Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Knitting tension tip

This saves a small amount of time...
If one is using a new-to-you yarn and knitting up a tension square, and you see that the tension is not yet quite right...
Don't unravel what you have knitted so far; just switch straight to the new size needle and keep knitting on the same stitches.  Saves having to cast on a new set of stitches...
I find 6 rows is usually plenty for me to see if the tension is OK or not.


This is an old tip, taught to me many many years ago, and felt like a revelation to me at the time, hehe.  Probably many people know and use this one already.  I just thought to share it here since you never know it could be new and helpful to someone :)) ...  and if you are anything like me and raring to get going with your yummy new project, tension squares are a pain and you just want to get them over with, with minimal fussing about!!

13 comments:

  1. It can help to throw a purl row in as you switch needles on a stockinette swatch. It's sometimes hard to see the point of demarcation, otherwise (especially with fuzzy/mohair texture)

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  2. Every knitting tip is new to me! Thanks for this one, tension squares are no fun. Sort of the "muslins" of the knitting world, lol.

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  3. Super little tip to share - thanks!!! So, what are you knitting up with that gorgeous wool???

    ✿ Judy
    made by J

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  4. It's not just that it's enough, but for most of us seeing both sampes side by side is very helpful. It's much easier to compare 2 samples than to remember the previous as you evaluate the current..

    I'd add that the most common swatch-error I see is the urge to smooth it down before measuring. Of course one wants it to be pretty, but smoothing on such a small thing can often mean being off by a stitch or some fraction, which can translate to a few inches too small at sweater level :-(.

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  5. I am new to knitting and just spent weeks knitting a little cotton top in Rowan Pima cotton and it is huge. I am so disappointed as it really is unwearable. Your tension tip is therefore very timely! as I am considering unravelling it. Clearly I got the tension wrong, so thank you!
    Your new peppercorn cardi is beautiful. Gilly in UK

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  6. Great tip, and lovely yarn too! It is probably a nightmare to unravel anyway!
    I'm not great at doing tension squares (sometimes I just start on the sleeve, he he) but recently I was
    glad I did, and kept, one from a long time ago - because I needed it to finish the last few rows of a sock!

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  7. I tie knots in the tail to equal the number of the needle (in the case of two sizes I would tie a different number of knots on the two tails). That way when I pick up my swatch later I can remember what size needle I liked best!

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  8. Great tip and great tips in the comments, thanks for sharing.

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  9. Thanks for the tip! I've knit for years and always unravelled my too small/too big gauge piece and started over! Great idea!

    Brenda

    PS I'm missing your pooch in today's post!!!

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  10. Well, that's a new tip to me. Thank you!

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  11. so what is this tension square FOR, pray tell .... ?

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  12. Ame a beginner. Thanks for the tip.

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  13. Thank you for the comments ladies! and for the terrific suggestions. Kathleen C, I like the tip to tie knots in the tail to denote the size needle, that's a goodie; except I usually unravel my tension squares afterwards. to use in the project too. However, his particular yarn WAS a nightmare to unravel!

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