8/24/07

Ambidextrous Tension!!!!

I am constantly experiencing stretching or sometimes just pure straining. It’s such a nuisance, regardless of what I do to make it right… the tension is back. I try every chance I get to be mindful that I need to be in a relaxed mode, as I move along I think ahhhh! its all good and then BAM!!! - the tension is back. No I’m not talking about body experiences….lol - I’m talking about tension and knitting.

Ok, let me explain it a lil better…. *giggling* - I just finished My Tee, which I modified from the Ballet Tee by Loop-d-Loop (check the site, such lovely designs). The Ballet Tee version is top-down and I worked bottom-up, and followed the Ballet Tee’s number of stitches for my size. I also followed the armhole shaping and from there basically winged it. With all the modifying, ratifying, defying and testifying…. my tension was all over the place. I did take into consideration the substitute yarn, but geezous… can a gurl just knit without all that tension going on...lol

I’m slowly learning that my tension can change according to how I knit or depending on my mood, or just darn right change! I am constantly experimenting to find the right tension, by playing with the pinky wrap method or just playing with the yarn between my fingers, sometimes the yarn glides smoothly, then at times I find I’m struggling with it. Oh, don’t let me get started on purling, my tension is so wonky, I have to wrap the yarn nearly around all my fingers to get it right...lol

I tried it on and it fits nicely but I can see where some stitches are stretching and straining, but after all is said and done… I'll just have to learn to work around my Ambidextrous Tension!!!!

Well, here is my latest piece done in Bernat Baby Softee yarn in Lemonade, I crocheted the neck opening and sleeves.


Share with me how you control your tension when knitting, inquiring minds want to know.

16 comments:

Mary Sarah said...

Your sweater is beautiful! Great job! I have no doubt your tension will even out the more you knit. I'm amazed at how fast you picked this up and turn out great stuff!

Nik said...

I let the needles give me the right tension.

I tug the yarn a little after every stitch I make so that the stitch conforms to the diameter of the needle. I make sure that the stitch is on the wider part of the needle before I tug, since that's the part that should determine the size of the stitch. Even if I hold the yarn a little looser/tighter during the knitting of the project, I can make sure that the stitches are the same size by making them conform to the diameter of the needle.

I find that the yarn slides easier on the needles when the stitches closest to the area you're knitting are pushed closer to the tip and not spread out. If the stitches are spread out, it's often difficult for me to arrange the working needle so that I can get it in the next stitch. You end up stretching the stitch by bending the needle back so that you can insert it into the stitch. I don't know if this is your problem, but if it is, I hope that the above remedy will help.

I hope that those explanations weren't all confusing.

Anonymous said...

Just keep it up. You do wonderful work. I had the same problem when I first started knitting a year ago and I was so frustrated. One thing that helped a lot recently was making sure that before you pull the stitch off the hook make sure it is on the widest part of the needle not on the tip. It makes the stitches a lot more even.

Christie said...

I'm pretty even when I'm knitting, but my tension will sometimes be off if my hands are dry...the yarn slips too much so I have to lotion up so that the yarn will have some traction...but then again, sometimes it has too much.

I do think it is someting that will even out in time, but Nik's suggestions are really good ones.

KimT said...

The tee is very beautiful! tension gets better with practice.

Lesalicious said...

Your tee is so cute love that lemonde yarn. Great job:)

Adrienne said...

Great job! Just keep at it! I was like that too when i first started. Nik gave some great suggestions. Im a VERY tight knitter, i'm trying to loosen up lol

Kamika said...

All great tips, especially about making sure your yarn is on the widest part of the needle and not the tip.

A lot of tension changes can be cured with blocking. Looking at your shirt (which is so cute btw) I would either hand wash it or throw it in the washer and then lay out to dry. The stitches should "heal" and set to uniformity. You could always use another blocking method but for cottons, cotton blends, rayons, etc. I've found that washing gives a better finished product.

Yarn It said...

I am with everyone else - tension gets better with practice. I had the same problem but my tension eventually evened out. Blocking should help too. But, besides that, I think the top looks fantastic!

del said...

Oooooh, nice! I love the color.

anna said...

how cute!!! for me, i honestly don't have much of a formula. time might be part of it, but again, altering a pattern can change that radically. keep at it, that top is too cute!!! :-D

Sheila said...

Thanks so much for all the helpful tips. I cast-on for another tank and being mindful of making sure the stitch is on the wider part of the needle before I tug. Knitting is so much different than crocheting, but with my dear bloggers help and persistence I will conquer it...lol

Virtuous said...

Yes I agree with everyone else suggestions on knitting with the wide part of the needle and blocking.

Also, have you tried combination knitting? You mentioned your purliing is wonky.

What about knit american style and then purl contential style - I know alot of knitters who switch between the two to get a better tension.

I actually knit contential. I also came across someone who knits porteguese style! WOW!

And honestly everyone has some slight tension change in their knitting but it does get better over time!

Cas... said...

Cute! I have troubles with tension too. I read all the comments and I am just trying to be aware of my stitches. I only crochet but my tension is all over the place too. I am just working slower and trying to keep consistent. It's hard when you don't pick up a project for some time. Good Luck!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I have no knitting tips but the new top is lovely!

Monique said...

I know what you mean about tension consistancy. I had the same problem when trying to hand knit. Either was too loose, or choking my needle. Well, regardless, you pulled it off. Your top looks great!