Hold it a minute

When knitting with only one color I hold the yarn in my right hand between my thumb and forefinger, with no extra yarn wrapped around any fingers. I probably came across this method when I first started teaching myself how to knit from books but didn’t bother learning the details of how to tension the yarn around other fingers. I’ve tried the proper way of holding yarn in the right hand but always go back to my own way. I love how it gives me total control over the tension, even if it is a little slower method of knitting.

Holding two yarns

Learning to work with two colors was quite a challenge. I tried knitting with both colors in my left hand, both in my right and one in each hand. As you can see in the picture, I finally settled on holding one color in each hand. Of course,I don’t hold the yarns as shown in most books.

The yarn in my right hand is held as I do when knitting with one color. The yarn in my left hand is held between the first and second finger. To give more tension to the yarn in this hand, the working yarn is always placed in front of the object being knitted and held in place with my thumb.

While I can put lots of tension on the yarn with this method, I don’t. I always make sure that tension in both yarns is very even and not too tight or too loose. When switching between yarns I “fan out” the stitches on the right needle to make sure the yarn carried along the back isn’t too tight.

My advice on holding yarn is to practice until you find a way that achieves the best results.

Progress report:
Next week the body of Firebirds should be nearly completed. This week I started the arm steeks.

12 thoughts on “Hold it a minute

  1. YeeHa! I knit that way, yarn held by the thumb & forefinger of right hand, too. And when I do Fair Isle, I just drop the finished color & pick up the other color. Slow but my tension is nearly always just right!

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  2. Always fun to see how people hold their yarn. I thought myself to knit with one color in each hand not that long ago, too, and I totally agree that everyone has to find their own method. It’s no use insisting to do it as the books say, there’s a million ways to do it. Mine has absolutely nothing to do with yours for example :).

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  3. This is coming along so nicely. I haven’t tried two colour knitting yet, but I hope to, one day. The whole idea of steeks gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. You are one brave woman.

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  4. Wow, it’s great to hear about the different ways people knit. Just confirms my idea that there really isn’t one right way (or even a wrong way).
    I’m open trying other ways so perhaps someday I’ll be doing it completely different.

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  5. I’m a self-taught knitter, too, and my way of holding the yarn was the same as yours. I recently switched to tensioning the yarn around my fingers, though, to keep my thumb and forefinger from getting so tired and sore (same ones I use to control the twist while spinning). I find my gauge tends to be a little bit tighter now than with my old way.
    Your Firebirds is beautiful!

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  6. I have always wanted to knit Firebirds but I know I’d never wear it. sigh My current knitting project has a lot of 3 color rows and after much experimentation have found that the best way is to hold the two contrast colors wrapped in an odd configuration around the fingers of my left hand. I really think it works differently for everyone.

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  7. I hold the yarn exactly the same way as you! Have tried many methods with my right hand but always go back to thumb and first finger. Only learned this summer to use the left hand for the second Fair Isle color.
    Anne

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