Sunday, 10 March 2019

Holding Tension in Crochet

If you have been around my blog for a number of years you may have already heard some of these stories but it's always worth sharing again. My mother started teaching me to crochet when I was 9 years old. I had some little Barbie/Kelly dolls that I loved but they needed blankets and clothes. Instead of mum just making the stuff for us (my sister and me) she handed me a crochet hook and some 8ply Acrylic yarn. Then mum taught me the basics, chain stitch, double crochet and all that. Since then I have forgotten and retaught myself a couple of times.

Amongst all that my grandma got a hold of me, meaning that she handed me some knitting needles (fairly certain it was at my request) and taught me to knit. When knitting my grandma focused a lot on the tension and making sure it is being kept even. I was also taught the English method meaning the tension is being held in the right hand not the left.

Cue me falling back into crochet again because I always go round in circles with these two crafts and I just work with what I have. I fell hard into making toys (all those cute little amigurumi!) The little characters that you have to keep VERY tight tension with. I fell into very bad habits, though I didn't realise it at the time. I would make the stitch and pull the yarn down to make it very tight. This worked with toys but I'm realising now it really really really doesn't work as I start to move into clothes and stuff.

These past couple of weeks something just clicked. I knew I had this habit of pulling down but I was watching a YouTube tutorial and watching her hold her tension and something just hit me. I watched the way she pulled the thread through and how she didn't pull the thread down and for once I could see the way she was holding the thread steady in her left hand and holding the tension the whole way. See the video just below.



I don't know how I couldn't work that out but finally it clicked. Also I just managed to do it. No fuss it just made sense. I hold my yarn differently to her, I hold it in my left hand in the exact same way my grandma taught me to hold my yarn for knitting in my right hand. But how I hold it was never the problem I just wasn't holding the tension the whole way through the stitch. DUH! It seems like such a simple thing to say but it really does make a difference and I am actually making a crochet fabric that is much looser and just sits nicer all around.


 
Isn't it funny how you can do something for years and then something just hits and you realise where you've been going wrong this whole time. Oh well... I hope you enjoy this realisation as it's been a great thing for me to realise.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


p.s. amigurumi wants to be spell corrected to fumigator ... apparently that's not a word :)




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