Knitting tension, also known as gauge, refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch or centimeter in a knitted fabric. It is the measurement of how tightly or loosely a knitter is working their stitches. Knitting tension can vary depending on the yarn, needle size, and the individual knitter’s technique.
When knitting a pattern, it is important to achieve the correct tension or gauge in order to ensure that the finished item will be the correct size and shape. If the tension is too loose, the item may be too big, and if the tension is too tight, the item may be too small.
In order to determine the knitting tension, it is recommended to knit a swatch or sample piece of fabric using the same yarn, needle size, and stitch pattern as the pattern you intend to make. The swatch can then be measured to see how many stitches and rows there are per inch or centimeter, and adjustments can be made as needed to achieve the correct tension.