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Topic: Tension issues  (Read 1147 times)
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meriellyn
« on: September 10, 2007 09:26:38 PM »

Hi, sorry for all the questions but I'm a big beginner with crochet, despite having taken to knitting like a duck to water. For some reason I'm just not picking up the crochet as fast.
Anyhoo... I've finally gotten my basic stitches down and am feeling more confident about being able to read my crochet. The main issue I'm having now is keeping my tension even. I keep getting some V's much looser than other and I seem to have a loose gauge in general, which I also find to be the case when I knit but I don't have a problem with my knit stitches looking even.
I've found one way of keeping things more even but I it seems to tighten things up a little too much and makes my hands cramp.
I've tried different ways of holding the yarn and I really don't think that's where the problem is. I think the problem is my right hand.
Are there any crochet videos I can find online?

How much can blocking actually even out crochet? What about acrylic? Any hope there?

Thanks again!
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2007 11:06:24 PM »

I think you just have to practice. That's what happened to me with knitting.
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meriellyn
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2007 07:07:51 AM »

Yeah, but I need to make some sort of adjustment to the way I'm practicing, maybe. I've made a bunch of potholders, half a large afghan, half a small afghan and lots of swatches/experiments and I'm comfortable with the motion but something just isn't working out quite right. It's not horribly off, just not as even as I'd like. I don't know what I'm doing wrong so I don't know how to change it and practice differently.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007 07:28:37 AM by meriellyn » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2007 09:47:53 AM »

I have the same issues and have been crocheting almost a year. I find the longer I crochet the bigger my stitches get from my hands being tired. I like to have a hot drink with me that I sip on as I crochet.
I found that it helps for relaxing the muscles.

I also do finger stretches before and during crochet.
the same kind for knitting just on what ever hand or fingers are aching. It really helps!

I also found that my stitches aren't perfect but it does seem to all look the same in the end. So if it's close I wouldn't worry about it. Smiley Hard I know!

If they are majorly off then I would work a swatch or two before picking up your wip so you can get your tension right before you start on your project again.
Because the other thing I notice with myself is I'll set a project down then pick it up and my stitches are different!

As for blocking it really does help. there are certain things I don't worry to much about like hats and toys, but clothing, blankets, dishcloths, and things like that even out so much! I will say the natural fibers do better at blocking but even acrylics seem to get better! So give it a shot on some of your swatches and see if that helps!

Good luck! And I do agree crocheting is a bit tricky. (I learned to knit first and found it much easier.) but now I crochet more than anything and my needles feel neglected!
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2007 01:09:22 PM »

I have found that I can self-correct my tension as I go (maybe have to undo 5 or 6 stitches).  But it really comes down to practice and observing what you're doing. 
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2007 03:51:18 PM »

That's something I really have to watch especially when I'm increasing or decreasing.
If I let the loop on the hook get looser/bigger, then I have a big stitch when I've completed it. It just hadn't occurred to me that that single loop-on-hook was going to be the size of the finished stitch.
So now, I pay more attention. My decreases don't have such big "holes" if I let my hook reach over rather than letting the loop-on-hook get larger to reach that 2nd stitch to create the decrease.
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meriellyn
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2007 04:02:02 PM »

I think I may have found part of the problem. I tend to put my finger on the loop that's on the hook because I find it easier to stabilize my right hand that way. I broke my left hand a few months ago and while it's a LOT better and I'm able to craft, I can't hold support the whole thing with my left hand. I'm going to practice later and see if I can find a new place to put my finger without disrupting the stitches. It seems when I do that, it gets too tight though. Bleh. For now I've just been going back if the loosey is one a few stitches back (hooray for crochet to be so easy to frog and restart) and just telling myself the rest will come out in the wash. ;P
It's nothing major major (usually) but I do need to make some adjustments, I think.

The part about letting the hook reach over, not the stitch is great. I'll watch out for that! Smiley

I really appreciate everyone's input so far and welcome any more anyone else might have.

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1QueenofCrochet
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2007 09:34:58 AM »

Don't worry you will eventually "loosen up", almost everyone I teach tends to hang on to the hook and yarn so it "won't run away" so to speak.  Try switching your hook size, go one smaller and look at the results, then try one larger and look at the results.  Remember hook size is not written in stone.  Also everyone has a different tension, some people crochet tight and some loose, you might notice if you are say watching a scary movie you will crochet tighter (it's the tension).

Eva
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jilaria
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2007 10:33:54 AM »

I tend to put my finger on the loop that's on the hook because I find it easier to stabilize my right hand that way.

I do this too! I find it annoying that I do it because it disrupts the flow of stitches but I don't know how to stop it. I'm not one of those crocheters who can do a dc, for example, in one fluid motion.
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meriellyn
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2007 01:50:33 PM »

Don't worry you will eventually "loosen up", almost everyone I teach tends to hang on to the hook and yarn so it "won't run away" so to speak.  Try switching your hook size, go one smaller and look at the results, then try one larger and look at the results.  Remember hook size is not written in stone.  Also everyone has a different tension, some people crochet tight and some loose, you might notice if you are say watching a scary movie you will crochet tighter (it's the tension).

Eva

My problem tends toward random loose stitches normally. The reaching with just the hook and not tugging the loop is helping a bit though. Which is good because I can keep my finger where I like to. Smiley
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