When following a pattern do you check out the gauge suggestion?? It is very important to take the time to work up the gauge swatch. Have you ever noticed you project doesn’t turn out the same size as the pattern or you run out of yarn??
Here are a few reasons why testing the gauge will help!!
- Hooks ~ I have all styles of hooks in my collection, different brands, different styles and different materials… Some of my favorite hooks are my wooden collection… I love the way they feel! I have hooks with handles that are good for easing the tension in hands… I have standard aluminum hooks,,, I have plastic and acrylic hooks too!! I try to use a standard aluminum hook for designing patterns,,, If you use a different brand, style or material type than I’ve used,,, This could change your gauge.
- Yarn ~ Believe it or not… The word Bulky, Worsted or any other style of yarn #1,#2, #3, #4, #5 will not all give you the same result depending on the brand… For instance, If I use a #4 Worsted Weight Yarn in my pattern, and I choose Red Heart with Love… You choose #4 Worsted Weight Caron Simply Soft… Both great yarns!!! Results in the end will vary greatly… The Caron Simply Soft is a slightly thinner #4 yarn and your project will turn out smaller and lighter.
- Tension ~ Most of you probably realize that each of us has a different crochet tension… This is by the way the yarn carries through our hands… over the hook and how we pull through the loops of the stitches… Most beginners have a tighter tension and with practice this can be easily fixed. Remember.. Relax,, We love to crochet!! But, over all any other slight tension issues are just a personal thing and can make your gauge different.
So… How do you measure gauge… The pattern will indicate how many stitches by how many rows of a specific stitch pattern, then give you the dimensions…
Example ~ 7 sc x 7 rows = 2″ x 2″ – I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice worsted weight and an H aluminum hook.
You will work this up and measure to see how close your are! If you are off, start with changing hook sizes. If it is still off – You may want to try a different brand yarn. Make sure to crochet extra stitches and rows, measure in the middle… The top, bottom and sides may not have the same size stitching too!
Remember… Gauge is our friend!!