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How to Hold the Yarn When Crocheting

How to Hold the Yarn When Crocheting:  4 Popular Ways

Learn how to hold the yarn when crocheting with this comprehensive guide. Discover four popular techniques and find the best method that suits your style and comfort. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced, find the perfect yarn hold for comfortable stitching and even results. Say goodbye to uneven tension and hello to professional-looking creations!

Today I want to give you another useful tutorial when you are a crochet newbie and just preparing to crochet.

It’s on how to hold the yarn when crocheting and it is a good follow up or even precursor to learning how to hold a crochet hook.

And just like learning how to hold a crochet hook, although it may seem like a minor detail, it is actually pretty important!

If you are not holding the yarn in a way that is comfortable for you and allows you to crochet freely, it may ruin your chances at crochet success.

* This post has affiliate links.  See my full Disclosure Policy for details.

The Best Way to Hold the Yarn While Crocheting

Before we start, you should keep in mind that just like there is no single way to hold a crochet hook, there is also no particular way you have to hold the yarn.

The best way is always the way that allows you to crochet smoothly and comfortably.

When crocheting, the hook is held in your dominant hand (the working hand) while your non-dominant hand holds the yarn (the yarn hand).

The yarn hand then feeds the yarn to the hook while you crochet, this is why it is very important that you find a yarn holding technique that works well for you!

The hand that holds the yarn is also responsible for controlling the tension of the yarn as it is fed to the hook.

The tension determines how loose or tight your stitches will be.

There are many ways to hold the yarn, some are unique to the crocheter, but there are at least some methods that seem to be popular.  

Here are four techniques that I know about.

Things to know before you start:

  1. The Anatomy of a Crochet Hook
  2. How to Hold a Crochet Hook
  3. Tips for Absolute Beginners

My Other Crochet Resources

Techniques for Holding Yarn While Crocheting

I would recommend trying each of the following techniques with a medium #4 weight yarn. You can find some HERE via my Amazon affiliate link.

Note:  The technique names provided are of my own invention and cannot be found in typical crochet terminology.  

But seriously folks, how can I describe them to you if they don’t have a name!  So, I just made up my own.  🙂

4 Popular Ways to Hold the Yarn When Crocheting

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1.  The Over & Under Hold

Step One:  With your palm facing down place the yarn under your pinky finger (also called the little finger) and over your ring finger.

Step Two:  Place the yarn under your middle finger and over your pointer finger (also called the index finger).  

Step Three:  Pull yarn down along inside of palm and grip with the pinky finger and ring finger.


2.  The Pinky Hold

Step One:  With palm facing down place the tail end of the yarn between your pinky finger and ring finger. 

Step Two:  Wrap the tail end of your yarn around your little finger creating a loop around your pinky finger.

Step Three:  Bring the tail end of the yarn over the top of your ring finger, under your middle finger, and over your pointer finger.

Step Four: Pull yarn down along inside of palm and grip with the pinky finger and ring finger.

3.  The Pointer Hold

Step One:  With palm facing down place the tail end of the yarn around your pointer finger and in-between your pointer finger and middle  finger. 

Step Two:  Wrap the tail end of your yarn around your ring finger creating a loop around your pointer finger.

Step Three:  Bring the tail end of the under your middle, ring, and pinky fingers.

Step Four: Grip the tail end of the yarn under your pinky finger or both your ring and pinky fingers.


4.  The Single Loop Hold

Step One:  With palm facing down place the tail end of the yarn over your pointer finger.

Step Two: Pull yarn down along inside of palm and grip with the pinky finger and ring finger.  Grip the tail end of the yarn under your pinky finger or both your ring and pinky fingers.

When I began crocheting I didn’t know about any of these methods and seemed to naturally adopt the single loop hold.  It just came naturally.

 I suspect as you start crocheting you too will naturally find a hold that works for you, even if it is completely different from the ones in this tutorial.

However, these techniques are a good place to start if you pick up your yarn and simply have no idea what to do next.

 I urge you to experiment with each method and then come back and share what worked best for you!

More Crochet Tips & Tutorials

Ready to learn more?  Check these out!

1.  How to Yarn Over in Crochet

2.  How to Read a Crochet Pattern

3. How to Single Crochet (sc)

4. How to Crochet a Foundation Chain

Additionally, you can follow me on Facebook and join my Facebook group for crochet beginners!

I share lots of tips & tutorials to help you along in your crochet journey!

Plus, since it’s open to experienced crocheters too, you can get some really great advice from different perspectives – all the while gaining new friends and crafty inspiration!

Thank you for coming to my blog! By sharing my content and/or making a purchase you are making it possible for me to continue producing and sharing free content for everyone to enjoy. I sincerely appreciate your support!

Until next time…   Happy Crocheting!

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Please share!

Mary Green

Wednesday 15th of April 2020

Aunt Margie taught me to crochet when I was eight. I picked it up again when our daughter was young and I eye-balled sweaters and hats for her 18-inch dolls. I hold the yarn like #4. Must confess I’ve tried all sorts of great looking stitches but have never ventured much further than dishrags, hot pads, placemats and scarves. Still, I love crochet for its mobility and forgiveness (no dropped stitches!). Thanks for your explanations, and your “whatever works for you” attitude. God bless...


Thursday 16th of April 2020

Hi Mary,

I love hearing your crochet background! I especially love it when someone has learned from a family member because it's similar to a family tradition. :) I too like crochet for it's forgiveness. Although I do enjoy knitting, it is much easier to correct mistakes with crochet. Plus, you only have to manipulate one tool rather than two!

So glad to hear from you!

Best wishes,



Tuesday 27th of November 2018

When I learned to crochet 40 years ago, I was taught to run the yarn over my pinky and drop down between the pinky and ring finger. The yarn then runs under the ring and middle fingers coming up around the index finger on the thumb side and wrapping around. The working end will now be at the top of the index finger which guides the yarn onto the hook.

I have a couple of variations I use when using netting, tulle, and fabric strips in place of yarn/thread.


Thursday 29th of November 2018

Hi Cassie,

That's really interesting. I just tried the hold you described and, unfortunately, it was not comfortable for me. But that's okay! I am so glad you shared it because it may help someone else. These are just 4 popular ways, but they are by no means the ONLY ways. Now those who come to read this post will have 5 ways to try!

Thanks so much for sharing! :)




Tuesday 21st of June 2016

I think I do the single loop but I'm going to have to go and check! It's such an automatic thing that I really don't think about it. This is great for beginners to give lots of options to try.


Tuesday 21st of June 2016

Hi Julie. I found my hold automatically as well, but I think sometimes it just doesn't come to everyone naturally. Hopefully, this article will help those who need a little demonstration & experimentation to get them started. Thanks for stopping by!

Stella Lee @Purfylle

Sunday 19th of June 2016

I use over-under the most, but it really depends on which yarn I'm using.


Sunday 19th of June 2016

Interesting! That's the first I have heard of anyone changing the way the yarn is held based on the type of yarn. It just goes back to doing what's comfortable for you.


Wednesday 15th of June 2016

I do a variation of the under/over hold most of the time. I should probably try the same hold I use when knitting because I seem to have better tension and more even stitches. Thanks for sharing with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg. I'm looking forward to seeing more projects!


Wednesday 15th of June 2016

It's so interesting how many different ways people hold their hooks. I know one lady who holds it like a screwdriver. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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