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How to Hold a Crochet Hook And Your Yarn – My Easy Guide For Left And Right Handers

Learning how to hold yarn and a crochet hook is one of the most essential steps to becoming an expert crocheter.

Though it might seem daunting to learn a new skill, my article will help you learn all the tips and tricks needed to hold yarn and a crochet hook and teach you how to tie a slip knot.

Read on for my guide to how to properly use a crochet hook and yarn.

How To Hold A Crochet Hook & Yarn Feat Img

Table Of Contents

How Do You Use A Crochet Hook?

How To Hold A Crochet Hook

Here is a list of the different ways to hold a crochet hook.

For more on the best crochet hooks for crocheters, read my post.

There are two common crochet hook holds that you can try out. I’ll explain both using left and right-handed instructions below.

If you’re wondering, “how do you hold your hands when crocheting?”, here’s your answer.

Here’s a video by Desinger Kalurah Hudson for KnitPicks on how to hold a hook for crochet.

How To Hold A Crochet Hook Left Handed

#1. Knife Grip.

Step 1. Pick up a knife and hold it in your left hand as if you were cutting up your dinner. Look at where your fingers lie around the knife.

Step 2. Grab a crochet hook, and hold it the same way as if you were holding a knife. Miming cutting while holding the crochet hook in your left hand will help you figure out the grip.

#2. Pencil Grip.

Step 1. Find a pencil and hold it in your left hand as if you were going to write. Look at where your fingers are on the pencil.

Step 2. Hold a crochet hook in your left hand like you were going to write. If you forget where your fingers should go, pick up the pencil again, and look at where your fingers are.

How To Hold A Crochet Hook Right Handed

#1. Knife Grip.

Step 1. Pick up a knife and hold it in your right hand as if you were cutting up your dinner. Look at where your fingers lie around the knife.

Step 2. Grab a crochet hook, and hold it the same way as if you were holding a knife. Miming cutting while holding the crochet hook in your left hand will help you figure out the grip.

#2. Pencil Grip.

Step 1. Find a pencil and hold it in your right hand as if you were going to write. Look at where your fingers are on the pencil.

Step 2. Hold a crochet hook in your right hand like you were going to write. If you forget where your fingers should go, pick up the pencil again, and look at where your fingers are. You can also mime writing while holding the crochet hook.

The easiest way to hold a crochet hook depends on the person, but it’s best to try out each one and see which one works for you.

If neither of these holds works for you, I suggest experimenting and finding a grip that feels natural. Make sure that the grip you create doesn’t cause your fingers or hands to ache.

Confused? Remember This: Always use your dominant hand to hold the hook and your non-dominant hand to hold the yarn.

I’ll explain how to hold the yarn down below.

How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting

There are many ways to hold yarn. The most comfortable grip depends on the person. I will list a few for you to try, and you can find and pick which one is best for yourself.

Learning how to hold yarn takes practice, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get it right the first time.

If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.

Here’s a video tutorial from Bobby Thompson at Crochet Guru.

How To Hold Yarn When Crocheting Left Handed

#1. Pinky Wrap.
  • Step 1. Bring the yarn up between your right-hand ring finger and pinky.
  • Step 2. Wrap the yarn around your right pinky once to make a loop.
  • Step 3. Bring the yarn over the next three fingers, and lift your right index finger.
  • You can use your middle finger and thumb to hold the work.
#2. Woven Hold
  • Step 1. Bring the yarn up between your right-hand ring finger and pinky.
  • Step 2. Take the yarn over the next finger, under your middle finger, and over your index finger.
  • Step 3. Lift your index finger if desired.
  • You can use your middle finger and thumb to hold the work.
#3. Woven Hold With Pinky Wrap.

The added pinky wrap to the woven hold gives you a little more control over the tension.

  • Step 1. Take the yarn up between your right-hand ring finger and little finger.
  • Step 2. Wrap the yarn around your right pinky once to make a loop.
  • Step 3. Take the yarn over the next finger, under your middle finger, and over your index finger.
  • Step 4. Lift your index finger.
  • Open or close your fingers to loosen or tighten the tension.
#4. Index Finger Wrap.
  • Step 1. From beneath your right hand, bring the working yarn up between your right middle finger and index finger.
  • Step 2. Wrap the yarn over your right index finger twice so that there are two loops on your index finger.
  • You can use your middle finger and thumb to hold the work.

How To Hold Crochet Yarn Right Handed

Here are the same instructions as the left-hand methods, switched to the left hand instead of the right.

#1. Pinky Wrap.
  • Step 1. Bring the yarn up between your left-hand ring finger and pinky.
  • Step 2. Wrap the yarn around your left pinky once to make a loop.
  • Step 3. Bring the yarn over the next three fingers, and lift your left index finger.
  • You can use your middle finger and thumb to hold the work.
#2. Woven Hold
  • Step 1. Bring the yarn up between your left-hand ring finger and pinky.
  • Step 2. Take the yarn over the next finger, under your middle finger, and over your index finger.
  • Step 3. Lift your index finger if desired.
  • You can use your middle finger and thumb to hold the work.
#3. Woven Hold With Pinky Wrap.
  • The added pinky wrap to the woven hold gives you a little more control over the tension.
  • Step 1. Take the yarn up between your left-hand ring finger and little finger.
  • Step 2. Wrap the yarn around your left pinky once to make a loop.
  • Step 3. Take the yarn over the next finger, under your middle finger, and over your index finger.
  • Step 4. Lift your index finger.
  • Open or close your fingers to loosen or tighten the tension.
#4. Index Finger Wrap.
  • Step 1. From beneath your left hand, bring the working yarn up between your right middle finger and index finger.
  • Step 2. Wrap the yarn over your left index finger twice so that there are two loops on your index finger.
  • You can use your middle finger and thumb to hold the work.

