5 Steps For How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting (+ Must-Know Tips)

If you are new to crochet, then one of the first things you want to learn is how to hold yarn when crocheting.

While this can look confusing to start with, there is an easy way to hold the yarn that allows plenty of control over your yarn.

How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting

Holding the yarn and hook in the right way is essential as the wrong method can cause wrist pain.

In this practical crochet guide, we take you through each step for holding your crochet yarn, so you can enjoy creating your crochet project.

How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting

You may have seen a variety of different methods of how to hold crochet yarn. Here is one of the most common ways to get started with yarn and your crochet hook.

Step 1: Hold Your Hook First

As you will be working predominantly with your hook, you need to first pick up your crochet hook.

Most crocheters feel most comfortable holding the hook in their dominant hand. Grip the hook in the same way you would pick up a dinner knife.

Hold the hook body firmly in your fist. It should extend about an inch past your thumb and index finger.

Step 2: Flatten Your Palm

Once you have chosen your hook hand, you need to hold the yarn in the other hand, so if you have your hook in the right hand, then you hold your yarn in the left hand.

Before you hold the yarn, put your hand flat on a table and spread your fingers slightly. Allow around half an inch between the tips of your finger.

This is just to get you started, so you are fine to move your fingers for more comfort once you get your yarn into position.

Step 3: Position The Yarn

Now take the tail end of the yarn and gently move the strand underneath your pinkie finger. Then move it up over your ring finger.

You can vary the fingers depending on what feels more comfortable for you. Some people like having the yarn strand between their middle finger and ring finger.

Alternatively, you can place the yarn strand on top of your pinky finger and under both your ring finger and middle finger. Then move it up again over the index finger.

Step 4: Move The Yarn Across Your Hand

If you prefer to have the yarn under your pinkie finger only, then move the yarn tail all across the top of your hand.

It’s important that you have at least 6 inches of yarn stretching past your index finger and thumb.

You can also vary this yarn length, depending on what feels convenient for you. 

Some people prefer to work more with a longer length of yarn, while others like keeping the yarn short from their index finger.

Step 5: Open And Close Your Fingers To Control Tension

You should now see the yarn weaving its way under your pinkie finger and over your ring finger, middle finger, and index finger.

You can now hold the yarn with your thumb. This keeps greater tension and it should feel tighter over your hand.

Now spread your fingers. This should feel loose over your hand and it provides less tension.

As you get more familiar with this way of holding your yarn, you can vary the tension by simply opening and closing your fingers.

This is important because some crochet patterns specify more or less tension throughout the piece.

If there is no tension specified, then you just need to hold the yarn firm enough to keep an even tension. This being said, the yarn shouldn’t slip through your fingers too easily.

How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting

Easy Ways To Personalize Your Yarn Holding Technique

There are a number of different options that allow you to gain more control over your yarn by simply holding it the right way.

For More Control: Wrap Yarn Around Thumb And Index Finger

If you feel that your yarn is just too loose around your fingers, then grip the strand with your thumb and index finger.

This allows you to control the yarn better and you also get more tension in the strand. If you want to reduce the tension, simply let go of the yarn with your thumb and index finger.

For Extra Security: Wrap Yarn Around Your Pinkie Finger

If you feel that the yarn keeps sliding away from your hand, then it can help to wrap it around your pinkie finger once.

Just make sure that you don’t get too much tension on your yarn by holding it with other fingers.

For More Tension: Wrap Yarn Around Your Index Finger

Whether your crochet pattern requires more tension or you feel that your crochet piece is just too loose, then you just wrap the yarn around your index finger to increase the tension.

Just start off by placing the yarn under your pinkie finger and then over your ring finger and your middle finger. Then wrap the strand around your index finger.

Make sure the yarn sits snug but not too tight as this could feel uncomfortable after some time.

Top Tips For Holding Yarn When Crocheting

Holding the yarn while crocheting can be challenging for beginners, so here are some top tips on how you can perfect your yarn holding technique.

Keep The Right Tension

Tension is an important part of holding the yarn. Too much tension in your yarn and your wrist may start to hurt after a while.

If you don’t have enough tension, then you may end up with a distorted crochet piece.

Plus, make sure to check any tension requirements with your crochet pattern.

Be Patient

It takes a little practice and some time to find your individual way of holding the yarn.

Final Thoughts

How to hold yarn when crocheting can vary for everyone. 

However, it’s important to keep a steady tension on your yarn to ensure that your wrists don’t hurt and your crochet piece looks good in the end.

Nancy Adriane