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Old 12-12-2009, 12:58 PM   #1
Emma7855
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Tension
Hey everyone, I don't understand what 'tension' means and how to maintain an even one. Is it just how you hold the yarn (wrapped around the pinkie twice and around the index finger once?)? Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:11 PM   #2
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Tension is how loose or tight the sts are and is controlled by how you hold the yarn. There are many ways of holding it; I don't wrap the yarn around any finger, but weave it through them. Even tension comes with practice and if it's not too off, can be evened out by washing or blocking the item.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:24 PM   #3
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Yeah, tension is keeping the stitches fairly even regardless of how you hold the yarn.

I wrap it once around my pinky then it goes under the fingers and over the index fingers. That works for me.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:14 PM   #4
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Okay, that makes sense. So if I were to just hold the yarn the same way for each stitch, I would (hypothetically) get even tension?
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:15 PM   #5
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Depends on the context of the word. "Tension" in UK patterns means gauge, how many stitches per inch and row you're getting. Where are you coming across the term?
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:45 PM   #6
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Were it only that simple. You're tension is going to change based on a bunch of stuff. How stressed out you are that day. How sweaty your hands are. How happy you are, or how much you wish you boss was dead. My tension changes on a daily basis. So I have two different ways of holding the yarn. I wrap it around my pinky on days I'm not having issues, and on days that my tension is too tight, I weave it through 3 fingers. It seriously just depends. But you will learn to recognize your tension issues and correct for them. Its more about seeing it and being able to make it work more so than having one way that will work ALL the time.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:57 PM   #7
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Okay, that makes a lot of sense.... I guess this is one of the cases where practice makes perfect. trvvn5 -- So in the scarf I'm about to knit, when I finish it I will be able to tell what days I wanted to shoot my boss and what days I wanted to toast him, right? Hahaha
sandy57th -- Yeah, I've heard tension used that way too. I guess the two definitions are closely related, since how tightly you knit determines your gauge.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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Yes, in the UK, swatches are called 'tension squares', and what your gauge is will be whatever tension you use.
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Emma7855 View Post
Okay, that makes sense. So if I were to just hold the yarn the same way for each stitch, I would (hypothetically) get even tension?
Part of tension is a lot of practice, but it can change depending on the yarn and needles used, too. Generally though you'll get more even tension if you hold the yarn the same way and practice.
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sandy57th View Post
Depends on the context of the word. "Tension" in UK patterns means gauge, how many stitches per inch and row you're getting. Where are you coming across the term?
She did ask about how to maintain an 'even tension' so it wouldn't be the UK meaning of tension. They're related though...
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