Moving yarn up without killing your fingers

I’m a very new knitter. I knit quite tight, so when I have to move the yarn up, I push the tip of the needle down with my right pointer finger. By the time I’ve been knitting for awhile, my right pointer finger hurts so bad. Is there a way to move the yarn up toward the point without having to push the point down with my finger?

Thanks for your help.


Yes… hold your thumb and index finger on the tapered part instead of pushing against the tip. Don’t knit so tight - if you pull the yarn after each stitch, stop doing that. Making the next stitch automatically tightens the previous stitches. They should move easily along the needle without being pushed.

I don’t think I’m pulling, I just knit so tight. What kind of needles do you use? I’m using wood and they don’t slip very well. I’m making a hat using the Addi medal needs and I love them, but I understand they don’t make them in straight needles. Too bad because they move the yarn so nicely from one needle to the other.

I have a bad habit of pushing the needle down (with my pointer finger) with every time I knit, and with my knitting so tight, it really hurts. Hopefully I’ll get better.

Thanks for your help.

Wood is stickier and it’s harder to slide the stitches and knit them too tight. You might give metal a try. I use Knitpicks Options.

I got started on metal needles and have only bought wood ones the last couple years. They’re nice for slippery yarns or very thin ones, but not so well on stickier yarns. You can get the circular addis; anything you knit on straight ones you can knit on circs, they’re not just for knitting a tube.

I did this when I first started knitting. I knitted so tight (I guess I thought it would leave holes or something if I didn’t) so I had to push hard down on the needle to get the yarn to slide off. After I got more comfortable with knitting, I loosened up a lot on the tension and no longer had to push the needle out, it just slid out easily when I moved the other needle out of the stitch (if that makes sense).

I also agree that bamboo/wooden needles go grip the yarn more so that’s an additional factor as well. I love my metal circs b/c the yarn slides out so easily, but I do like bamboo DPNs b/c I don’t have to worry about the needle just sliding right out of a row.

Thank you for all the help. I LOVE the Addi needles, and might just go buy some more. I think the combination of being a new knitter, wood needles just isn’t a good one for me.

Thanks again,


I totally do that- pull the yarn. I need to learn to stop that. I mainly taught myself to knit.

I taught myself to knit too and I never got in the habit of pulling the yarn after a stitch. Maybe because I just learned how to thread it through my fingers to tension it instead of leaving it loose.

I dont know how to do that, it kinda just hangs there.

It took me a while to be comfortable with it. I weave the yarn through my fingers - over the index, under the middle, over the ring, the pinkie kind of curls around it. I don’t wrap it around any finger which would make it too tight to move. You want the yarn to flow easily. Look at how various people on Youtube hold their yarn and do a practice piece trying out different ways.

I have a tendency to bunch up the stitches on the left needle too. That way it takes longer before I have to pull stitches forward. As a new knitter, it may not be the best thing to try. You might slip stitches if you aren’t careful.

I bunch them up a little too, but don’t have a problem with dropped stitches. Maybe because I use circs for everything, straight needles are just too awkward.

I also tend to bunch up my left hand stitches, but the way I hold my needles, throw my yarn and tension my yarn keep dropped stitches to a minimum (although it does, still, happen).

I honestly think that more practice and getting comfortable with her needles will help. Right now the fear of dropping a stitch is causing the tension which in turn, causes even more fear of dropping a stitch and thus the cycle is born.

Relax and know that you can always bring up a dropped stitch with a crochet hook and that it does get easier with practice. Besides, it’s fun to practice and see all the things you can make. Pretty soon we’ll be seeing your “I’ve arrived!” post telling us that you can now knit without looking. :slight_smile:

You’re very correct that experience and practice will help. Knitting is supposed to be relaxing, not tense. Working on some practice pieces can help; when you’re not knitting a ‘project’ the fear of it not turning out ‘right’ will go away and you can get into the rhyrthm of it.

Totally agreed.

wind it once loosely around your pinky then once more around pinky and ring finger then over the center finger. I never have to tug on the yarn and it keeps my tension nice and even without killing my hands (carpal tunnel and arthritis)

I wouldn’t suggest wrapping it around any fingers to start; that may still tend to make the tension too tight. But weaving it through several fingers should give a looser tension to begin with, then if it turns out to be too loose, wrap around one finger to tighten a little.