Perhaps I’m beating a dead horse here, but I am seeing comments like this one throughout Ravelry:
I don’t know why my project is too small.
I’ve crocheted for a long time and my tension is perfect.
Gauge isn’t a scientific, mathematical equation. Gauge is simply stated so that you have an idea of the designer’s tension. No one has a perfect tension. Everyone’s tension is different. The hook stated in the pattern is there to simply give you an idea where to start when choosing the hook size. You need to start with that, then move up or down in size until you reach the same tension as the designer, if you want to duplicate the pattern the way it was intended.
If you just finished a pattern, using the stated hook size and your gauge was spot on, it doesn’t mean that you have a perfect or normal gauge. It only means that you crochet with close to the same tension as the designer of that pattern. Next week, you may work on a project from a designer who crochets tightly. Or, the following week, you may work on a project from a designer who crochets more loosely than you. I know that it probably sounds strange to work this way. But, until robots start designing and stitching crochet patterns for you, you will still have to deal with the very personal experience of trying to reach a particular designer’s tension.
In the end, it’s your project and you are the only one who really needs to be happy with it. If you like it at that tension, there are no gauge police. But, really and truly, tension is very personal to each crocheter. Your normal is different than my normal, which is different than your neighbor’s normal. In other words, there is no such thing as normal. But, if your afghan was supposed to be 58″ and it’s only 40″, no matter how perfect you think your tension, it is still not the tension intended in the pattern.
I really want to get the word out on this! Please tell your family. Tell your friends. Stop people on the street and tell them. Hmm…. maybe not that last one. You might get arrested.
But, really. If your hat is too small, then you’re not working to the stated gauge. If your afghan is too big or you went through too much yarn, you’re not working at the stated gauge. Again there are no gauge police. If you’re happy with it, go forth and conquer. If you’ve purchased extra yarn and you’re not worried about running out, that’s fine too. But, it’s not something incorrect in the pattern or the way you crochet. It is simply that we are human beings, not robotic beings, and we all crochet differently.