How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting

Stitches, patterns, equipment, abbreviations… there are plenty of things to get your head around when you first start crocheting. Arguably, one of the most important is how to hold your yarn.

Learning how to hold your yarn correctly will give you more control when you’re crocheting, and with a little practice, you can learn how to personalize your grip and make it more comfortable for you! 

How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting

If you’re struggling to get to grips (literally) with crocheting, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how to hold your yarn correctly, and create the projects of your dreams! 

Introduction: What Is Tension? 

Learning tension is a real pain in the butt for beginners. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons why beginner crocheters give up before they’ve even started! 

Tension is simply the amount of stress (tension) we apply to our yarn when we use it, and the way we pull our yarn away from the skein as we crochet.

If your tension is too tight or too loose, you’re not going to get the result you want. We need to look for that sweet spot! 

Tension is such an important part of how we hold our yarn – without the right amount of tension, you’ll never be holding your yarn properly, and an incorrect hold can have a pretty bad impact on the final product.

If your tension is too tight, your project may turn out smaller than expected. If it’s too loose, you’ll probably end up with a larger project that could potentially have holes in it. 

Are You A Loose Or Tight Crocheter? 

If you need to learn how to hold your yarn correctly, you’re probably either a loose or a tight crocheter. But what does this mean, which one are you, and how can this affect your project? 

If you’re a loose crocheter, you may have the following issues…

  • Larger than intended projects
  • Your yarn splits when you’re crocheting 
  • You can’t get straight edges or stitches
  • You struggle to wrap yarn around your hook 

Doesn’t sound like you? If you’re a tight crocheter, these things may sound familiar… 

  • Smaller projects 
  • Hand cramp 
  • Struggle with foundation chains 
  • You can’t see your chain stitches when you pull out your work 
  • You can’t pull the strands to finish a stitch 

Are you a loose or a tight crocheter? You’re not alone. If you haven’t found that sweet spot for your tension, you probably fall into one of these categories. It’s a real pain in the butt, but fear not: it CAN be corrected!

Whatever category you fall into, identifying the right tension and learning how to hold your crochet can fix your issues, and give you the end results you’ve been dreaming of. 

How To Hold Your Yarn (Loose and Tight Crocheters) 

Okay crocheters, listen up: here’s how you correct your issues. 

If you’re a loose crocheter, you’re going to need MORE tension. To get more tension, you’re going to need to hold your yarn in a way that gives you more tension.

The easiest way to do this is to wrap your yarn around your little finger, then over your ring finger, beneath your middle finger, and finally over your index finger.

By weaving your yarn around your fingers, you’ll automatically give yourself more tension control when you’re crocheting. If you wrap the yarn correctly, those loose creations will end up much tighter, and they’ll FINALLY turn out at the right dimensions! 

If you’re a tight crocheter, you’re going to need the opposite – less tension. So, here’s how you can hold your yarn in a way that’ll make your tension control far easier… 

Start by wrapping your yarn around your pinky, beneath your ring and middle finger, and then over your pointer finger. If you’re weaving it between your fingers too much, you’ll be adding even more tension – which you don’t need. 

How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting

Holding Your Yarn If You’re Unsure Which Type Of Crocheter You Are 

If you’re unsure which type of crocheter you are, or you simply haven’t found a comfortable position yet, don’t worry – this technique might save you. 

We found this position by simply holding our yarn in a way that was comfortable for us. That’s exactly what you should be doing, too, and with any luck, the most comfortable hold will give you the right tension. 

Simply hold your yarn between your pointer and middle finger, leaving the rest of the yarn to flow freely between your fingers. That’s it! To tension your yarn, simply squeeze it between your middle and pointer fingers and let it go slightly when you pull your yarn. 

Whether you’re trying this method or one of the ones above, your yarn should pull through smoothly. If it doesn’t you still haven’t got the right tension. 

Right And Left-Handed Crocheters 

Right and left-handed crocheters (see also: How To Crochet Left-Handed)will work in opposite directions; this means that a right-handed crocheter will create rows from right to left, and anticlockwise when it comes to rounds.

On the contrary, a left-handed crocheter will work from left to right with rows, and clockwise with their rounds. 

Fortunately, how you hold your yarn (and how you create tension) is exactly the same for both right and left-handed crocheters, you’ll just do it with different hands! 

Final Thoughts 

When you first start crocheting, the whole process can seem impossible to get to grips with. Thankfully, with a little practice and a bit of knowledge to boot, you can become a great crocheter a lot faster than you might think! 

Remember: learning how to hold your yarn correctly is one of the most important things you can learn to do as a crocheter. We hope this article has helped you discover the right method for you.

Get ready to put those crochet mistakes behind you, and embrace your future as a seasoned and knowledgeable crocheter!

Nancy Adriane
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