Do You Have Bad Crochet Tension?
Crocheters often ask how to get more consistent with their hook. It’s all comes down to tension. Here are some ideas for more even stitchwork:
1 – Practice
Obviously, practicing makes for even motion from the hook. With time, your stitches will find it’s natural position.
Get used the motion and start not thinking about the action and let your hands naturally move.
2 – Realizing Everyone Stitches Differently
Comparing yourself to others is a good thing to some degree, but you have to realize that you are working with your body. Everyone is slightly different. Think about gymnasts that can do moves where most of us cannot. So body movements and motion are directly related to your personal rhythm.
3 – Your Chair and Neck Positions
Your chair can impact your comfort which translated to the hook. Like I demonstrate in the tutorial next, the positioning of my butt in relationship to my knees and neck dictate how long I can sit comfortably and the pain associated to it.
With some chairs, you can experience pain in your neck, shoulders, back and even fingers if you are not sitting comfortably. Try switching different chairs and finding your own personal comfort.
For myself, I prefer an armed chair or pillows under my arms to support the weight of my arms. Supporting my arms can allow me to sit longer, crochet longer and speed up my crochet abilities as well.
4 – Crochet Hook Models
The type of crochet hook can change your abilities. The material of the hook can factor in your comfort.
- Resin types of hooks can retain the heat from your fingers and the transference of heat from your hand stays into the hook and is better for you.
- Steel can steel the heat from your hands. I would avoid this type of hook unless it’s ergonomic.
- Bamboo hooks are the best for heat tension and extremely light. If you are not going to use an ergonomic hook, use bamboo.
- Ergonomic Hooks, I believe, are the best for long term comfort. We’ve come from an era of wooden, resin and steel hooks to most people using ergonomics. When there was a switchover, people would complain about the price of the hooks in the ergonomic area but time is proving it’s a lot easier to work with and the price is worth the health benefits as well. There are higher end ergonomic hooks that can be upwards of $30 – $75. Try a regular ergonomic first before making that large investment.
If you are not comfortable with your hook, the tension on your hands will transfer into your stitchwork.
Video will automatically start at the hook recommendations.
5 – Environment
Your personal space on where you crochet can factor into your tension. If you are constantly being interrupted, getting settled back into the stitchwork may take some time. If watching TV, the program can also change your tension. Scary movies cause me to crochet with such significant tension that I sweat at the hook. Feel good shows I am relaxed and more even in tension.
If you are going to crochet, find a good chunk of time to sit and relax. If you are constantly being distracted and your mood is changing on the fly, it will factor right into your stitchwork.
6 – Emotional Well-Being
If something is bothering you. Maybe you are feeling depressed or ill, your tension can factor the stitchwork. There are times where I am too emotionally unstable to crochet. I have to put down the hook as I am not flowing with the correct motion.
Many times, crochet can help stabilize mood swings and give a sense of purpose when you are not feeling your best, however, if your mood is swinging all over the place and your mind is actively busy trying to process what you are feeling, you may just stitch those emotions directly to your project.
7 – Thinking Less About Moving
Like riding a bike in the beginning. You are worried about falling over but your body gets used to finding the natural balance of riding the bike. In a short time frame, you stop thinking about falling and start to enjoy the view. You may even get sporty and want to do pop a wheelies and skids!
Crochet, in the beginning, is a lot of concentration of holding the hook and yarn. You are worried about making mistakes and the project falling from your hands. In time, you realize the project can be easily reversed if you make a mistake. You come to understand the hook is holding the project and won’t just jump off the hook.
The less you think and let your body and mind take over without much thought, the quicker you will get and your stitchwork will find it’s natural positioning.
8 – Test Your Gauge to Know Tension
Doing the gauge workshop below will give you an idea if you are a loose or tight crocheter. Now listen, your tension may be right onto the standards of crochet but either tight or loose depending on the designer. Each designer crochets uniquely and they provide a gauge of their work so you can best match it.
I’m thinner yarn, I am a loose crocheter, in a thicker yarn, I’m too tight. So I have to change my hook up or down depending on the gauge.
9 – Perfect in Crochet Doesn’t Exist
Take the pressure off yourself and don’t let the social media sharing of projects deter you from achieving your personal best. No one is perfect, not even you. While some have really strong abilities to demonstrate amazing projects, others who are just starting out also have their own strong abilities in working through the steps.
Some people really love to learn as much as possible to really get a vast knowledge base of stitches to pay with. Others are comfortable with the same type of project and stitches they are used to. We are each unique.
Don’t be hard on yourself. If you are trying your best, you are doing just fine.