What is Gauge in Crochet?

In crochet, gauge is a US term which refers to the number of stitches and rows within a 10x10cm square of work.

In the UK, gauge is referred to as ‘tension’.

If the beginning of a pattern refers to gauge then it will be important to take note of it because you will need to crochet a square to make sure the gauge is correct in order to create a successful crocheted project.

For Example a pattern at the start may state: This garment has been designed with a gauge of 23dc and 12 rows to 10cm over dc fabric, using a 3.0mm crochet hook.

Making sure that gauge is accurate is the key to a project turning out the right size.

To test your gauge for a pattern:

  1. Use the yarn and crochet hook that is stated in the pattern.
  2. Crochet a square that measures 15cm in width and length (we will only be measuring 10cm on the inside of the square but we need it at 15cm because we don’t want to measure the sides of the square, just the inside).
  3. Lay your square on a flat surface.

Measure the Stitch GaugeMeasure the stitch gauge by placing a measuring tape in the middle.

Put a pin in the square 2 stitches in from the side edge.

Measure 10cm across.

Put another pin in on that side and count how many stitches you have in between the pins.

Note it down.

Measure the Row GaugeMeasure the row gauge by placing a measuring tape in the middle.

Put a pin in the square 2 rows in from the foundation chain.

Measure 10cm up.

Put another pin in that side, count how many rows you have between the pins and note it down.

With your notes check against your pattern gauge and see if they match.

Do you have More Stitches or Rows?

Your pattern is too tight then and you need to try another square with the next larger size hook.

Do you have Less Stitches or Rows?

Your pattern is too loose then and you need to try another square with the next smaller size hook.

So, this should get you your proper gauge.

It is always best out of the stitches and rows to get the width measurement right (meaning the number of stitches) because lengths can generally be adjusted when working a pattern. This is most important out of the two.

Hopefully I’ve answered ‘What is Gauge in Crochet?’ thoroughly enough so you can get on with your gauge.

All the best,

Paula Daniele


200 Crochet Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets200 Crochet Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets

Divided into sections that cover a multitude of topics such as: choosing the right hook for you, putting gauge measurements to work, fool-proof ways of turning, quick fixes for uneven edges, shaping with increases and decreases, how to make neat corners, marking essentials, dealing with yarn ends, choosing the right seam and even how to look after crochet garments, 200 Crochet Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets contains a wealth of technical knowledge and handy tips.

Aimed at all crocheters, from the beginner to the more experienced, this book is a valuable addition to any craft library.


About Paula

I'm the Crochet Designer, Teacher & Video Producer of Crochet Hooks You.

I taught myself how to crochet when I was a young girl and quickly picked up how to crochet the granny square and got hooked. Read More.


  1. babydear says:

    how do you crochet so many items in a short period of time

    • Paula says:

      Practice which allows you to crochet faster and I usually have several projects going on at the same time. 🙂

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