Crochet Yarn Tension: How to Hold Your Yarn

When I first started doing crochet basics on YouTube (and on this blog), I skipped over showing how to hold the yarn; controlling yarn tension. The reason I skipped it is because I don’t really hold my tension the way everyone else does, but lately, I’ve realized that everyone does something unique in the way they hold their yarn in crochet (and hook). One of my commenters brought this to my attention, asking for a video, and I finally thought, “why not?” – I’ve always marched to the beat of a different drum. Why not in crochet, too?

Do I have to hold my yarn like that?

Absolutely not! In the video below, you’ll see three different people crocheting a chain stitch. All three of us hold our yarns differently! This proves my theory…there is no right or wrong way to hold your yarn and handle yarn tension. I did the video to show you that, and to give you a “starting point” to find your “perfect hold”. You’ll know it when you do, because it will feel comfortable, doable, and it will work. You’ll see recommendations for how to hold your yarn all over the internet, and by all means, test them out, but don’t think that they are the only way. Find what works for you….find YOUR way!

How to hold your yarn for good yarn tension.

Why does yarn tension matter?

Yarn tension is very important in crocheting. Tension keeps your stitches consistent, makes your piece easier to work with, and when you’re done, allows the beauty of your work to shine! It will also help when gauging your crochet projects. Yarn tension matters, but there’s no rush in getting it perfect. It takes time, patience, and practice. It will come…I promise!

Finding tension in your pinky.

It’s interesting to note that a lot of crocheters use their pinky when it comes to yarn tension, but not all in the same way. For example, in the following video, you’ll see that I use my pinky as an “anchor” for my yarn, loosening and tightening my hold, as needed to keep my stitches even. My mother, on the other hand, will wrap the yarn completely around her pinky, creating extra tension (this method creates too much tension for me). I’ve seen others that weave the yarn between their fingers, ending with the pinky (also too tight for me). Regardless, your pinky is going to come in quite handy!

3 Key Things to Remember:

  • Keep a tight hold on your piece using your thumb at all times. This helps maintain control.
  • Try to keep a relaxed hold on your hook as you crochet. This will make it easier, and more enjoyable, for you to crochet.
  • Stay positive and realize that it will take a little time to find the perfect yarn hold – look for comfort and don’t over think it!

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