Learning Curves

I’m a great subscriber to the idea that you learn something new every day.  Especially in the art of crochet.  There are so many amazing techniques and resources that you are hard pressed not to learn new stuff all the time.

But I learned something I didn’t want to have to learn.  The hard way.  And I’m not happy about it.  Gauge.  In all the projects I’ve ever made, I’ve just happily skipped over the gauge section as being quite irrelevant and firmly in the “who cares” category until it came time to make a beautiful top.

My friend Tammy showed me this pattern that she planned to make, and I was immediately on the bandwagon:

Convergence top, pattern from Interweave Crochet, found on Ravelry via missneriss.com

So, I picked out the yarn, an amazing bamboo veriagated yarn from Alize and started crocheting.

The pattern calls for a 3.75mm hook and the pesky gauge tells me I should have 18 stitches and 11 rows per 10cm.  Yeah, whatevs.  I managed to crochet more than half the back of the top before I realised that it wasn’t going to come even close to fitting me!  This top had taken a day and a half of my precious crochet time and it was completely wasted because I didn’t bother to pay attention to the gauge.

So I decided to take a step back for a couple of days and finish off the backlog of orders in my queue (which was a great thing to do, because they’re all super cute projects) and then re-evaluate.

So how have I resolved this?  Well, luckily for me I didn’t buy the Noro Taiyo Sock yarn at 20 euros a piece, and the Alize was significantly cheaper, so I’ve created a swatch, have blocked it, and am (im)patiently waiting for it to dry so I can start again.  It’s looking like I’ll be up to a 4.5mm hook to get the right gauge.

New swatch blocked and waiting to dry

The colourway of this yarn is just amazing, with the pinks (that don’t appear here), purples, blues and white and is so lovely to the touch and to work with.  You can pick it up (in Europe) at yarnstreet.com and check out the Ravelry projects that people have completed using my colourway (you may need to be a Ravelry member to see that link).

What’s a crucial element that you’ve learned the hard way?  I’d love to hear that I’m not the only one having silly moments.

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8 responses to “Learning Curves

  1. I am sure you are not alone with gauge. The good thing is that you will get to know if you always crochet tight or not which makes it a lot easier. Love the top….very tempted.

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    • I was just a bit naive I think, just assuming that my gauge would be the same as the pattern, but no. I never really thought that I crochet tight, but I think amigurumi really influences that – you have to crochet tight otherwise you see all the filling poking though. It has just translated into normal crochet too, it seems.

      Nearly ready for the next attempt! It’s a beautiful top, and the designer has a tank that is just as beautiful. here’s her website: http://www.lindaskuja.com/

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  2. You are well on your way to crocheting maturity. I remember the days of flippantcy over guage. It’s like a rite of passage when one discovers the world of guage and growth needed within one’s self to respect guage for what it is. It requires patience, hence why many spurn it even so far as to not do projects requiring guage. Guage is often the difference between success and failure. Best wishes on your project!

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    • You’re exactly right! Patience is not my strong point unfortunately, which is why my #crochetmoodblanket2014 has been all but abandoned. Blankets and large projects have never been for me, but I thought this might be a good hybrid. That pesky gauge really got me!

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      • I know what you mean. I like instant gratification. The large projects need to be heavily seasoned with lots of little projects along the way lol!

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