How to Hold the Yarn When Knitting

For many people, knitting is an enjoyable and relaxing hobby. It's a great way to spend some time while making something useful or beautiful. If you're thinking about getting into knitting, one of the first things you should know is how to hold the yarn. 


There are different ways to hold yarn when knitting that can affect the outcome of your project. For example, holding the yarn in your left hand and using your right hand to manipulate the needles will result in a different stitch than if you were to hold the yarn in your right hand. The tension with which you hold the yarn can also affect the outcome, so it is important to experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you.


There are two main ways to hold the yarn while knitting: the English style and the Continental style. The English style is also known as "throwing," while the Continental style is referred to as "picking."

How to Hold the Yarn English Style

If you're a right-handed knitter, you'll probably find it easiest to hold the yarn in the English style. This is because this method uses the right hand to hold the yarn and the left to manipulate the needle. To do this, simply drape the yarn over your fingers so that it forms a loop. Then, use your thumb and first two fingers to hold onto the yarn, keeping it taunt but not too tight.

How to Hold the Yarn Continental Style

In the Continental method, the working yarn is held in the left hand, and the needle is worked with the right hand. This can take some getting used to as it’s more complex than the English style, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a fast and efficient way to knit.


Start by holding the yarn in your left hand, with the tail end hanging down. Wrap the yarn around your index finger once, then thread it under your middle and ring fingers. Hold the needle in your right hand, and poke it through the loop on your index finger.


Grab the working yarn with the needle, and pull it through the loop. Gently tug on the working yarn to tighten the stitch, then slide it off your index finger. Wrap the yarn around the needle again, and repeat the process. You’ll start to see a little “ladder” forming as you knit.


Once you’ve got the hang of it, try knitting a few rows using the Continental method. You may find that it takes a little bit of practice to get used to the new hand position, but once you do, you’ll be knitting faster than you ever thought possible!

Holding the Needles: English vs Continental Style

Both the English style and Continental style of holding the needles have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it really comes down to personal preference as to which one you use.


English style is the more traditional way of holding the needles and is typically how people learn to knit when they are first starting out. The yarn is held in the right hand, and the needle is held in the left hand. The working yarn is wrapped around the right needle as you work each stitch. The continental style is a bit different. In this method, the yarn is held in the left hand, and the needle is held in the right hand. 


There are pros and cons to both methods. English style can be a little bit faster since you don't have to stop and wrap the yarn around the needle as you work each stitch. Continental style can be a little bit easier on the hands and wrists since you don't have to twist them as much to work the stitches. But ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to hold needles when stitching. It's all about personal preference and which method is more comfortable for each knitter!


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