Tackling Tension!

The most tricky aspect of knitting seems to be tension – more tricky than counting.

Counting was tricky at first as I was learning the pattern, thinking I knew what was coming next and then realising that I didn’t. I did a bit of knitting backwards, fixed the error and that was fine.

However, as my knitting has started to grow, I’ve become irritated by tension issues. With stranded colour work, I know that the issue is about making the floats loose enough so that there isn’t any puckering on the front as the floats pull the knitting in. I’ve been aware of this and consciously tried to make sure the floats are loose but not so loose that you get ‘big’ stitches where the colour changes. I’ve also been trying to stretch the stitches out a bit on the right needle to make sure I’m not bunching them together and then picking up the yarn, making a too short float.

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But having looked at a few blog posts about stranded knitting, I can see that these are classic issues around the floats being too tight.

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This is the back – do the floats look too tight?

Also, where there is an odd stitch in the contrast colour, it can seem to dive in and get lost. You can see this in the picture below (which is the worst example) I can pull it back out with a cable needle but I don’t think that’s quite what’s intended!

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Will this block out?

I’m one week into the project and I’ve done about 2 repeats of the 14 repeat pattern. I’ve got a long way to go. Obviously, I will make the rest of this looser so that puckering improves. However, it’s a beautiful pattern and I want to make this a beautiful piece of knitting – rather than something that’s good enough.

So, I’m in a quandary – should or I rip it back and start again? Or carry on?

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3 thoughts on “Tackling Tension!

  1. Hello, I’ve just found your blog. I also have a knitting and crochet blog so it’s great to meet other fans of the crafts! I am useless at stranded knitting, so I’m not sure I can advise, but everything you wrote I’ve experienced myself (I particularly liked your lost stitch reference!). It looks good to me, but I’m a perfectionist and if it was my work and I wasn’t 100% happy with it I’d probably rip it out. I figure you put all that effort in, you don’t want to look at it and only see the errors. But another way of looking at it is that you’re seeing your skill evolve as it gets better! Let us know what you decide. Aileen x

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    1. Hi Aileen, thanks for your comment. I had a bit of a think and decided to stick with it in the end. I wasn’t convinced I could do it any better if I had another go. Also, it’s hard to tell exactly how much of a problem it is as it puckers a bit on the needles anyway. The floats underneath have a bit of give so I’m hoping they will flatten. I’ve done a few more rows with looser floats – they look better but not hugely different. So I’ll just have to see how it turns out!

      Liked by 1 person

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