Have you ever wondered “What is Crochet Gauge?” or “How to use gauge to make another size?” If so, then this Free Easy Alpine Stitch Crochet Pillow Pattern is perfect for you to learn how to use gauge to customize your crochet projects! I love making pillow covers, but pillows and even blankets are one of those items that come in so many different sizes, that it can be hard to decide which ones to include in a pattern.
So, I decided to take the opportunity to write this free crochet home decor pattern and use it to teach you how to make any size you need for your pillows! By doing some simple math, you can make this pillow cover using any yarn and any hook, I promise! Keep scrolling to use the free crochet pattern in this blog post or click the button below for an affordable pdf! The PDF also includes the sizing instructions!
Design Story and Inspiration
So I LOVE pillows! But I have a really difficult time spending my hard earned money on decorative throw pillows…strange right? In the past, I have made a few crochet pillow covers, but I have never loved them as much as ones that I have seen in Home Goods or Crate and Barrel…until now…
As soon as I started seaming this Easy Alpine Stitch Crochet Pillow together I was head over heels in love and dying to start another. Only I had one promblem…I wouldn’t have enough of this yarn left to cover my other pillow and it is bigger. I am not allowing myself to buy more yarn, so that was out of the question. I know I can probably make one panel, but definitely not a second. However, I have another yarn that would look wonderful paired with this Irish Tweed. The problem there, is that they are different weights, so how do you make that work? Easy, by understanding how to use crochet gauge to make another size! By doing some simple math, you can make this pillow cover using any yarn and any hook, promise!
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Understanding Crochet Gauge
So what exactly is crochet gauge? Crochet gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch using a specified hook size. Generally, gauge is given over a 4 inch by 4 inch swatch with the most common stitch in the pattern. So for example, if you are making a pattern using only single crochet, the gauge could be given as “16 sts x 16 rows is 4″ x 4″ with a 4.50mm hook in single crochet” Let’s break that down further.
“16 sts x 16 rows is 4″ x 4″ with a 4.50mm hook in single crochet” is a nice easy gauge to use for a more in depth explanation before I do the gauge for this specific pattern. Using 16 stitches by 16 rows in a 4 inch by 4 inch swatch means that there are 4 stitches per inch and 4 rows per inch, which is nice and easy when adjusting a size. To get those number you are just dividing your inches into your stitches and rows. If you are visual, see my photo below.
Now, once you know that you have 4 stitches per inch and 4 rows per inch you can easily add length or width to any project. All you need to do is decided how many more or less inches you need, then multiple it out. For example, if you wanted to make a top 2 inches longer, assuming the rows make up the length of the project, you would multiply 2 inches by 4 rows per inch and see that you need to add 8 extra rows. On the other hand if you wanted to make something 2 inches shorter you would do the same math but subtract 8 rows. You would use the same method to add or reduce stitches.
How to make ANY size Alpine Stitch Crochet Pillow!
For this pillow my crochet gauge was 14 stitches by 16 rows in the alpine stitch using a 4.50mm hook. What that means, is like the example above, 16 rows over 4 inches works out to 4 rows per inch, but the stitches is where things get a bit tricky and confusing. What you have to do is the same as above but with different numbers, so 14 stitches divided by 4 inches works out to 3.5 stitches per inch. See my photo below.
When you end up without a whole number that means you may also end up with a fraction of a stitch to get the measurement you want. When that happens, you have to look at a few things. One being the fit you want and the multiple of the stitch pattern you are using is worked in. If you were only working in single crochet and there was not pattern repeat then that wouldn’t matter, any total stitch will work. However, for Alpine Stitch Crochet it is worked in multiples of 2+1, meaning it has to be an odd number of stitches. See my photo below.
So, since 3.5 stitches per inch multiplied by 15 inches is 52.5 stitches, I decided to round it up to 53, an odd number that works with the Alpine Stitch Crochet multiple of 2+1. If the stitch I was using need a multiple of 2, I would have rounded down to 52 stitches. Another example would be if it the multiple was 3+1, then I would choose 52 stitches; 3 times 17 is 51 +1 = 52.
Using a Different Hook and Yarn Weight
Now, I said earlier that I had another yarn that was a different weight to contrast on a second pillow. That pillow is also a different size!!! I am going to walk you thought the math on that one quick on how I will make my second Alpine Stitch Crochet Pillow Cover.
- Hook is 3.75mm and yarn is a #3 DK weight cotton blend.
- Gauge is 22 sts x 20 rows is 4″ x 4″ in alpine stitch crochet.
- 22 sts / 4″ = 5.5 sts/inch
- 20 rows / 4″ = 5 rows/inch
- Pillow is 18″ x 18″
- 18″ x 5.5 sts/inch = 99 sts (multiple of 2+1, yay!!!)
- 18″ x 5 rows/inch = 90 rows
So for me to make the same pillow cover with a different yarn and hook I will do a Fdc of 99 and work the pattern below for a total of 90 rows! Ta-Da!!! Easy right? You can easily plug in your own numbers based off of the gauge that you have set yourself with your chosen yarn and hook.
- 4.50 mm hook
- #4 Worsted Weight yarn
- Pillow of your choice
- measuring tape
- Darning Needle
Gauge for this crochet pillow cover pattern as explained above is 14 stitches by 16 rows in the alpine stitch using a 4.50mm hook.
Stitch Descriptions and Abbreviations
- Chain Stitch – ch
- Slip Stitch – sl st
- Stitch(es) – st(s)
- Single Crochet – sc
- Double Crochet – dc
- Front Post Treble Crochet – FPtr – Work a tr as you normally would however, insert hook from front to back to front around the dc of the previous row to complete your stitch.
- Alpine Stitch Explanation – This pattern is worked in alternating rows of sc and FPtr/dc. The Alpine stitch is worked with an alternating dc and FPtr row, with the FPtr worked in the dc stitch two rows down and skipping its corresponding sc. The dc is worked in its corresponding sc stitch. You will also skip one dc between each FPtr on the previous dc row.
- Any Size – Pattern is written for 15″ x 15″ pillow.
- Ch 1 and ch 2 do not count as stitches.
- ”sc 1″ means to single crochet in the next stitch.
- ”sc 2″ means to single crochet in each of the next 2 stitches.
- ”2 sc” means to single crochet twice in the next st to create an increase.
- FPtr sts count as stitches and you must skip the corresponding stitch on previous row.
Crochet Pillow Cover Pattern Begins
Row 1 – Fdc 53
Row 2 -Ch 1, turn, sc across.
Row 3 – Ch 2, turn, dc in first st, FPtr in second dc of the previous dc row, *dc, FPtr in dc row, repeat from * until 1 st remains, dc in last st.
Row 4 -Ch 1, turn, sc across.
Row 5 – Ch 2, turn, dc 2, FPtr in third dc of the previous dc row, *dc, FPtr in dc row, repeat from * until 2 sts remain, dc 2.
Rows 6 to 60 – Repeat Rows 2 – 5, finish off
Assembling your Alpine Stitch Crochet Pillow
- With WRONG Sides facing, attach your yarn in both panels a few stitches away from a corner. I like to start a few stitches away from a corner because I can make a more clean finish than if I was ending on a corner.
- Single crochet evenly until you reach your first corner, place 3 sc in the corner.
- Continuing down the next side, sc evenly until you reach the next corner, place 3 sc in the corner.
- Repeat Step 3 on the next 2 sides.
- Single crochet to your first sc and sl st to join, finish or continue to Step 6.
- I did 3 rounds of sc, placing my 3 sc increase in the 2nd sc of each 3-sc corner set. You may do as many or as few border rounds as you choose.
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