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To knit a garment that will fit properly the tension needs to be correct. Every knitting pattern tells you the size of knitting needles that you will need, but it you knit loosely the garment will be knitted larger and not fit.  If you knit tightly the garment may be too small. It is very annoying to have spent hours knitting a jumper or cardigan only to find the it will not fit you or the person you have knitted it for.  

Every knitting pattern will give you a tension guide that should be followed. It will take about fifteen minutes to complete the tension sample, but it is worth the time spent to get the correct tension.

The tension sample usually involves  casting on 10 stitches and knitting ten rows of stocking stitch. The sample is then measured both ways and the result compared with the instruction on the tension guide in the pattern.

If the sample is too small when measured, the best way is go up one size in knitting needles. If the sample is too large, go down on size in knitting needles.

Tension can also be corrected if you are knitting too loosely by wrapping the wool once around the little finger. Sometimes you need to wrap it around twice.

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