Does your clothing fit? Crochet is fun, but disappointing not when the end result not fits.
Question:How can I make clothing that fit? I have been struggling with patterns like hats and slippers which require precise gauge.
Gauge can be a tricky thing:
You can and should decrease or increase the hook size to obtain gauge. If you crochet loosely decrease the hook size one or 2. If you crochet tightly increase hook size by one. . But that might not fix all the problem with gauge.
For slippers: I would just keep measuring as I work against the sole. Once you have the sole correct, the slipper should shape with the circumference of the foot. On the top of the foot measure again according to the width of the foot as you work.
For hats: It all depends on the “give” of the yarn. Some yarns expand as we work, especially the fashion yarns (unless they have a guiding nylon thread or thin cotton as guiding thread). You might abandon your initial pattern and make a “slouchy beanie” and try the pattern next time with a different yarn.
As designer to give the gauge is important, but you cannot always blame the designer, if the gauge does not work perfectly, because same as manufacturers cannot guarantee the EXACT dye lot, so the fiber content of the yarn could vary. That holds true with hand spun, of course, since they are made by hand, but also for fashion yarns. The manufacturer and designer are not using YOUR hands, so you have to think a little to accommodate variables.
I suggest that you make your gauge swatch with the yarn and hook you plan to use. If you have a handmade yarn or a designer yarn, WASH your swatch. Next, measure yourself and the swatch and figure out your stitches accordingly mathematically.This will prevent any disappointment of not fitting. I am glad to help, just send me a note with the pop up.
My other advice is: measure along as you work: Hold the work against the body part and see if you get too loose or tight. Adjust the pattern accordingly. Some people have long arms, others short ones. Other people have wide shoulders and so on. A designer cannot know your body shape, so as you work measure along and avoid pitfalls that way.
I hope that helps and I am available if you have questions about a specific project.