How Do You Hold Crochet Thread?

For holding crochet thread, the same principles and different methods apply, try out a few of the techniques listed above to see what’s most comfortable for you.

As crochet thread is so fine, just remember to hold it loosely and keep your fingers relaxed to prevent pain and cramping.

What Is The Working Yarn?

The working yarn is the thread that comes from the skein, tensioned in your hands, and hooked into the fabric. When you do a yarn over, you are wrapping the working yarn around your hook.

A yarn over is when you wrap the yarn over your crochet hook.

How Do You Hold Tension When Crocheting?

Tension means how taut or loose your yarn is. Your non-dominant hand is the hand that controls the tension. If you’re right-handed, you’ll tension the yarn in your left hand. If you’re left-handed, you’ll tension the yarn in your right.

Tensioning is very important because if you have no tension, the fabric you make will be loose, and it won’t look much like crochet. More like a loopy mess with big holes everywhere. You don’t want that.

You also don’t want really tight tension because that makes it hard to hook up. The finished fabric is too tight and dense.

So how do you keep the right tension?

If you notice you’re struggling a lot to yarn over and pull your hook through the loop, that’s a warning sign that your tension is way too tight.

What you can do fix too-tight tension: Loosen your yarn hold, or try a different yarn hold that gives you more looseness.

If you notice that the chains you are making don’t look like chains because they’re so loopy, that means your tension is too loose.

What you can do to fix loose tension: Tighten your yarn hold, or try a different yarn hold that gives you more tightness.

Here’s a video of tips on how to tension your yarn from Sigoni Macaroni.

Is It Better To Crochet Tight Or Loose?

Tensioning yarn in crochet is very important.

On a scale of 0-10, where 0 is super loose, and ten is super tight, you need a five or medium. Not too tight, not too loose.

How To Crochet Comfortably

Here are some tips on how to crochet comfortably to avoid pain or fatigue in your hands. These are just some tips that help reduce pain. If it’s prolonged and quite bad, you might want to visit your doctor.

  • Stretch your hands before and after crocheting
  • Keep your elbows down
  • Stay relaxed; avoid hunching your shoulders
  • Try to keep your back straight

If you’re getting frustrated with your crocheting, take a break. Crocheting is meant to be enjoyable!

Note: If you can’t get rid of tension in your hands while crocheting, you can try using an ergonomic crochet hook. They are specially designed to reduce pain.

You can also use tension relief gloves that help keep your hands from bending too much.

Your Questions Answered

Q – Knife Grip Vs Pencil Grip Crochet

The knife grip is where you hold your crochet hook like a knife.

When using the pencil grip, you hold the hook as if you were writing with a pencil.

Q – Knife Vs Sabre Hold Crochet

The knife hold and the sabre hold are different names for the same way to hold the hook.

Q – What Does Hold Work On Wrong Side Mean In Crochet?

“Hold work on wrong side” means to hold the crochet on the opposite side to the right. Here’s how to tell the wrong side from the right side in crochet.

If the tail of the slip knot you made at the beginning is on the left side, you’re looking at the right side of the work. If it’s on the right, you’re looking at the wrong side of the work. 

If you are using your tail to determine the right and wrong side, you don’t want to weave it in before whatever you are making is finished. That way, you can always tell which side is which.

Wrong Side On a Chain: The side that has little bumps.

Right Side On A Chain: The smooth side that looks like multiple little ‘Vs.’

Q – Is It Better To Hold Your Crochet Hook Like A Pencil Or Knife?

It depends on your preference. Some people like the knife holder, and others the pencil. Both are equally common.

Q – Is There More Than One Way To Hold A Crochet Hook?

Yes, there are two main holds that are very common: the pencil and the knife hold.

Q – Is There A Crochet Tool To Hold The Working Yarn?

Yes! They are called ‘Crochet Rings’. They help keep tension nice and even and work great for crocheting. If you’re not a fan of knitting rings, you can always use your non-dominant hand to hold the yarn.

Here’s a recommendation for a gorgeous, functional knitting ring from ItsVera on Etsy. It’s available in four different metals, copper, vintage silver-plated copper, vintage silver-plated brass, and sterling silver.

Tension brass ring by It's Vera
Vera receives wonderful reviews from her customers

I hope you found this guide helpful. This is the first step in your crocheting journey, and I wish you the best of luck. With your new-found skills, what are you going to crochet? I’d love to hear about the projects you’ve got planned.

Crochet is a wonderful hobby, welcome to the crochet world!

Something I forgot? Or have a question? Leave a comment at the end.

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Crochet Penguin. (Yes, I’m a real person :) )

Thanks for being here. I created Crochet Penguin to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of crochet & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

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