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Old 12-16-2004, 07:23 PM   #1
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I was wondering if anyone has pointers on evening tension? I knit slower than Amy does by far, but I've only been knitting for about 2 months (fast learner tho) I used to knit REALLY tight, now sometimes some rows are too loose and the 1st row is tight. Starting out, do I have to pay REAL close attention to this to make the tension even? I would hate to rip stuff up. Also, I hold the yarn the way Amy does with Continental and sometimes the yarn gets caught up stuck on my pinky after about ... I dunno, 5-10 knits? How do I fix this?

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Old 12-20-2004, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: Tension
Originally Posted by humblestumble
I was wondering if anyone has pointers on evening tension?
Hi humble!

If you ever find a way to help with this for a new knitter, I would LOVE to hear it too. I personally think it's just a matter of practice (but I am brand, spanking new and don't really know), but I wish there were a secret to help me from strangling the needles, I can't even get the needles through my stitches most of the time

I can't wait for the day that I laugh at this post and wonder why I had such a hard time with it I hope it comes soon, before I give up! I have WAY too much yarn here already to do that!!!

Good Luck!
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Old 12-20-2004, 11:13 PM   #3
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Gosh, I don't really know. I definitely think that wrapping the yarn through your fingers in a standard way can really help even tension....but it sounds like you're already doing that!

I do find that if my hands are sweaty or moist, that the yarn doesn't glide through as easily, and this can create the "sticking" problem you're talking about. If the yarn isn't flowing easily through your fingers, that could definitely aggravate tension problems. You might want to practice holding your index finger out to pick up the slack of the yarn, if it's loose, and hold it closer to give more yarn if it's tight (well, if it's really tight, you'll need to free up more yarn, obviously. If the yarn is sticking, I'll free up a bit more than normal, than pick up that slack by holding the index finger out).

Oh, and if the yarn is getting tangled around the pinky because it's doubling up on itself, just give it a yank from below.

It does get easier with practice. I do think that's the essence of it, as SoapDoc says. Hope that helps!

KnittingHelp Queen Bee

“It is not because things are so difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:34 AM   #4
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I have recently been working on keeping my tension even and have found this to work: using the method that Amy teaches to hold the yarn (wrapping around the pinky and over index finger), I stick my needle into the stitch, put the yarn over and pull the loop through -- at this point I push the needle forward a good inch before I pull the completed stitch off the needle. Pushing the needle through, making sure that I am not too close to the point tip, is what makes my stitch not too tight. Also, when I pull the completed stitch off the needle, I make a point not to simply pull it off without using my right finger tip to push on the tip of the needle to help it off. I had been mostly pulling the completed stitch off the needle (in an effort to not be too tight), and it caused my stitches to be larger than they should have been, and uneven because of the pulling.

I am now knitting a little more on the tight side, but my stitches seem more even. If you watch Amy's knit stitch video (continental style) she shows this very clearly.

As I re-read this, I'm not sure I am making much sense!
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Old 12-30-2004, 12:33 PM   #5
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Look at how you're knitting. Make sure you are pulling the new stitch completely onto the "fat" part of the needle before letting the "old" one off the left hand needle. Watching new people knit, often they'll have 3 or more (I dont know how!) "new" stitches piled up on the very point of the needle, and then its no wonder there is not enough yarn in each stitch to be loose enough to slide along the needle. And then they overcorrect for patches of really loose stitches.

If that doesnt help: Maybe make sure the yarn is not twisted over any fingers, just running between them (in & out and not around) so the yarn flows easily. Pull a couple yards out of the skien into a puddle so the skein is not pulling on your yarn.

Oh! Another thing is change needles. If you are using very smooth aluminum or plastic, get some wood or bamboo. Borrow a pair, maybe, if you are skeptical. But I find subconsciously people are afraid the stitches will just fall off (& with really slick needles, they can, depending...). A more "grippy" needle = no worry = nicer stitches. Then you can go back to slippery needles later when you need speed.

Oh, with the bubbling up of the yarn after 5-10 rows. Look at how you turn your work. If you always turn it in the same direction (clockwise or counter clockwise) you are adding or subtracting twist from the loose yarn which will make it bumble up.

Have a glass of wine, first. Turn the TV on to a program you like. Have a friend over for tea. In other words, relax.

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