OK so I’m no Ada Lovelace1 but I’m not completely hopeless at maths. I haz an O- (yep, I am that old), an AO- and an A-level in it, a pass in the OU ‘Maths for Science‘ course and am currently grappling with their chemistry-with-hard-sums course. And yet, apparently I still cannot count accurately to 24.
Two days ago I realised that I’d mis-measured my tension square for decimal. My tension was actually tighter than I’d thought. So all my work to that point has had to be ripped out, and I am reconsidering the tension issues. The yarn I’m using is dk-weight rather than the sport-weight the pattern calls for; I can get the specified stitch tension on small needles but with a very tight row tension. Hmmm. Now I’m thinking I’ll knit on slightly larger needles and knit a smaller size, so I have tested tension on two sizes of needles.
I hate making tension squares. For socks and hats and such I don’t bother. I have a fair idea of how my normal tension compares to patterns, and over a small project being a little out isn’t so critical. One extra stitch to 10 cm doesn’t make a huge difference to a 50 cm circumference hat. But for a jumper, it matters. The tension square thing has to be done. I know it’s essential and not a waste of time. But it feels like a waste of time. Lots of knitting that isn’t going to be anything. I am working on my bad attitude to tension squares. It is all a part of the process, part of getting things right, part of developing my craft.
Still hate knitting them, though.
1. British mathematician, called by Charles Babbage the ‘enchantress of numbers‘