Please always check the tension before you
start on a new model!
Correct tension is the most important prerequisite if the knitted garment is to be a
Even if it is a bother and you would much prefer to get going with the new pullover, this
preliminary work does, on the whole, save time, trouble and sometimes money, too.
Checking the tension is a way of tuning your own way of knitting to the given tension. All
instructions in the knitting patterns refer to the tension stipulated, therefore your
garment can only be a success if your tension sample is in line with ours.
How to check tension properly:
1. Always use the original yarn.
2. Knit the original pattern.
3. The tension sample should be at least 12x12 cm.
4. Treat the tension sample exactly like the finished garment, i.e. if stretching and
damping are part of making up, do the same with your tension sample.
Take the centre 10 cm (width and height) in the tension
sample. If your sample is too tight (i.e. you need more stitches and rows than stipulated)
then try again with larger needles. If your sample is too loose (i.e. you need less
stitches and rows than stipulated) then you need smaller needles.
If necessary, slight deviations can be corrected by using more or less stitches and rows.
You can't be too sure!
To be really certain, check your work again when it measures about 20 - 30 cm.
It's possible that with so many stitches on your needles (or when you've got used to the
yarn and pattern) that your knitting is tighter or looser than in the small sample.
It is also a good idea to compare the measurement of the planned pullover with those of
your favourite pullover so that the finished garment is sure to fit.
The rule of thumb can be taken as such: the ratio of stitches to rows is approx. between
2:3 and 3:4 in stocking stitch.
Rib patterns are much closer. Therefore you should pull these somewhat apart before you
Patent patterns stretch with wear. Where you knit into the centre of the stitch from the
previous row in every row, it gets wider (therefore pull the sample width-wise before
measuring), where you knit into the centre of the stitch only on the right side, it gets
longer (therefore pull the sample length-wise before measuring).
Although jacquard patterns are mainly like stocking stitch, the proportion of rows to 10
cm is lower, sometimes only 1:1.
With cable patterns it is vice-versa. Although the number of rows are the same as in
stocking stitch, more stitches are needed in proportion.
If in doubt, always try everything out before you get started. That's how the
professionals do it.
Pay attention to the care details on the band. Comfort in wearing and care of the yarn can
only be warranted if you follow the recommendations.