Knitting Tension, How to Hold Yarn

Knitting Tension, How to Hold Yarn

A Free Knitting Lesson from PurlsAndPixels

Knitting tension, how to hold yarn for even stitches. A free knitting lesson from Liz @PurlsAndPixels

Maintaining yarn tension in your knitting is essential to keeping your stitches even. If you do not keep your yarn loops on the needles evenly, your knitting work will end up uneven, saggy, or filled with holes. To prevent these knitting tension problems, practice with different yarn holds until you find one that feels comfortable for you.

Step 4: Learn to Knit, Practice Knitting Tension

To create an even piece of knitting, put each stitch on the knitting needles with the same tightness or “tension.” Practicing different ways to hold your yarn can help you with your knitting tension.

Once you have found a comfortable way to hold your yarn, learning to knit even stitches will be much easier. A good yarn hold will allow you to keep your stitching even throughout your knitting work.

In the quick learn to knit tips video below, you will see my yarn holds to maintain tension in your knitting. Try wrapping your yarn around your hands and fingers in the different ways I show you to find one that feels comfortable for you. While there may be many other ways to maintain tension, I will show you my favorites in this quick video.


Knitting tension – Video tutorial

Try the different yarn holds I demonstrate in this video to help you find a comfortable way to maintain your knitting tension. Try holding the yarn in different ways and wrapping it around your hand or fingers to find a comfortable way to keep your string taut. Take care not to knit your loops too tightly, however, or you will have trouble inserting your needle into the stitches for the next row. The key to knitting tension is to place each stitch on the needles in with the same tightness – not too tight and not too loose. Practice makes perfect, but holding the yarn as I show should help you out.

Make a scarf to practice

beginer-knit-scarfWorking on your garter stitch scarf is a great way to practice tension. garter stitch hides uneven loops better than some patterns and since you’ll only be making knit stitches, you will have many stitches to practice putting your stitches around your needles evenly. By the time you’ve finished a long garter stitch scarf, knitting will begin to feel more natural and you will find a comfortable way to even out your tension.

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting….

Don’t panic if your first scarf (or project) isn’t a keeper. It takes time and persistence to learn to just keep knittingknit, and then a bit more practice to get your stitches to look perfect. The more knit stitches you practice, the better your knits will look. Treat this first scarf as throw-away and just keep going. If you want to salvage the yarn for a different project, you can always undo  your scarf later to re-purpose the yarn. But for now, just keep going; find your rhythm and work out your tension. Your next knitting project will be beautiful, I’m sure!

Are you ready to learn something new? Learn how to make the purl stitch here.

Go Back to the Learn to Knit Index