Though politely worded in patterns, "PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO CHECK GAUGE" is all caps -- and bold face, to boot.
And -- despite the caps and bold face type -- a gauge check is often ignored by crocheters eager to start their projects.
My excuse is that I pretty much know what gauge I'm going to get with a particular yarn and a particular hook. I'm usually right on target -- but not always.
The consequences of not taking time to check gauge are inevitable, yet somehow surprising to the gauge non-checker:
Denial: This hat's looking a bit small. Oh, well, I'm sure that it'll all work out by the time I get to the bottom edging.
Anger: [Expletive deleted.]
And so it goes. Through the bargaining, the depression and the acceptance.
Next is the ripping out. The starting again. The bigger crochet hook. And this time, one hopes, a ruler at the ready.
NOTE: This is the fifth in my "Hundreds of Hats Later: What I've Learned" blog posts. Next up: "Pushing the Gauge."