Chain Stitch Tension: Part I

In this week's enewsletter, I talk about learning how to do the most basic crochet stitch–chaining–all over again in order to make the Shawlette in Chains by Kristin Omdahl in Crocheted Gifts by Kim Werker.

I'm using laceweight for the project, but it's a bit too slender for clear pictures of tensioning. So I'm illustrating with a DK yarn.

Here's how I crochet with close tensioning:

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Note the left index finger, positioned close to the project. I “throw” the yarn over the hook.

To help even out the chain stitches, I did this:

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If I hold the yarn away from the project and “pluck” the yarn with the hook, I can create tighter chains. It took me a whole panel (that's 864 chains) to “get” this. On the final two chain lengths, I felt the “ping” of perfect chaining. This is where my spinning experience comes in. When you spin, you reach a “zen” point where you are working with the fiber rather than against it. There is a feel to the fiber as it moves from fluff to fiber that lets you know you have the right tension.

Tune in later for more tips on working this project, as well as seeing how quilting helped me out.

Meanwhile, please leave your own thoughts on tensioning.

Happy crocheting,

Marcy

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