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Crochet Lesson: How to Hold Yarn & Hook

Before diving into crochet, learn how to hold your yarn & hook!


How to Hold Your Crochet Hook

The most common ways to hold a crochet hook are either like a pencil, in between your thumb and index finger and resting on your middle finger, or like a knife, with the hook between the tip of your index finger and thumb but the rest of your fingers resting on or cradling the hook. Which method you use is totally based on what’s most comfortable to you.

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Pencil Method

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Knife Method

How to Hold Yarn When Crocheting

There are a variety of ways to hold your yarn when crocheting. How you hold your yarn is ultimately determined by what’s most comfortable to you and what yields a tension with which you are pleased.

Our crochet contributor, India Williams of Stitch’D Factory, here, shares her favorite method for holding yarn when she crochets.

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India’s Method for Holding Yarn when Crocheting

In the opposite hand than the hook (aka your non-dominant hand), you will control the yarn (and tension) either by wrapping the yarn around your fingers or using your fingers to grip the yarn.

Step 1: Place your working yarn in between your pinky and index finger of your non-dominant hand. Your dominant hand will be working the crochet hook. 

Step 2: Continue the yarn up towards your middle finger, to then rest between your middle finger and your index finger

Step 3: Wrap the yarn around your index finger, once or twice. You want the yarn to glide through your fingers easily, this way you can better control the yarn and your tension. If the yarn doesn’t glide easily, remove one of the wraps around your finger.

Note from India: This method is a great way to control your yarn and as you crochet more you will find ways that work best for you in your practice. 

TIP: Make sure to use your working yarn that’s coming out of the center of the  ball of yarn, and not to use the tail of yarn, which is the short end used to make the slip knot.

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A Note On Yarn Tension

Yarn tension is the tightness or looseness with which one crochets. It is based on the way one holds their yarn when crocheting and how tightly they pull their stitches as they go. It is important to try and not hold the yarn too tight, as it will make it harder to get your hook into your stitches when you turn your work to work on the next row. It will also change your gauge. Try and hold your yarn with the same grip and tension to keep your garment consistent throughout the entire project.


Apply your new-found skill to create awesome things! Here’s a round-up of project inspiration.

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