Knitting tension - how this simple trick can help you master your knitting by PatternDuchess

Let’s talk about knitting tension today. As you may know there’s a lot of talk about importance of tension and how you should be doing it. Well, I can understand the importance, but it didn’t work out for me…

The way I’m supposed to hold the yarn like this (making two rounds around my finger):

knitting tension how to

Or this:

knitting tension tutorial

Trouble with these knitting tension techniques lies in those additional rounds plus it’s huge work for me.

  • my fingers got tired quickly;
  • I felt pain in my wrists;
  • it felt weird and very unnatural;
  • knitting took enormous amount of time;
  • and most of all – I felt I was doing something wrong…

I turned to my grandmother with this problem (as I always do) and she started to laugh. Apparently there are people who will try to tell you that there’s an ultimate right way of doing things, but we shouldn’t be listening to them. She showed me this simple way of holding the yarn to get even tension that might help me.

So if you’ve felt anything like it then try this simple trick. Maybe it will help. I don’t say it’s the only way of getting a knitting tension but it’s working for me…

knitting tension trick for quality knitting

Simply do this:

Bring yarn over your index finger, under middle finger, over ring finger and back under again.

That’s all.


It worked like magic. Already after few practice rounds I could easily play with the tension. My knitting was even, my hands didn’t work and it wasn’t tiring at all.

Give it a try…

Plus one additional tip from my grandmother (with 70 years of knitting experience) – knitting is an art not exact science, you can do it in any way you like or feel comfortable with as long as you’re satisfied with your outcome. And if you’re looking for knitting instructor then always pay attention to her (or his) words – does she (or he) say “The way I’m doing it….” or “The way it has to be done….”. Choose the first one – she’s smarter… 🙂

Let me know – what’s your take on that?

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6 thoughts on “Knitting tension – how this simple trick can help you master your knitting

  • 4. April 2016 at 21:56

    I’ve given your trick a go & it works so well! It works better when I crochet than when I knit; but it’s much less stressful as I don’t have to worry about my yarn slowing down to a halt between my fingers.
    And I completely agree. Sometimes we worry too much about doing it the “right way” instead of being adventurous & creative. But one of the most important lessons crafting teaches us (in my opinion) is how to express ourselves & letting go of fears about being wrong. Something I’m still struggling with but getting the hang of slowly. Give your grandmother an extra hug for me. 🙂

    • 5. April 2016 at 06:49

      Will do 😀 I struggle with “doing everything right” all the time. Then I need to remind myself that it’s OK to do stuff differently – it’s not science and even scientists are wrong sometimes 🙂

  • 10. January 2017 at 02:24

    I tried to do right way also; but, devised my own method: twice around my pinkie, under middle finger and once over index finger. Also, discovered a new method online of purling a row without switching article back and forth.

    • 14. January 2017 at 09:19

      It’s fantastic that we have this thing called Internet. We can talk to other knitters and share our knowledge 🙂

      And thank you for sharing your way of doing things


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