Tension and Gauge

Our tension and gauge is as individual and unique as we are, so it is always worth checking before you start any project.

With clothing it is essential to make sure that all the hard work you put into making a garment is not spoiled by ending up with something too large or too small.

With blankets and home decor or toys it is not so essential, but it is still important.

Many patterns have yarn packs available, all of my blanket patterns do.
Most designers, like myself, will ensure you have enough yarn in your pack to complete the project, however if your tension is much looser than the designers, then you may run out of yarn.

Tension and Gauge

 Ensuring you have the correct tension and gauge will mean you have plenty of yarn in your pack.

 Once you have your chosen yarn, make a tiny square as shown below.

For DK [double knit] yarns use a 4mm/G hook.
The exception to this is the Stylecraft Naturals range which recommends a 3.5mm E hook.

 For Aran yarn use a 5.5mm/I hook

If you would like to learn more about tension, and how to perfect yours, please take a look at this post Talking Tension, and there is a video to help you.
Please note all my video tutorials are in US terminology.

Testing Tension and Gauge

US terms in blue – UK terms in red

1. Starting with a magic ring, ch 5 [counts as dc/tr plus ch-2], [Photo1]
(3 dc/tr, ch 2) 3 times, 2 dc/tr. [Photo 2]
Join to 3rd ch with a sl-st.
Stitch count: per side: 3 dc/tr, 1 ch-2 corner space.

2. Ch 3 [counts as dc/tr],
(in ch-2 corner space (2 dc/tr, ch 2, 2 dc/tr), dc/tr in next 3 sts) 4 times, omit last dc/tr. [Photo 3]
Join to top of ch-3, fasten off, and secure ends.
Stitch count: per side: 7 dc/tr, 1 ch-2 corner space.

Squares made with DK [double knitting] yarn and a 4mm/G hook will measure 2 inches/ 5cm across. [Photo 4]

Squares made with Naturals yarn and a 3.5mm/E hook will measure 1 ½  inches/ 4cm across.

Squares made with Aran yarn and a 5.5mm/I hook will measure 2 ½  inches/ 6.35cm across.

If your square is smaller, try again with a larger hook size, .5 to 1 mm larger.

If your square is larger, try again with a smaller hook size, .5 to 1 mm smaller.

Please also be aware that as the item you are working on becomes larger and heavier you will need to support it so that your tension remains even throughout.

 If you need help and advice, the quickest way to find support is to join Helen’s Hookaholics Facebook group. There you will find a very supportive group of likeminded people. It’s also a great place to share your crystalsandcrochet makes, and see what others are making, and see what I am up to.

 If you are not a fan of Facebook you can always email me with any questions you may have by using the contact form here.



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