Making a Gauge Swatch
Using the yarn you chose for the project, make up a gauge swatch of about 5 or 6 in. square. Once finished, note the yarn and hook size you used, the exact measurements of the swatch, how many stitches are in each row, and how many rows there are in all.
Here is my swatch before felting:
Now it’s time to felt the swatch using one of the methods in Part 2.
Here is my swatch after:
4¾ in. wide × 3¾ in. long
Now we have to do a little math to figure out what percentage we can expect our piece to shrink. Thank goodness my mom is good at math or I would have never been able to figure this out. Here is our (her :)) formula:
before – after = shrinkage
shrinkage ÷ before = %
So let’s use my swatch as an example. First the width:
5.75 – 4.75 = 1
1 ÷ 5.75 = 0.1739
So, in other words, we need to expect about a 17% decrease in width.
Now for length:
5 – 3.75 = 1.25
1.25 ÷ 5 = 0.25
So, we need to expect a 25% decrease in length.
Are you still with me?
Now when I am crocheting my item, I should plan to make it 17% wider and 25% longer than I want the finished piece to be. That way, after felting, the piece should come out just the size I want.
Next up, we are going to put this formula to use and make a fun little hook case.