Log in

28 May 2010 @ 01:22 pm
How to hold your yarn .....  
Hi Everyone,
I have another question if you have time to respond. I signed up in my local knit shop for a lesson and the teacher told me that I should learn to hold my yarn at the top of my needles with my two fingers (thumb and index)holding the yarn as I knit.(Im right handed) She said this gives my work a more uniform look and I will have more control of my yarn. Im practicing, but I was just wondering if this is what most knitters do, or do you just do what is comfortable and be sure to pull some to make your stitches a bit tighter?
Just curious here what others do?
Current Mood: curiouscurious
supertrink: froggingsupertrink on May 28th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
i do not hold my yarn correctly AT ALL. it's so wrong, in fact, that other knitters can't watch me knit. but it's how i learned and is comfortable for me. i think it's kind of up to you, but usually using a "correct" method allows you to go faster and have more uniform tension. so i vote that it's up to you, but if you're already learning the new method it couldn't hurt to keep practicing it. :)
Regan: iKnitpallid_regina on May 28th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC)
You definitely need to learn SOME sort of method to hold your yarn as you knit so you can help support your tension, but I don't know if there's really a right or wrong way, per se, just a way that works best for you.

I loop mine around my around my 4th finger on my right hand. It's just what feels "right" to me.
dakini_grldakini_grl on May 29th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
Me too, and then I run the yarn on top of my fingers to the needles. It is easy to use my index finger as a guide, and is faster than dropping and picking up the yarn every stitch.

Here's some nice video from knittinghelp.com on different holds:

Jessllajesslla on May 28th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
There are almost as many different ways to hold your yarn as there are knitters! As long as you are getting the proper results while knitting it doesn't matter how you hold it.

http://www.knittinghelp.com/ has a wealth of video instruction for all sorts of knitting topics, including how to hold your yarn as you knit.

I found that I prefer to use the Continental method of knitting. My mother prefers the English method. The end result is always the same.

The more you practice the more even your stitches will become. It's always awkward at first, but keep at it. Practice does make perfect.
darkpixiefaerydarkpixiefaery on May 28th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
I love that site! That's how I learned how to knit, plus a 1 -2 -3 Knitting book.
ForCryinOutLoudforcryinoutloud on May 28th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
I tried to hold my yarn "correctly" when I taught myself to knit (all of three weeks ago *laughs*) but found that it felt completely uncomfortable and wrong so now I just hold it whatever way feels the most comfortable and make sure I tug to tighten each stitch. :)
Moseymoshiicake on May 28th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
oooh... that little tug is bad for you.

don't do it!

when you start your next stitch you'll be tightening it anyway :)

I hold my yarn between my fourth and fifth fingers. I have a relaxed tension anyway but this keeps it even.
ForCryinOutLoudforcryinoutloud on May 28th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
*laughs* Actually, for me, I have to do it or all my stitches are WAY too loose and I get big holes in whatever I'm knitting (I currently have several holes in the blanket I'm knitting now because I forgot to do this). :P I think, because I don't hold my yarn "correctly" that when I do the wrap around I'm actually not really tightening the stitch much so if I don't do the little tug (little, not a hard tug), then I end up with a wonky looking row of too loose and just right stitches. :P

I have the beginnings of carpal tunnel and arthritis in my hands so they're cramped up minutes after I start :P the little tug, for me, actually means my hands (and tension) can be more relaxed than when I attempt doing it the "correct" way.
Moseymoshiicake on May 28th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
hmm.. i have really REALLY loose stitches and the only time I get holes is from accidental yarnovers... you sure you're not doing that?
ForCryinOutLoudforcryinoutloud on May 28th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
Yup, I'm sure. :) Every couple rows I count the stitches to make sure I haven't added any (as a yarn over would cause) and I haven't. :) They're not like huge holes or anything. *g* Just looks like a really, really loose stitch in amongst my tight stitches.
Moseymoshiicake on May 29th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
aww poops. Definitely learning to hold to a correct and even tension would be better for your knitting, but you can try knitting in your regular relaxed state and then pulling your work down from the needle to evenly distribute the yarn. Having really loose stitching isn't bad, so long as every stitch is that loose XD
ForCryinOutLoudforcryinoutloud on May 29th, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
Having really loose stitching isn't bad, so long as every stitch is that loose XD

*laughs* Yes. *grins*

I figure for three weeks I'm not doing too badly. *snerk* Eventually I'm sure, with more practice, everything will be as it should (the occasional loose stitch really only happens like once every 20 or so rows - mostly when I start getting tired/bored. :P 200 stitches across can get monotonous after a while *g*).
Moseymoshiicake on May 29th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)
Haha, omigosh, but what's worse is *counting* those stitches. Trying to do the pub quiz whilst casting on 160 stitches = not so much fun.
ForCryinOutLoudforcryinoutloud on May 29th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
*snickers* OMG let me tell you! *headdesk* :P Many times I lost count and almost cried at the prospect of doing it all over again. :P I totally blame Sherlock Holmes and Robert Downey Jr's prettiness for distracting me. ;)
nimbrethil on May 30th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
If you're a super loose knitter, one quick'n easy solution is to switch to a smaller needle. I have the opposite problem, and occasionally have to use larger needles.

Also, you might consider getting some circular needles. I have a few, and find that I can knit for a much longer stretch before my hands get tired or start to ache than with straights. I have a number of needles with cables of varying lengths, that I use almost exclusively, including with flat knitting. The thing is that the cable is supporting the weight, rather than the needle, so there's a lot less stress on your hands.

There are also a number of exercises you can do to warm up your hands before you start knitting, and during. I generally go through a series of them prior to starting, and do them again after twenty minute intervals, roughly. This is a good idea for knitters in general, because knitting is a surefire way to give yourself a repetitive stress injury. It's practically a must if you already have CTS or arthritis!
Robyn: cooksknithatmagickaldreamer on May 28th, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC)
I don't think I hold my yarn in any "proper" way, but I do what works for me, and I try to keep it looking uniform. The only places I've noticed that my stitches get loose are on the edges (and when I try to I-cord).

ETA: Er, having said that, the way I usually hold my yarn is English-style, with it held by my last two fingers, using my pointer finger (and thumb if needed) to guide it.

Edited at 2010-05-28 11:00 pm (UTC)
Quirky Chaosgnomenapper on May 29th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
Hold your yarn in the way that works as you are learning, you'll correct yourself and find a method that works for you. I started off all awkward but as the years went on I found a system that works for me and causes less hand cramps. You will too!
K.N. Senko: gromitluinel on May 29th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC)
Especially with the English method, it does not depend how you hold your yarn: you're going to be picking it up every stitch and adjusting the tension accordingly. The Continental method, however, does depend on holding the yarn a certain way. I was taught English and have gradually transitioned to Continental over the past two years. (I've been knitting for fourteen or fifteen years now.)

In my opinion, there is no right or wrong way to hold your yarn when you're knitting with the English method. It depends on who teaches you or what you're comfortable with, and it's important to be comfortable when knitting. You need to be focusing on your tension more than how to hold the yarn, and most of the people that i see knitting don't hold it at all if they aren't wrapping with it. Just because it's bothering your instructor doesn't seem to be a good enough of a reason to me, but then i'm rather stubborn. It might help ensure that you're not making yarn overs, but i doubt it.