Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tension Lesson

To company the fruity coloured bed cover I am currently making (yes, I have changed colour palette AGAIN!), I started making the pillow case in the same palette as the blanket, with an addition to a solid green yarn. Have got no pictures yet of those items, but... I have learned something today as I was doing the Tunisian Simple Stitch for the pillow case.

I know I said blanket on the pic title, I was actually wanted to say bed cover. LOL

It's the lesson of maintaining tension in Tunisian crochet to produce less curled result. When I was working on the blanket, I thought I just do it the way I usually do Tunisian -- and have curls on several of the beginning rows. This curl then ceased to appear after several more rows, but still - it disturbs my imagination on how many rows I had done previously, to meet with the length of the result that I wanted. I remembered all the tutorials in Tunisian crochet said that it will curl. So, I thought, I did it correctly, as it curls the way it is suppose to curl.

BUT!
Upon the beginning of the pillow case, I chained up to 10 cm for the first stripe and wanted to have a 40 cm (the width of my pillow) worked on. I don't know why but I did use less tension since chaining, then casted on the first row (forward pass + return pass) and went up 3-4 rows, and it does not curl at all! I am working with the big ply cotton yarn, as usual, I think it is equivalent to a 4-ply yarn in countries other than Indonesia --- (I seriously don't know... I have to learn more on skein sizes). Basically I just love the thickness of the yarn and how I work faster than using a soft cotton (fingering? light fingering?) or rayon (fingering!). The difference of tensions I applied on two projects is shown on pics below.



This is a part of my striped fruity coloured blanket - notice how curly it had gotten on the first three rows. 

This is the pillow case to-be starting rows. Notice the less curled up it had gotten? 

Another aspects that strikes me with the curls on Tunisian crochet is the length of the beginning chain. On the blanket project, I chained more than I chained in the pillow case stripes. I guess, there would be no answer to when your Tunisian projects are going to curl or not --- it's a matter of trial and error, right? I don't say that the curl means an error, but I just thought how nice it would be if I can crack the code to Tunisian curls without using Purl Stitch on the first few rows. Simply a personal preference, because I like my stitches to be uniform.

This blog, Crochet with Passion, summed up the necessary precautions on having uniform tension on one project, especially when dealing with gauge and any measurements. If I can be honest, I don't usually pay attention much to the gauge on patterns, because first and foremost -- I do not have the knowledge on how to convert yarn sizes in Indonesia. Tsk! Shame on me. I know. Therefore I usually go with the flow - I chained, I casted on, and I crochet.

Same thing happened when I was trying the Striped Granny pattern (of Lucy's Attic24). In her photographs, it looks PERFECT! Again, maybe because I am using a different type of yarn for my project, it curls. I hate it when it curls on regular crochet projects. Tunisian, I can compromise with. I did just asked Lucy about the curl case in my striped granny..... we'll see what she has to say. :) I hope a solution?