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What’s the right way to hold a crochet hook?

It’s a question that I see on forums all the time: what’s the right way to hold the hook? So, I though I would tackle my answer to this question for this Tip Tuesday: and I think that the answer is good news for most of us… there’s no right way! As long as you’re holding the hook in a way that allows you to crochet comfortably, then that’s the right way for you!

There are two very popular ways to hold a hook: the pencil hold and the knife hold: named because the holds resemble how you would hold other items.

The Pencil Hold
The pencil hold is the name for the method of holding your hook like you would hold your pencil. In this method, the hook rests on top of your hand, as pictured:

Here’s a photo of me crocheting using the pencil hold:

I’m not a native pencil holder… I use the knife hold (which I’ll talk about next). However, my mom (as well of loads of other folks that I’ve met) use the pencil hold – and I haven’t noticed that either one is faster or easier.

The Knife Hold
It goes without saying… the knife hold is the method where you hold your crochet hook like it’s a knife. The crochet hook is underneath of your hand, as pictured:

Below is a picture of me crocheting with the knife hold:

So, there you go… two ways (and probably a couple more) to hold your hook!

How do you hold your hook?



  1. merriam powell SAYS...

    My mother is left handed, she was told her whole life that she would never be able to crochet because of the way she holds her hook. She is an amazing crocheter, and we all love the things she makes for us!

  2. I’m a knife-holder, but for some reason I don’t find it easy or comfortable to keep my middle finger on the hook, so I crochet with the middle finger sticking out (sort of like when you’re pretending to be posh, and stich your little finger out when drinking a cup of tea!).

    • @Tink… I love that! It’s like your always at afternoon tea 😉

  3. I’m a “knife hold” person, although I have tried both, but somehow I find it easier!

  4. I am a knife hold person, as well. I’ve tried pencil hold and it just doesn’t have the control that I need!

  5. David SAYS...

    I’m a knife hold kind of guy. I use a special ergo handle from WalMart that requires me to use a knife hold.

  6. pdxknitterati SAYS...

    Pencil! But I agree, whatever works for you is the right way.

  7. Ann Le Roy SAYS...

    I ‘m a knife hold kind of crocheter. I crochet right handed but I am a left-handed person. I found it was easier to read the patterns when I used my right hand.

  8. I am a knife holder but always use a smaller hook than patterns suggest because my work tends to be loose

  9. I’m I knifer!

    Before I heard of the pencil vs. knife hold, I worried that I wasn’t holding the hook properly, because I saw tutorials with people using the pencil hold. But I figured I was completely pieces and they looked okay, so I just needed to go with what worked.

  10. Carolyn SAYS...

    I use the knife hold, otherwise if I use the pencil hold the muscles in my thumb cramp up and I can crochet only 5 to 10 minutes. What is the point in me using the “supposedly” correct hold if I can only work for such a short time? And I found the pencil is the correct one according to Maggie Righetti in Crocheting in Plain English. Sorry Maggie I am sticking to what works for me no matter what you say.

    • I just ignore folks who tell us the ‘right’ way to do things… sorry, Maggie! 🙂

      • Jackie SAYS...

        I’m neither!
        Somewhat of a Pencil Holder, but I learned third-gen to hold the hook against the side of my index on the first knuckle, leaving all other fingers free.
        It’s odd, and I’ve always wondered:
        a. if anyone else did this?
        b. how I would fare using an ergonomic hook with this strange grip of mine.

        • The best thing I can suggest is to see if there’s a way to try out a hook… you don’t know if it’ll work for you until you try one! Everyone’s different 🙂

        • Vi SAYS...

          I have held mine the exact way for a long time. I got a clover hook and it worked fine with that hook too. I just recently started putting my index finger on top and it is working well there. I have more control. Now the other way feels awkward after only a week or two.

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  13. Chris A SAYS...

    I’ve been crocheting 58 years. Majority was old fashiobed pencil hold and traditional yarn carry wrapped around the pinky. Now and for along time I use knife hold and I don’t wrap yarn around my pinky, just carry it between my index and middle finger. It took awhile to become habit, but, no more Carpal tunnel or finger pain. As long as the tension is good that’s all that matters.