3: Tension
(cont.)
Fun with numbersIn Australia, we
use the metric system for measuring, and it is wonderfully easy to
calculate because everything is a multiple of ten. Measuring over 10
centimetres means that you just have to move the decimal point to
get the number of stitches to 1 centimetre. If you get 22 stitches
to 10 centimetres, then you need 2.2 stitches to get 1 centimetre.
If you want a garment measuring 40 centimetres across, you multiply
2.2 by 40 and that is 88. You need 88 stitches to get the width you
want. (Don’t forget to add two stiches for the seam).
Using inches, it is easiest to measure over 4 inches and then divide
by 4 to get the number of stitches to the inch. If there is half a
stitch or a quarter of a stitch, include that in your calculations.
Multiply the stitch number by the required number of inches. If you
get a fraction of a stitch or an odd number when you don’t want it,
or an even number that won’t be right, just go to the nearest number
that will fit in with the width or perhaps a pattern repeat number.
Length is calculated in the same way. Once you know how many rows
you get to 1 centimetre (or 1 inch) calculate the number of rows you
will need in the same way. This number is important if you are using
pattern repeats or working a design or a motif.
**---**
Tension is not a wrong or right thing. It is
simply the only way to ensure that what the pattern writer intended
is the same as what you will make.
You may think, after reading all this stuff, that tension is
important. You are right!
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