How To Hold Yarn When Knitting?

When knitting, you can hold the yarn in one of two ways: English style or Continental style. In English style, you wrap the yarn around your fingers and hold it in your right hand. In Continental style, you wrap the yarn around your left index finger and hold it with your left hand.

Whichever method you choose, make sure to keep a steady tension when working with the yarn.

Learning how to hold the yarn when knitting is an essential skill for anyone wanting to learn the craft. There are several techniques that can be used, depending on the style of knitting you prefer. The two main techniques are Continental and English (throwing) knitting. Combination knitting is also becoming increasingly popular as it combines elements of both styles. Knowing how to hold yarn in your right and left hands correctly is key to achieving successful results.

Holding Yarn In The Right Hand:

When holding yarn in the right hand, the first step is to place the yarn around your little finger. This provides more control over the tension of the yarn, allowing you to achieve a consistent stitch size throughout your project.

Hold the yarn with your thumb and index finger, then wrap it around your index and middle fingers. This technique is useful for knitters who use Continental knitting style.

Holding Yarn In The Left Hand:

For those who prefer English (throwing) method, holding yarn in your left hand is necessary. Begin by placing the working yarn over your thumb and index finger. Holding both needles in one hand (usually right), insert left-hand needle into next stitch on right-hand needle.

Then throw (or throw over) working yarn over top of right-hand needle before wrapping it around your left index and middle fingers. This technique helps keep tension even when knitting with two hands simultaneously.

Continental Knitting:

Continental knitters hold their working yarn in their left hand while inserting their right-hand needle into each stitch on their left-hand needle one at a time, then wrapping it counterclockwise around their right-hand needle before continuing with their next stitch. This technique ensures that each loop made with a knit stitch is as consistent as possible, allowing for a neat finish every time.

English Knitting (Throwing):

English knitting (also known as throwing) involves holding the working yarn in your right hand while inserting your left-hand needle into each stitch on your right-hand needle one at a time, then throwing (or throwing over) working yarn over top of right-hand needle before continuing with their next stitch.This method creates a tighter fabric than continental knitting due to its tight tension control and makes it easier for beginners to master quickly due to its simplicity.

Combination Knitting:

Combination knitting combines elements from both Continental and English styles of knitting by using two hands simultaneously – one holding each type of yarn – while creating stitches with both needles at once. To do this, hold both needles in one hand (usually right) and insert left-hand needle into next stitch on right-hand needle before throwing (or throwing over) then wrapping working yarn clockwise around left-hand needle before continuing with their next stitch.

Combination knitting allows knitters more freedom when creating intricate patterns or colorwork designs as they can switch between different types of stitches quickly without having to pick up new stitches or repositioning either hand.

Yarn Over Hand:

The yarn over hand method is the most popular way of holding the yarn when knitting. To do this, you wrap the working yarn around your pinky finger and then cross it over your index and middle fingers. The working yarn should be positioned between your index finger and thumb. This method provides good control over tensioning and keeps the working strand taut as you knit.

English Knitting:

English style knitting is similar to the yarn over hand technique but instead of wrapping the working strand around your pinky finger, you wrap it around your ring finger. This is a good technique for those just starting out with knitting because it allows you to quickly adjust tensioning with minimal effort.

Portuguese Knitting:

Portuguese knitting is a great way of holding the yarn when knitting if you’re looking for more control over tensioning without having to use a needle or stitch holder.

To do this, wrap the working strand around your neck keeping it taut and then hold both needles together with one hand while using the other hand to insert the left-hand needle into the next stitch on the right-hand needle.

Knitting With Multiple Colors:

When using multiple colors while knitting, attach each color ball of yarn in a separate place on your body so that you can easily switch between them as needed while knitting. This will help keep each color organized and make sure that they don’t get tangled together as you work.

Holding Yarn With A Stitch Holder Or Needle Tip Protector:

If you’re having trouble keeping stitches from slipping off your needles, try using a stitch holder or needle tip protector to secure them in place while still allowing you to use both hands for knitting. Simply loop section of yarn through holders or protectors until secure before beginning work.

Tensioning Your Yarn For Better Results:

The key to achieving consistent tension when knitting is by holding onto either end of strand of yarn as close as possible without straining your hands or wrists too much. Keeping enough slack in between will also prevent any accidental tightening that could cause problems further down the line when making garments or items out of knit fabric pieces.

Common Mistakes When Holding Yarn While Knitting:

It can be easy to make mistakes while learning how to hold yarn when knitting such as not allowing enough slack when tensioning or not knowing when to switch colors for multiple colors being used at once, or even holding onto too much slack when tensioning which can create uneven stitches in projects like hats or sweaters that need uniformity throughout in order for them look their best upon completion!

By following these tips on how to correctly hold yarn when knitting, you’ll have all you need get started mastering this timeless craft. With practice comes perfection so don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way – even experienced knitters make them too.

FAQs & Answers:

How Do I Keep My Stitches From Slipping Off My Needles?

Try using a stitch holder or needle tip protector which will securely keep stitches from slipping off without having to constantly readjust them every few minutes!

How Do I Keep Consistent Tension When Knitting?

Keep enough slack in between strands by holding onto either end of strand of yarn without straining yourself too much, this will provide consistent tension throughout every row.


Congratulations. You have now learned how to hold yarn when knitting. With patience, practice and the right tools, you will be able to knit with confidence and ease. Whether you choose to use the English, Continental or combination method, the important thing is to find one that works for you and stick with it.

Every knitter has different preferences when it comes to knitting with yarn so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect way for you. Once you have mastered the technique of holding yarn when knitting, you will be well on your way to creating beautiful projects that you can be proud of.

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