Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life



Holidays are over, and I went back to work this week.  This morning, I sat down to knit a few rows on my sock heel before I headed out the door.

After a bit, I began to notice something rather strange. (The photo is not the best, but it’s all I could get in early morning light).

Different tensionCan you see how the top rows are very different to the bottom rows?

I looked at it again from a different angle:

Tight tension!

Nope, my eyes were not playing tricks on me.  Then, I thought I’d done something wrong with the stitches, but no, the pattern is the same.

It was a bit of a shock to realise that the different look to the sock heel was because my tension (gauge) had suddenly become veeeeeerrrry, veeeeerrry, tight.

Whereas my gauge over the holidays was nice and relaxed, and quite normal for me, it seems I’m suffering an extreme form of the blues at going back to work, and this has shown up in my tension becoming so tight that it has changed the entire look of the stitch pattern.  Tension has literally changed my tension!

I’m probably going to have to knit the rest of the sock on needles two sizes larger! I tried ripping back the tight bit and using a size larger (going from 2.25mm to 2.5mm) but even that tension is far too tight.  Reeelaaax, deep breaths, think happy thoughts, I said to myself.  It still hasn’t worked.  😦  I’ll have to try 2.75mm next.

The gauge at the beginning of my knitting is correct, so I need to replicate that. Ripping back and starting again will not work on my current gauge as the sock will come out the wrong size and the stitch pattern will not look right.  I wonder how much larger the needles will have to be before I finally get the right gauge!?

Quite interesting that.  I didn’t know I was feeling so tense.  It’s not surprising though. I had already decided that things need to be different this year, but it looks like my body is telling me that things really have to change.  With a young family relying on me, I cannot afford to jeopardise my future ability to provide for them by carrying on with status quo.

It’s just funny that it was my knitting that has made me quite literally ‘see’ it.


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

17 thoughts on “Tension

  1. This has happened to me too. I’m knitting away, and suddenly I become aware that I have a head full of torrid thoughts, and, I’m nearly strangling the needles with the yarn!!!
    Time for a stiff gin I always think!

  2. I think your knitting has put the finger on it. I admire your ability to provide for your family… Surely your knitting can help do this too. Have faith. I think you are fab.

  3. It’s always our bodies that find a way to get our attention! If only we could stay on holiday always, and amazing how quickly that holiday feeling goes. Hope you get the different year you want.

  4. Good luck with the changes ! I hope you’ll soon be able to get back to your ‘old’ needles..

  5. You inspire me all the time. Good luck for getting back into the routine of work xxx

  6. Wow, that really is a remarkable difference. I’m surprised it doesn’t feel different in your hands too.

  7. I almost thought that you were at a slip-stitch heel. Except that pattern doesn’t ask for a slip-stitch heel.

    My gauge changed drastically after finishing The Book. But it got tighter! Before I could have never made a 64 stitch sock. Now it’s the only way I can get a sock to fit. Gauge…. a mystery of the universe.

  8. Fun color and how funny our eyes deceive us with the difference in tension.

  9. wow. That’s crazy. I’ve had a similar but less obvious tension problem before, but found that if I take a few moments and breathed deeply, I was able to relax and get back to normal….but maybe I’m just somewhat uptight all the time. 🙂

  10. Are you sure you’re doing the pattern exactly the same? To me it seems as if you are knitting the whole pattern in 5 or 7 rows where you were knitting half the pattern in that number of rows. Short story – only only plain row between each pattern row now instead of the 3 you were previously knitting. Or am I seeing things wrong? If not, I hope you can get back to your “happy place” knitting soon!

  11. I’ve heard about stress increasing your knitting tension. Maybe you should just go on holiday again!

  12. I would never have thought the difference would be so great if you hadn’t posted those photos. Good luck with making things better!

  13. I found myself more stressed in the holidays and after an afternoon of knitting the tips of my fingers were numb from trying to push the yarn along bamboo needles! Seems knitting really is your psyche reflected back at you 🙂

    Ps colour is gorgeous