Today's blog is a cautionary tale about tension. I've been busy knitting up and writing up the patterns for the squares for our Wonderwool blanket, one of which is a simple corner to corner centre square. The first thing I learned is that it is quite easy to turn a square into a parallelogram -- more about this in a later post. The second thing I have learned is that garter stitch tension is quite fiddly, particularly if you have a plaster on your finger!
As you can see from the pictures, my two finished squares are different sizes. The mitred square (green centre) is the correct tension and the corner to corner square (blue centre) is bigger. The difference shows most in the border and edge triangles rather than the centres. This was a bit confusing as I'd used the same needles, same yarn, same stitch but the tension is different. Then I remembered the plaster. I use Hiya Hiya Sharp interchangeable needles which need to be re-named 'very sharp'. I'd been knitting a jumper in the round fairly quickly and had caught the end of my finger with the needle a couple of times so, rather than bleed over my knitting, I put a plaster on my finger. The yarn doesn't slip over a plaster in the same way that it slips over skin so when I swapped back to my blanket square to do the border and triangles, the tension was different. The square is only one stitch awry over 10 cm but on a 20 cm square that becomes two stitches which is visible. This is why tension is important when knitting!
We now have a new rule for tension -- no plasters!
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Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.