It’s always wrong. Always. If I by some miracle manage to increase or decrease my hook/needle size to match the stitch gauge then the row gauge is too short.
There are still a lot of knitting and crocheting tricks I don’t know. I’ve read about gauge and how if I’m knitting too loose I need a smaller needle or if I’m crocheting too tightly then I need a larger hook.
Lately I started crocheting the Whimsy Blanket I spent two days working on my gauge only to have it fall too short on the length despite obsessively checking my gauge every 16sts.
In the end I decided to just chain till I hit the right width make sure it was divisible by three then just got on with it. While this might work for an afghan lets face it it won’t work for just anything. So I looked around for something that would let me either fix my gauge or alter it.
I particularly liked the article I came across on Knitty it explains about how it could be a brand of hook issue or the type of material it’s made of. She also explains that if all else fails there are ways of adjusting your sts and rows to make it work.
Something of particular interest to me was her saying that while you might get the gauge exactly right, once the garment is worn for a few hours, your elbows are at your knees; due to the added weight pulling the yarn down. A lot of sources I’ve read recommend knitting or crocheting in your lap or table level so the yarn doesn’t stretch. I feel less guilty now about letting my severe nearsightedness take over and crocheting shoulder or head level. I always figured “it’s going to stretch anyway” and now I have ‘permission’ to do it wrong. 😉
A few days ago I had mentioned on my private FB account that I wished I knew someone who made apps. I’d love one that could calculate my current gauge and the correct gauge and find the difference so I know how to alter my rows.
Last night I found Gaugefy Free I haven’t had the chance to use it yet but it’s free and I can hope it helps. Until then I’ll continue crocheting too close to my nearly blind eyes and doing a bit of math to make sure my afghan comes out as close to right as I can get.