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Help with Gauge/Tension and Alternative Yarn


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Being fairly new to crochet I though I would try an easier crochet pattern as I was struggling with the vintage one I had started.

I am failing at the first hurdle though - the gauge :-(

Firstly I can’t get hold of the yarn asked for which is Premier Cotton Fair 3.5oz/100g/317yds/290m/3#fine weight.  52% cotton, 48% acrylic.  
I thought I had chosen a good alternative 100g/300m/328yds, 50% cotton, 50% acrylic.

Using the suggested G hook for the gauge I should be getting 13sc x 17sc rows = 4”.  Instead I am getting 19sc x 19sc rows = 4”.  
I’ve had to go all the way up to an L hook and I am getting 14sc x 17sc rows.  So I am still off on the stitches.

Have I chosen a poor alternative yarn?  Should I be worrying that I am doing something wrong having to go from the suggested G hook to an L hook?

A BIG thank you for any help/suggestions that can be offered.

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Gauge can be problematic for a variety of reasons. One Problem I have come across over the years is the gauge listed is unrealistic.  Work around would be can I make   A smaller size than listed that will fit with a hook close to recommended.  If you bought this pattern contact designer for advice

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Hopefully Granny Square will be along shortly as she is good at explaining gauge and the math needed.  Basically if your gauge does not match you first try to use a different size hook and alter the way you make your stitches to meet gauge.  If that doesnt work you are left with doing the math and basically rewriting the whole pattern to compensate.  

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It almost sounds like 3 ply UK designation, not US #3 "DK" weight, although the US  Craft Yarn Council allows for 12-17 stitches for US #3 weight...

What I have done when I'm having trouble hitting gauge is -- my measurements usually put me in a 'medium' size, which with ease is about 40" for most patterns.  I calculate the width of 1 stitch I make , and assuming I like the drape of that fabric the next step is look at the total number of stitches in a critical measurement (usually bust, which I'd say applies to your pattern - which is very pretty BTW). Let's say the # of stitches per the pattern at the bustline is 200 to achieve 40", which means the gauge is 1 stitch = 0.2".  Now let's say that my stitches are bigger, they are .25" wide, and 200 stitches x .25" would give me 50" across, way too big.  But let's say the small size is 160 stitches across, 160x025"=40 inches, perfect! 

(OK, I cheated on the numbers I picked to make it come out perfectly, but usually checking my 'wrong' gauge with stitch counts sizes on either size of what 'should' fit finds following 1 size up or down works 'close enough').

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