How to Measure your Tension, or Gauge
At the beginning of a knitting pattern is a piece of information called the tension, or gauge. It is important that your tension is correct, otherwise the item you are making will be the wrong size and you can end up using more or less yarn than you should.
To ensure a good finish always knit a tension square before you start working on a new project.
This is how to measure your tension on a piece of knitting.
This is a piece I have worked in stocking stitch using Deramores Studio Baby Soft DK. You can see that each stitch forms a small “V” shape.
Place a pin to one side of a column of stitches.
Place your ruler with the 0 by the pin.
Count the number of stitches until you reach 10cm. In this example I have counted 20 whole stitches and 1 half stitch, giving a tension of 20½ stitches to 10cm.
Measure the number of rows in the same way. Place a pin at the base of a row of stitches.
Place your ruler with the 0 by the pin
Count the number of rows until you reach 10cm. In this example I have counted 29 rows giving a tension of 29 rows to 10cm.
Your knitting pattern will tell you how many stitches and rows there should be to 10cm.
If you have more stitches to 10cm, use a bigger knitting needle. If you have fewer stitches to 10cm, use a smaller knitting needle.
Similarly, if you have more rows to 10cm, use a bigger knitting needle. If you have fewer rows to 10cm, use a smaller knitting needle.
That’s how to measure and correct your tension!