Here are some insights to some technical stuff and my hope is to take some frustration out of pattern, gauging, super achieving perfection items. Crochet is very wonderful art, if you relax and experiment. Patterns are great to follow, but also realize you can add your personal touch to any pattern once you know how things go together, in other words: match yarn to hook, mix and match fibers, change colors and texture. No, not like in the picture!
Here are the basic facts:
Yarns and threads for crocheting are made from natural and synthetic fibers.
When one spins into different thickness or gives special treatment they will have their own characteristics of weight/ thickness or texture.
4 primary weight types are internationally recognized:
1. Sock or baby yarn,
3.worst weight and
General rule ( apart from your own creativity) is to match certain hooks to certain yarn.
1. C and D hook size for sock or baby yarn,
2. F and G for sports weight
3. G and H for worsts weight
4. I through S for bulky yarns.
Match the number 1 through 4 yarn with numbers 1 through 4 hook and you are cool.
Mercerized cotton threads are seized and these are the hooks accordingly. Use
13-14 hook for 40-50 size thread
11-12 hook for 30 size thread
9-10 hook for 20 size thread and
7-8 hook for 10 size thread
Bedspreads are usually sized different and the designer writes which hook to use on the thread label or skein.
When matching hooks to yarn don’t confuse the ply of a yarn with the weight of the yarn. A yarn spun of a single ply can be just as bulky as a 3 or 4 ply or a 4 ply yarn can be very thin. Best is to select a hook that matches the thickness or weight of the yarn.
Than crochet a test gauge of 4″ by 4 ” against the gauge indicated in the pattern and see what you need to adjust: Tension or hook
Once you know the weight of the yarn specified for a particular pattern, any brand of the same weight may be used. For larger projects it is best to buy one skein first, try a gauge swatch, see if you like the execution, find out the matches in color and texture of the surroundings the piece will be used and THAN buy all the required yardage or skein from the SAME dye-lot to use with the best size hook and your project will be great looking.
Sometimes you can purposely manipulate the pattern by changing hook within the pattern and make ” ripples/ ridges/ ruffles” because the weave of the fabric changes. Reason being is the tension. The tension is controlled by how tight you work the crochet stitches. The more evenly you work, the better you will like the crochet fabric. An example is the back washer I designed to help single elderly people to stay clean and healthy.( http://patternstriedandtrue.storenvy.com/products/1817324-crochet-back-scrubber-pattern)
The size of the hook governs the the size of the loop and hence your gauge. As a beginner I would not emphasize on gauge that much, since you first have to get used to working evenly. So just choose projects where gauge is not 100% consequential. That means do the scarf FRIST and THAN the hat, do a place mat, instead of tissue box, do a floor rug or a washcloth instead of a sweater. You see, as you get more practice , you get more experience and the process gives you joy instead of frustration in wondering , why your gauge is off or your hat gets too small or big. Once your hands adjust to the repetitiousness of making loops the gauge will be more accurate all by itself. And remember: Gauge is ONLY important, when the item has to fit. Please enjoy what you doing more and quit worrying about “stuff’. So what if you have to sometimes unravel. We learn from our mistakes and I don’t know one single person who has “arrived” yet!
And with that thought: have fun