Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How to Use the Tension Tamer Crochet Tools

  So, you finished making your Tension Tamer Ring and/or Bracelet (in case you didn't, click here if you need the pattern)... Now, how do you use it? These are versatile tools that can be used many ways, depending on your tension needs! Follow along as I show you just a few of the ways you will be able to control your crochet tension with these accessories.

First of all, there's two basic ways you can load your working yarn into the tools. You may find it easier to attach one side of the ring/bracelet to yourself first, as shown here.

Rest the working yarn over the tension tool. If you need to reduce your tension, load the yarn so that the working side faces your hook hand. If you need to increase your tension, load the working yarn facing away from your hook hand.

Snap the other side of the tool shut over the yarn, and you're good to go! (I have the ball end of my yarn on the wrong side of my arm here, and it gets annoying to work this way! Fix this mistake by moving your ball of yarn, or twist the tool around until the yarn is at the outside of your arm.) You can let the yarn flow through the slot as is, or scroll ahead for another way!

Later, I will show you more ways to work with the bracelet, but this is my favorite way to lessen tension using this piece - if your tension is at its tightest. I simply bring the yarn up from the palm of my hand, between my index and middle fingers, and then over the index. Just one finger for tension!

The second way you can load your tension tools is by inserting your working yarn into the slot. I find this to be the easiest for both the ring and the bracelet. Again, if you need to increase your tension, load the working yarn running away from your hook hand. To decrease tension, load the working yarn running towards your hook hand. (You can always just flip the tool around! Nothing special needed here!)

Attaching my bracelet in this manner will decrease my tension, because the working yarn is towards my hook hand. To increase you tension, rotate the piece the opposite direction. 

You can also use this loading method to use the tool as shown in the first example. After attaching the tool, just slide the yarn around to where you want it!

And you can cross the straps to increase you tension a bit more - But I find it difficult to load the yarn this way without attaching one side first.

Once both straps are attached, it will "trap" the yarn in a little hole. This only adds a tiny bit of tension, but I find it comfortably raises the yarn off of your wrist/finger.

You can adjust the width of the hole by sliding your finger against the "X" where the straps cross. Just be careful: You can make the yarn jump to the other side of the hole if you slide the yarn with the straps... But maybe you'll want to!

When I need a little more tension, I like to use the bracelet alone in this way. I let the yarn travel over the top of my hand, under my middle finger, and over the index. This creates a medium amount of tension that I prefer for lighter projects.

You can also spin the bracelet around to hold the yarn from underneath, as in the first example. Holding the yarn this way still creates the least amount of tension, but the crossed straps add just a little to it.

Remember that these tools are versatile! If you don't like the amount of tension from only using one finger, experiment with different ways to hold your yarn. I'm experienced in crochet, and a little set in my ways! You might find another way that works better for you.

So far, I keep showing the bracelet. The ring can be loaded in all the same ways, but let's look at a few different ways to use it!

The ring is a bit trickier, if you try to attach it this way. If you don't get the yarn over your finger when you attach the snaps, your working yarn will fall right out of the tool. Somehow I kept doing that when trying to display it, and it got frustrating!

Make sure your yarn is in the slot and over your finger before you attach both snaps, and hopefully you can avoid the same troubles I had!

I prefer to use the ring this way, so the yarn runs under the vertical bar. This will decrease your tension, just as with the bracelet. Rotate the ring in the opposite direction to increase your tension.

We've seen a lot of my set in worsted! Let's switch over to my preferred set in super-fine (1) Woolike for my final comments:

I have seen some crocheters work with their hands flat, as you see me working trying to work here. I find it impossible, even with this tool. If you're able to work this way, you'll have to experiment on your own!

I work with my hand rotated sideways, as shown here. I like to use the ring this way, without the bracelet. Bringing the yarn up from under my hand and over my index finger is the best way for me to hold the least tension.

I also find that I can use a little more tension when using this lightweight set! I can hold the yarn in a light-tension hold, while adding a little more tension with one of the pieces turned to increase tension. Experiment with your own ways to find what's best for you!

Happy Crocheting!

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