Determining the Correct Gauge for My Sierra Skirt Crochet Project

“It Ain’t Ease-y on a Sunday Morning!”

Remember that Lionel Richie song, “Easy on a Sunday Morning”?  I found out this past Sunday that ease is something I totally forgot to consider as I continue the saga of the Sierra Skirt that I am crocheting for my daughter.

If you remember from the last post, I found what I thought would be a good substitute yarn for a skirt pattern, only to discover that I could not get the gauge the pattern called for.  So I decided to do frequent fittings to make sure I was on the right track with the yarn and hook size I finally selected.  I thought from the first fitting, after crocheting a couple of rows, that I had selected the right sizek.  Then, I decided to do another fitting after crocheting several inches, only to discover that the fit was “skin tight” (geez, another “old school” song comes to mind as I’m writing this).

crocheted sierra skirt
No ease = skin-tight fit – DUH!

“Ease” Defined

It dawned on me that the pattern measurements are for hip size; however, there are no “finished measurements” which would account for EASE, i.e., “the extra fabric that allows space between you and your garments.”  DUH!  Perhaps with the yarn called for in the pattern, ease isn’t an issue, but with the 100% mercerized cotton that I’m using, there has to be some ease because the yarn doesn’t stretch all that much.

My daughter and I tried to figure out ways to increase the diameter of the skirt so that it would provide more ease in the hips, but my brain wasn’t up to the task of figuring out how to do this and maintain the pattern stitch, so I simply frogged everything and started from scratch, going up a size.  After crocheting about three rows at the new size, the skirt fits over the widest part of the hips which means the drawstring waist is an absolute necessity now.

It will be interesting to see how the skirt drapes once it’s done.  I’ll keep you up to date on what happens.

I've been crocheting for over 40 years and blogging since 2004 - two of my favorite things in the world to do besides walking the beaches of windward Oahu, Hawaii.

7 comments On Determining the Correct Gauge for My Sierra Skirt Crochet Project

  • Do you think that using the first pattern size but with a larger size needle will make the skirt loose enough. You may be able to yield a test swatch that’s a 1/4 to 1/2 an inch wider. This way you may be able to avoid the draw string.

  • Hi! Hook size is definitely a way to adjust for guage.
    I tried a larger hook but still could not get the gauge the pattern called for. Also, the larger the hook, the “lacy-er” the fabric. My daughter didn’t want the skirt to be “see-through.” The draw string waistband is a part of the pattern so I’m not too concerned about that.
    Check out the previous post … “Gauge on Oahu” to read about all the swatching I did.
    Thanks for the suggestions!

  • So, with your plan to go up a pattern size, do you consider your issue to be resolved. Since it’s just a matter of inches, next I was going to suggest next to block the skirt to the desired measurements.

  • Hey Nicole! Thanks for stopping by.
    Yes, I thought about blocking as well, but when my daughter tried on the skirt it was SO tight that I thought going up a size would be the better solution. I also thought about simply adding more stitches to allow for the right amount of ease, but then I’d have to recalculate where to add the fringe and possibly make even more adjustments in the pattern, and frankly, I didn’t have enough confidence to do that.
    I guess I’ll know it’s resolved when I’m done and she tries it on, but I’ll do more fittings along the way. I’ve been reading Lily Chin’s new book, Couture Crochet, about “hanging gauge” which adds yet another element to the mix.
    This subject is a lot more complicated than I thought, but I’m definitely learning.

  • In your picture you seem so relaxed. Hawaii is doing you well.
    Ease is important in everything. I can’t wait to see the skirt. I’m sure it was like a lightbulb went off over your head when you thought about ease. Smile.
    Stitch on!

  • Oh ancestors, leave it to me to be away for a month, then show up with a funky question, but here goes––did you allow for shrinkage? Generally cotton shrinks with washing, some, even in cold water. If you didn’t, make sure your daughter only drycleans the skirt. As far as the drawstring, you may be able to avoid that if you drop you hook a size, rendering the same pattern in a smaller stitch size. Just remember to leave some ease at the waist, so she can get out of the skirt.

  • Oh,no!!!!! Eiiiieeeee!!!
    LOL! That was my first reaction when I read your question. Ok, I’m in control again :-).
    Of course the answer is “no.” Yet another ingredient (i.e., fiber content) to consider when figuring out gauge.
    Thanks, Sahara! No, really! It’s great to have readers more knowledgeable than I am provide this kind of advice. Everyone benefits!

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Site Footer