How did you learn to hold your yarn?

I learned to knit a little over 30 years ago. I took an evening class at my LYS, and got the basics. One thing I never learned (or was even explained to me) was how to hold and tension the yarn. I knit English, and I actually do “throw” the yarn - I mean I make the whole movement with my hand/arm, and let go of the yarn after making a stitch. I think this is at least one thing that causes me to knit so slowly.

I’d like to learn how to hold the yarn to make knitting less tiring and hopefully a bit faster. Does anyone have any advice as to the technique they use to wrap the yarn around their fingers and how long it takes to adjust?

Thanks so much!!

I was a crocheter first and thought holding it in my left hand would work better (continental), but it wasn’t so I learned english first. Can do both now.

I wrap the yarn around my little finger and across my palm and then between my index and middle finger so it’s over the top of my index finger. I throw, but there’s very little arm movement. I’ll see what info I can find.

I’m more of a flicker. I wrap the yarn around my pinkie, over my ring finger, under my middle finger, and over my index finger. Then I hold the working needle with my thumb and middle finger, raise my index finger for wrapping the yarn around the needle. These pics may show it better than my description.

I do not know if this will be helpful to you, but I do not hold my yarn when I knit. I just knit, and it still holds good tension.

I do the opposite! Under pinkie, over ring, under middle and then over forefinger, I also ‘flick’ the yarn so the only movement is with my forefinger, although I can now do continental as well.

Actually, that’s almost the same. I just loop mine around my pinkie first.

Since I don’t have much movement it’s probably flicking. It’s so automatic I don’t even think about it. My friend doesn’t tension the yarn and she’s slower than I am, but she’s happy with it so that’s all that matters.

Thank you all!!! I’ll have to experiment and see if I can figure out a way that’s best for me. I’m hoping I can make something work, although the throwing motion I use works for me, it’s definitely slow. It would be nice to not have to spend months on a project instead of weeks.

I probably learned it from a KH video. Although lately I noticed I’m wrapping my pinky backwards for double knitting.

I know that my girl learned knitting and how to hold her yarn from her grandma! Its so adorable! I like her sitting and knitting! Its a real art, I think!

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With all the help here, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect way to hold the yarn for you. It takes experimentation! I’m right handed and have a few fingers missing from an accident, so I had to learn a new way if I wanted to continue knitting. I simply grab the yarn with my thumb and index nub, and it works better for me than any other hold! Good luck to you.

I wish I could do European knitting. I have watched the videos and tried but just can’t do it. I hold it over my pointer and under my little finger. I know I knit fairly tightly but it mostly comes out even and pretty close to pattern size.

hi…i learned to knit in johannesburg in the seventies…i knit and have knitted a lot but something I have never seen is someone else throw the yarn with the middle finger like i do. Does anybody else do that?

I am a self taught knitter I throw the yarn also but I keep tension on the yarn when I make the stitch. I was in the hospital in Oct at the VA hospital in Tampa. I had my hubby bring the blanket I started for grandson Hunter’s Christmas present. One of the Dr.s who came to talk to me saw what I was working on and he asked if he could touch it.I said yes, and he did and exclaimed "you have such perfect tension, how do you make your stitches? I showed him how I did it by knitting a few stitches. He said that he was going to try it when he got home. He is a knitter too.
Another Dr liked my daylily picture on my phone and started talking daylilies with me.


Daylily, I’m sorry to hear that you were in the hospital. Very good that you were able to work on your grandson’s blanket and even find another knitter!

Well, I’m a Continental knitter. I’m the oddball. I learned to knit from a neighborhood babysitter who learned from her German grandmother. I hold it over my middle finger on the left hand. If I move my index finger up, I can quickly flick the yarn to the front for purling like when doing rib stitch.

I was in there 8 days, my potassium level as real low. I had collapsed the the day I went in, but did not hit my head. I was standing up and it was like a switch was flipped , I went down right on my rear end. While I was in there I had several sonograms to check various things and they found out that my uterus lining is thicker than normal. I go in for a D&C on Jan 7.

Oh no! So sorry you were in the hospital and hope the D&C goes well and you have a happy healthy Christmas!

Yes my Christams will be merry. We are driving up to Va to spend it with youngest son Jared and his family. I get to see Hunter unwrap his blanket . He said he wanted yellow and boy it is sunny and bright.