I ﬁrst got addicted to making doilies because I could pick a pattern and just get started with any thread I had on hand. I never had to worry about gauge again or whether the item was the right size. Cool! (Insert wrong buzzer sound here…)
Some things are just common sense—you don’t want to use size 80 thread for a bedspread (you’ll be crocheting for years), and you don’t want to use size 5 for an intricate design that has lots and lots of rows (you’ll end up with a lacy tent). After you’re experienced with diﬀerent threads and hooks, you’ll have an idea of the general size of a ﬁnished project.
But you really should make a gauge swatch for every project. Why?
- It takes just a few minutes to make the swatch.
- You’ll know the ﬁnished size of a project.
- If you use a certain length of thread for your swatch, you’ll be able to estimate how much you’ll need to buy.
- You can keep track of the thread and hook sizes if you’d like to make more of the same pattern.
- It will be easier to make vintage patterns that don’t include essential things like thread and hook sizes and amount of thread required.
- It’s much more accurate to rely on your gauge swatch than the sizes given in a pattern.
Everybody crochets with diﬀerent tension. The more swatches you do, the better you’ll know how to judge the size of your projects.