Figuring out if you are a tight or loose crocheter is actually pretty simple! In most cases, it’s super easy to correct as well. But before we get into correcting your tension, let’s figure out what yarn tension is.
Tension is the “stress” that you apply to your yarn as you use it or crochet with it. Yarn tension is important to understand because it can ultimately determine the outcome of your future crochet projects. To read more about yarn tension and learn a few quick tricks to perfect your tension, check out my post called, “What’s Yarn Tension.”
Now, let’s find out if you tend to crochet loosely or tightly.
Am I a loose crocheter?
If you find that when you crochet your work tends to feel “loose” or has bigger holes than it probably should, you may be a loose crocheter. If you always tend to crochet loosely, however, you may have no idea that you’re even doing it! Here are a few ways you can check:
- Your projects tend to turn out larger than expected
- You have a hard time grabbing the yarn with your hook to make stitches
- Your yarn seems to always fray or split
- Your edges seem to look a little “off” or uneven, even though you have the correct number of stitches in each row
Am I a tight crocheter?
If you find that when you crochet your work tends to feel “stiff” or thicker than you think it should be, you may be a tight crocheter. Here are a few ways you can check to see if you crochet tightly:
- Your projects tend to turn out smaller than expected
- Your hands seem to cramp even when you’ve only been crocheting for a short period of time
- You have a hard time sticking your hook through a stitch or pulling a loop back through
- You have a hard time working into your foundation chain
But what if I don’t fit into either category??
If you feel like you don’t fit into either category above, then that most likely means that you crochet somewhere in the middle. This is great news, just remember that there are tons of factors that can affect your tension that may come up out of nowhere, such as stress. Try to be mindful when you are crocheting to maintain this good habit.
Now that you know which category you fit into, you will be able to understand how to better control your tension.
Here are some tips if you are a loose crocheter
If you tend to crochet on the loose side, don’t fret, there are some super quick and easy changes that you can make to correct that!
If you crochet loosely, then you probably don’t have a very good hold of your yarn. All you have to do is hold the yarn in such a way that automatically applies more tension for you! There are two great techniques for this.
This first technique is for you super-loose crocheters out there.
To do this, wrap the yarn all the way around your pinky finger, over your ring finger, under your middle finger, and then over your pointer finger.
Weaving the yarn between your fingers will automatically apply more tension for you as you are crocheting. The yarn wrapped around your pinky is the trick to really controlling your tension.
This second technique is also for loose crocheters, but will a little less automatic assistance, this also happens to be the technique that I use when crocheting.
To do this, wrap the yarn over your ring finger, under your middle finger, and then over your pointer finger.
Weaving the yarn between your fingers will provide more automatic tension for you, but less than with technique #1. The key is to find what works best for you.
Here are some tips if you are a tight crocheter
If you tend to crochet on the tighter side, you will need to hold your yar in a way that will help you control your tension a little easier.
If you crochet tightly, then you probably grip your yarn too tightly. All you will need to do to help improve your tension is hold the yarn in a way that lets it flow between your fingers more easily.
This third technique is very similar to the ones that loose crocheters can use, but you will notice one big difference.
Wrap the yarn around your pinky finger, under both your ring and middle finger, and then over your pointer finger.
You don’t need to weave the yarn between your fingers because you don’t need to add any additional tension.
Here is another technique if you tend to crochet too tightly.
Hold the yarn between your pointer and middle finger. The rest of your yarn will flow freely. To add a little tension, squeeze your middle and pointer fingers together.
This technique provides the least amount of automatic tension.
No matter which way you choose to hold your yarn, make sure your yarn flows freely and smoothly. You shouldn’t have to tug at your yarn.
Please remember that there are so many different ways to hold your yarn to control your tension. Find what is most comfortable for you, then practice, practice practice!