I am currently working on Jen by Kim Hargreaves. It is knitted in Rowan Bamboo Soft. I did a tension square on the right size needles and it was way out so I dropped three needle sizes and started knitting. (yes three!)
I finished the back only to find that it was 4 cm wider than it should be and 6 cm longer.
After much sobbing I decided to try to work on my tension. I knew that the ribbing was probably a bit smaller than it should be so the problem had to be in the stocking stitch.
I am an English knitter or thrower. I throw the yarn using my middle finger and wind the yarn around my little finger. I have questioned everyone I know who knits as to how they do it. All of them have had to pick up their needles to tell me!
I have tried holding it in my little finger and throwing with my index, winding it round my index finger and winding it round my little finger and throwing with my index. It all felt very alien and didn't really work. I cannot seem to get the flow of yarn through with more tension.
When I was much younger and first started knitting, my knitting was very tight. It used to squeak along the needles and I have even been known to snap knitting needles. As I got more used to knitting, it loosened up.
I thought that I should try to learn the continental method but it seems that it makes your knitting looser.
A Clanger with my knitting
Yesterday I came across an article in the latest Twist Collective. It was all about getting gauge. The article was an eye opener. It showed the difference between a tension square knitted by the same knitter with the same yarn but one was with a metal needle and one with a wooden one. The square knitted on wooden needles came out much bigger. I had knitted my stocking stitch with a wooden needle and my ribbing with a metal one. The article also said that everyone has a natural style of knitting whether tight or loose.
For the last five days I have been a quivering mess about my knitting. I couldn't make myself knit any tighter despite valiant efforts and it just made the whole thing unpleasant. I went to knitting club last night and checked everyone out. They all seem to knit tighter than me. Oh woe, woe and thrice woe. What can you do?
My main worry is that I use more yarn than the pattern requires. Normally I would buy an extra ball to compensate (just in case) but I have a couple of Kim Hargreaves kits which have the required amount of yarn in.
I have decided to embrace my 'slackness'. Where gauge is important I will use metal needles to try to improve it and also do a tension square. I am also happy to go down two sizes of needles if that is what is called for. Oh, and to try not to think of myself as a second class knitizen because I am loose.
If anyone has any other tips I would be pleased to hear them.