Why ohh why am I constantly told to make a gauge swatch... Well for one it is said that gauge determines the number of stitches and rows a crocheter makes per inch using a certain yarn and crochet hook, and in the end the gauge will determine the size of my finished outfit. I am also told that to create a precise gauge swatch, I must chain enough stitches to equal four inches and crochet in a pattern for four inches. Then end off the swatch and measure my work with a tape measure. Thereafter, i'm suppose to count the stitches vertically and horizontally. Well I have a secret.... I have never swatched.... yes I said it... matter of fact I will say it again... I have never swatched. Most of my projects are created following schematic drawings in crochet and knit magazines... I started this project without swatching and always have my measuring tape handy. Now the question is does that make me a bad crocheter? Does it prevent me from participating in design contests? Does it mean I will never be able to write a pattern without it?