Gauge or Tension
Gauge is not important in some crochet patterns and normally it will state this fact. Other patterns it is very important. If your gauge is off the item will not be the correct size, the amount of yarn need will not be correct. The gauge should be checked to save time and to know that you are working in the right way for to accomplish the finished item.
You should check your gauge with the size hook and the yarn that the project calls for in order to get a correct measurement. The pattern will state how many stitches and rows for a certain size area. Prepare a swatch according to the pattern, in the stitch called for and measure it. Place a ruler on the swatch along the bottom of a row and place pins for the measurement width and height called for. Count the stitches across the row between the pins and the number of rows up between the pins.
If there are fewer stitches and rows then the tension is too loose and you need to use a smaller hook. If there are more stitches you need to use a larger hook. It is normally better to match the stitches than rows as they can be added or left off.
Example: 3 inch X 3 inch swatch of single crochet (sc)
10 rows X 8 stitches
Let me know if you need any help learning how to crochet!
You can also find my work on:
Crochet Pattern Bonanza http://crochetpatternbonanza.com
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