What’s a pinkie do while crocheting? Tension the yarn!

There’s no right way to hold your yarn while crocheting. Whatever works for you is the way you should do it!

But, I’m often asked how I hold my yarn… so I’ll tell you! You may like it, you may not. My feelings won’t be hurt if it’s not for you!

I’m right-handed, so I hold my working piece and the yarn in my left hand:

As you can see, I hold the piece I’m working on between my thumb and index finger. I hold the tension with the working yarn pressed between my pinkie and my palm.

This allows me to keep a constant tension on the yarn, without the pausing that happens if you wrap your yarn around a finger.

The yarn runs from my work, over my index finger, and then under my middle, ring and pinkie fingers to end up squished by my pinkie:

Keeping the yarn on top of my index finger is another handy trick… it allows me to dip my hook in a stitch and under the yarn with just a tiny movement of my index finger:

This hold allows me to crochet smoothly, without moving my fingers/wrists around too much. Which is good, because I get very achy wrists, and keeping movement down really helps!

How do you tension your yarn? How’s it working for you? Just in case you’re curious, I hold my yarn the exact same way while I’m knitting… but I know there are lots of other ways that work beautifully for people!

Best,
Stacey

7 COMMENTS

  1. Christine SAYS...

    I hold the yarn the same way, tried to wind over/under other fingers but just couldn’t make it work : )

  2. iribeiro SAYS...

    Hi Stacey!

    I love all your tips and tricks, and here is another one for me to try.
    My favorite way to hold the yarn is what is called the portuguese style of knitting, which is: you hold the yarn around the neck while working. For example, I am right handed, so I hold the piece in my left hand, put the yarn over the neck and tension the yarn using my right hand. I also keep the yarn over my left index finger.
    I feel that this way it doesn’t slip as much when my hands get sweaty…

    • @Iribeiro- I’ve seen people doing that! I’ve yet to give it a try, but I plan to, someday!

  3. Jules SAYS...

    That’s How I hold mine. Find it the most comfortable.

  4. Doug SAYS...

    I’m looking for a better way to hold my yarn than the “tradtional” pinkie loop. I’m curious if you get a cramp in your hand from tensioning the yarn, as it looks like either that or pop-eye sized forearms from the pinkie workout! 🙂
    Thanks!

    • Hey Doug!
      When I’m tensioning my yarn with my pinkie, I’m not squeezing my pinkie against my palm very hard… just holding it very slightly, enough to catch the yarn. Maybe I’ve built big forearm muscles, but it doesn’t cause too much stress, that way 🙂

  5. Michelle SAYS...

    I like to weave the yarn through my fingers to generate the tension — I find that I have less “pinkie squeezing” to do that way. when I have tried the “traditional” pinkie loop, I get waaaaay too much tension.

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