but the size chart does not adjust up to my size.  So if you need to adjust a pattern look for where it tells you the gauge, then from there you should be able to figure out what you need to do to make the patter larger by going up a few hook sizes or yarn and hook size.  Some times adjusting the hook/yarn might not be enough and you have to actully add stitches just make sure to measure yourself/whom ever the item is for so you know how many stitches extra you will need.  If they are doing a pattern stitch like a fan/shell stitch you need to make sure you know how many stitches are used in the fan/shell so your initial starting chain will be the proper length. When I work shell/fan stitches I work them over 5 stitches, for example if I wanted to make a gauge swatch I would make a chain 15 st long, and DC 5 times into the 3rd chain from the hook, then slst or sc (depending on how open I want the work to be) in the 3rd stitch over  and repeat.  With an H hook and worst weight yarn that would make a swatch 3x3 (each fan would be roughly 1 inch and each row 1 inch) so if I wanted to make a cardi for someone who is 34 inches round at the waist I would need to make sure to chain 170 to start, although I like to make my items a little on the larger size just in case they shrink it with washing so I would add 10 more stitches to add 2 inches making it a starting chain of 180.  Adjusting hook and yarn size will also mean you need to adjust your yardage you will need more if your going bigger typically if its a lacy stitch one extra skein will do, you might not even use it but if its a tight worked stitch with no gaps and its a large project it could be as much as 4 extra skeins.

Hope this is helpful to you all!!

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