When I first started knitting my stitches were so tight sometimes I couldn’t get my needles into my stitches. I was fighting myself just to get anything knitted. Now years later? My tension is so off it’s pitiful, embarrassing really. Swirly loops, so big you could drive a truck through my loose stitches. How in the world did I go from one extreme to the other? Research needs to be done, tightening needs to be completed. But like so many other things in my life, research isn’t my best friend. They say knowledge is power… and everything can be found on Google, right? However, that being said I over research, do you over research? Is this just a personal problem? Tell me it’s not just me. So I’d heard of tension before, but good Lord who knew, I didn’t. But I do now. I wish I didn’t. But let me share some of my knew found knowledge of tension.
Tension and Gauge Your New Worst Best Friend
So when I talk about tension are you scratching your head thinking what the heck is Losa talking about now? Okay here is the skinny… Tension in knitting and crochet is how the yarn is feed from the ball to the needles or the crochet hook. And uneven tension can cause your stitches to be short, tight, tall, or loose. So in regular terms, it will totally fubar your project.
Tension is affected by how you hold your yarn, how you hold your hands, where you keep your yarn while you knit/crochet, how you sit and the way your arms lay against your body while you create your masterpiece. Basically it can be affected by the phase of the moon, what time of month your cycle is in, and the way you attempt to breathe while knitting… (to much?!?). Okay the last several things were made up. But seriously how can I think of all these things while knitting? I mean I’m already following a pattern/chart and isn’t knitting supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable? Now I have to think about all those other things on top of that? Just so my tension and gauge will be just right? And I thought gauge came first and then I didn’t have to worry about it anymore???? Well guess what ladies & gentlemen tension and gauge are a full time problem.
I read a blog that said if your tension is off your knitting will be amateurish and unflattering… AMATUEURISH AND UNFLATTERING??? well that’s just mean. I think my knitting is pretty darn good and my tension sucks. So this is one person’s opinion and everyone is allowed their own opinion. But all the bloggers and newsies had some interesting information about how to correct loose or extra tension. After hours of research here it is in a nutshell, change from Continental to English or vis-versa style knitting this can sometimes be exactly the change you need to fix your tension issues. Ooorrrr wind or unwind the yarn from your fingers, do it different ways to get different types of tension. Try to feed the yarn around your neck or through a safety pin, pinned to your shoulder/chest/upper arm or forearm the extra length can sometimes create enough of a pull to cause some extra tension, (this is similar to Portuguese Knitting).
So wow a lot of information today, I certainly hope some of this was a little helpful. Let me know if you have a way of helping with tension. I would love to know what you do to keep your tension tight. Leave a comment below.