Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Doilies & Their Gauge

For years I've had problems finding the correct gauge for thread crochet projects. I hate the stringy look I get if my hook is too large or my thread too heavy for the pattern. If I make an effort to work tightly, my hand hurts and locks into place (I have fibromyalgia).
I have found two solutions. The first is to work all patterns using almost-European stitch standards. That is, I work a US half-double crochet when the pattern calls for a double. Triples, I work as doubles.
I only recently discovered that I have been working the hdc incorrectly for years (having been taught by a Scottish Granny who didn't really use them)and now I find them very quick and useful.
Of course in patterns with less open areas this small adjustment can have some huge ramifications. Proceed with caution, I guess.

The main revelation I had in the last little bit (I like to have my epiphanies in lumps)I will try to share as clearly as poss.

Potential Gauges for Crochet Cotton and Lace Threads

No.3 (fingering weight) /3.5mm (4ply)

No.5 (pearl cotton)/2mm (2ply)
3"x3"=33dc x 15rows

No.8 (pearl cotton)/1.5mm (2ply)

No.10 (bedspread weight)/1.5mm
3"x3"=36dc x 16rows

No.20 (thread)/1.25mm
3"x3"=40dc x 16rows

No.30 (thread)/1.00mm
3"x3"=45dc x 18rows

Gauge will be as personal a thing as ever, but these hook sizes should provide fairly firm but friendly results. Please feel free to comment and/or disagree with me. I am still learning.


Mel from Kingston said...

What about kitchen cotton like you use for dishcloths? I don't know if its the same as what you called No.3?

morgan said...

It's not the same, but has a similar gauge. Mind you, that's assuming that your project is something kitcheny rather than a doily. In something like a dishcloth you want a certain amound of flexablity as well as bumpyness for scrubbing. I would use a worsted range of hooks (3.5-4.5). In a doily you want a close even gauge. I usually use No.3 as padding cord so my doily gauge guess could be wrong. xox

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