Thursday, 8 February 2018

Tension squares - The key to successful knitting projects

Have you ever had the experience of knitting something to the correct size in the pattern to discover you have created a miniature sweater or a cardie that doubles as a tent?
It comes down to not having checked your tension – or made a tension square.
Knitting to the correct tension is essential if your piece is going to come out the same size as the pattern. All the numbers in the pattern for rows, stitches, decreases etc have been worked out using a specific tension – if your tension doesn’t match then neither will the measurements. And if you substitute a yarn, it is even more essential because you can’t assume it will behave exactly the same as the yarn in the pattern.
DK squares (26sts x 34 rows) knitted on 4.5mm, 4mm and 3.5mm needles
Getting the right tension
The three squares pictures were knitted with the same self striping yarn and lightly steamed before measuring. Measure your square in several places using a tape measure or a gauge such as our lovely Elephant Needle and Hook Sizer, as shown here, and average the number of stitches you count in 10cm in each measurement. Repeat this to work out the number of rows.

The 4.5mm needles gave a tension of 19 sts x 25 rows, 4mm was 21 sts x 28 row and 3.5mm, 23 sts x 30 rows for a 10cm square.
This means that 105 sts would give you 50cm using the 4mm needles but 45.5cm on 3.5mm and 55cm on 4.5mm – (stitch number divided by stitch tension) x 10 = width.
So if the tension for the pattern was 21 sts for 10cm on 4mm needles but your tension came out as 20sts because you are a slightly looser knitter you could end up with a garment several centimetres too big. The same is true for differences in row tension
If your tension is looser, knit a new tension square using a needle one or two sizes smaller.
If you have too many stitches and rows to 10cm try going up a needles size.
Sometimes you need to try a couple of needle sizes to get find the right tension but the hassle of knitting some extra tension squares is nothing compared to ending up with a useless garment.

In most cases if you can only get one of row and stitch tension correct, it is better to choose the needles that give you the right stitch tension and the closest row tension. This is because patterns often ask you to work to a certain length which will allow you to compensate for having a slightly different number of rows to 10cm.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Last minute Christmas Ornaments

There is still a couple of weeks to go before Christmas.  While there might not be quite enough time to knit gifts, we’re sure you could still makes some Christmas ornaments for the big day and we have found some lovely patterns around the internet for knitters and crocheters.

You can never have too many Christmas stocking and these mini bootees by Yarn Stories are such fun to hang on your tree or decorate gifts.  They are even big enough to fit in a couple of little chocolates.

Or, if you are a crocheter you could try this pattern by Tanya Eberhardt.

How about these lovely trees to decorate your home? You could have great fun mixing up the colours of choosing shades to go with your Christmas theme. They have been designed by StudioNyske and you can download them here.

If you want to revamp your Christmas baubles then Susan M Allen has some lovely ideas for you.  you could use any yarn to contrast with your tree theme.

There's no reason not to add a little bit of crochet to your Christmas table with this Holiday Napkin Ring by Oombawka Design.

And finally here is a delicious looking Christmas pudding by Amanda Berry to top your tree.

Wherever you are and whoever you are with, everyone at KnitPro would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

All I want For Christmas

This month is THE time for Christmas shopping. If you are planning to buy something
for one of your knitting or crochet friends, or your family wants to know what to get you, we
have some wonderful accessories in the Knit-Pro range.

Our hand blocked fabrics are extremely popular. As well as a lovely selection of project bags and needle or hook clutches and rolls, we also now offer two other products you might like.

You can never have too many stitch markers but, instead-of scrabbling around in the bottom of your project bag to find them, our new Stitch Marker Pouch will keep them safe for you.

Do you use a lot of knitting charts?  Then why not take a look at our chart keepers which come in a range of our lovely fabrics.

If you are looking for a beautiful and useful, investment accessory, our Swift and Ball
Winder could be just the thing. Both are hand-made in plain or our signature wood to a very high quality.  The KnitPro Swift will expand to accommodate any size of hank and the Ball Winder winds the most stable balls you will ever have seen.

If you are on the hunt for stocking fillers, Knit Pro has lots to offer.  How about a handy Yarn Cutter, some Stitch Holders, a Clicky row counter or these handy DPN tubes.  Useful, practical and just what knitters and crocheters need.

We hope we have tempted you with our eatures products, but if you want to see more from KnitPro, visit our website.

If you would like to stand a chance of winning a pack of Stitch Markers and a Stitch Marker Pouch, visit our Facebook page.