I have recently been asked to make a garment and, naturally gauge was a major issue. For many years as I developed as a crocheter gauge flew happily out the window as I was a constant loose crocheter. No matter, who cares if your square blanket is even several cm bigger (or smaller) than the pattern says? Clothes have always been an issue. Only recently are my efforts bob on size with the stated hook.
Up until now, as I had a loose way of working, I would exchange my hook for a smaller one, rarely being bothered to swatch and just hope. Swatching I now know to be a great help and something I would almost always do. The simple rule is if your piece is coming out too big for the right number of the right stitches then try a smaller hook. If you have too many stitches in the measured area try a larger needle.
This time I had the awful situation where my number of stitches per inch were ok but the number of rows were off. I have seen this discussed recently on a forum I am subscribed to and the advice given was to get the height right and put in less or more stitches to get the width right. My personal advice is the opposite as on a pattern the number of stiches are crucial to the pattern. I find a garment can be “persuaded “ to be a bit bigger in either dimension when you block. I will be mentioning that in a later post (when I get started) as I see so much lovely work on the net that is then presented for a tah dah shot looking like a dogs dinner. Its such a shame, its not hard (well it can be a bit tricky if its huge) and the benefits are amazing.
P.S I will be sharing the garment I have made soon, its all a bit secret squirrel but not long now.
Also sorry about the picture quality, cameras in the car, cars in the dealership getting fixed.