All About Gauge

It’s tempting to tear into a new project the moment a new pattern hits your Inbox, but checking gauge is an important first step in any new project.

We all crochet – or knit – slightly differently. Grip the hook a little tighter, a little looser, and you can have a much different finished product than intended.

Gauge simply refers to the number of stitches per inch and the rows per inch from a particular yarn using a particular size of crochet hook. When you gauge a project, you’re crochet a swatch to see how your own work measures up against that of the pattern writer’s, even if you’re using the same hook size and identical yarn.

You’ll want your sample swatch to be about 4″ x 4″. Count the number of stitches and rows noted in the pattern you’re following (e.g., the pattern I’m working on today says Gauge: 6 sc = 1 inch; 6 sc rows or rnds = 1 inch). Don’t use your chain row in the measurement calcuation, as those stitches will be smaller than the others.

If your work and the patterns are the same, great. If not, experiment with hook sizes. If you have fewer stitches and rows than defined in the pattern gauge, move down a hook size (and try another swatch with the new hook size). Likewise, if you have more stitches and rows than the pattern gauge, move up a hook size.

Click here for a good tutorial on how to crochet a swatch to check for gauge.





It’s a Tough Job, But Someone’s Got to Do It

Ok, it’s not really a tough job.

Grandparenting. You never know quite where you’ll fall on the grandparenting spectrum. Will you be one of those grandmothers squirreling away her spare change for vacations and exotic escapes, drinking lattes with her friends and hitting the gym for a second hit of what life has to offer? Or will you be the grandmother with soft arms who smells of craft paint and who squirrels away her spare change for family trips to Disney?

It turns out I’m the latter. Not unexpectedly perhaps, but the degree to which my grandchildren have overtaken my thoughts and my life often surprises me. 

I only have two, Eileen and Mathilda (fake names, because I’m certain to share embarrassing details they may not want to be linked to), five and one years of age respectively.


Peanut Butter Jelliez. A few months ago, my sister and I decided to open an Etsy shop. We both are avid crafters – her particular passion is sewing, mine is crocheting, and to a lesser extent, knitting.


It was an American Girl doll – TrulyMe 69 – that was the catalyst for this project. Is it just me, or holy *#&!, are those dolls and their accessories expensive? Hang the expenses, Eileen’s heart was set on an American Girl doll.


My husband (John) and I bit the bullet and got her TrulyMe 69 (now named Annabelle) for Eileen for Christmas, but quickly realized the acquisition of the doll was just the first step in the process. Annabelle needed stuff – and lots of stuff – to wear.


That’s when I started tinkering with patterns, some just for the doll, some for the doll and the granddaughter. My sister quickly jumped aboard, adding her considerable sewing skills to the mix. We soon got our own dolls, Emily and Anne, who act as playthings when the grandkids are around, but do double duty as models when we’re crafting.


So. Welcome to Peanut Butter Jelliez. Come in, browse around. Over the months and years, we’ll be sharing our crafts, stories, tips, and maybe even a few grandchild-inspired recipes.