How to Measure/Check Gauge for Amigurumi

A lot of amigurumist (myself included) don’t really measure gauge when creating amigurumi toys. The general rule of thumb is that if you crochet tightly enough so that your stuffing doesn’t show when you stuff your toy, you’re good. So because of that, I never thought I needed to include gauge measurements with my patterns. 

However, I recently realized that everyone crochets differently and that I should start including gauge measurements for my future patterns. 

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How to Measure/Check Gauge for Amigurumi Crochet

Here are some examples of times when checking your gauge can be a good idea:

  1. When you’re using a different material yarn (same weight) from the original pattern. E.g. Pattern calls for Cotton yarn but you want to use Acrylic. 
  2. To make sure your tension isn’t too tight or too loose.
  3. When you want to make sure that your finished toy looks as similar to the original as possible.
  4. When you want to use the exact amount of yarn the pattern calls for. This is especially handy when creating a larger project. 

So from now on, all of my newer patterns will include a gauge measurement!

Please note that if you are using a different weight of yarn from the specified weight in the pattern, the gauge will not be applicable. If you are using thicker yarn, your 5-round circle will be bigger no matter what.

How to Measure Gauge for Amigurumi

So before we jump into creating amigurumi toys, we will need to create a 5-Round Circle to measure our gauge. You will also need to have a ruler handy. 

This is the pattern I use for my 5-Round Circle:

1 6sc in magic circle
2 (inc) x 6 [12]
3 (sc, inc) x 6 [18]
4 sc, inc, (2sc, inc) x 5, sc [24]
5 (3sc, inc) x 6 [30]

Do not fasten off.

Lay your ruler across the circle to measure the diameter. Measurement should be taken from the centre of the stitch.  The diameter for this particular circle measures to be 2 inches. 

How to Measure Gauge for Amigurumi Step 2

Each one of my newer patterns will specify how much the measurement should be for that specific yarn/pattern. In this case, I’m using Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran with a 3.5mm crochet hook and my gauge is 2-inches across the 5-Round Circle. This is how it will read in a pattern:

Gauge:  5-Round Circle = 2” with a 3.5mm hook

If your circle is measuring to be smaller than mine, try going up a hook size or crocheting slightly looser.  If your circle is measuring to be bigger and/or you can see significant gaps between the stitches, try going down one hook size (3.25mm or 3mm). 

You will need to create a 5-Round Circle with the new hook size and measure again, adjusting if you need to. Once your circle more or less matches my gauge, you can begin creating your amigurumi toy! 

Like I said previously, gauge isn’t SUPER important. So if you’re not having problems with any of the examples I listed above, you really don’t need to check for gauge. 

Yarn Materials

I also recommend using cotton yarns (or mostly-cotton blends) for amigurumi if you are a beginner. Stretchier yarns like acrylic can often mess with your tension and result in significantly tighter stitches. Toys made with cotton yarns are also easier to stuff properly because the stitches don’t stretch out as much. 

Anyway, I hope this helped! If you’re interested in more tutorial-y posts, please check out the Tutorials page! 

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