How to hold the hook and yarn

Until I came to write this post, I’d never really thought about how I hold my hook. I’m not even sure how I figured it out – probably subconsciously from watch Bella Coco YouTube videos… But you learn something new everyday (or I believe you should, anyway) and the other day I learned that there’s a name for how I hold my crochet hook: “the knife grip”. It’s not as dangerous as it sounds and, in fact, there’s actually a second way of holding your crochet hook: “the pencil grip”.

Which ever ‘grip’ you choose, the actual hook part of the crochet hook should always be turned slightly toward you (i.e. not facing directly up or down). It’s up to you where along the handle you’ll want to hold – you’ll see below that I hold it quite close to the top of the handle so that I can use my index finger to gently steady the loop that’s on the shaft of the crochet hook (remember our little anatomy lesson the other week?). And finally, try not to hold it too tightly – at first you might find this difficult as you’re concentrating so hard on getting the stitches just right that you tense up and really grip onto the hook like there’s no tomorrow…! Don’t worry, I remember those days. As always, practice makes perfect – the more you practice crocheting, the easier it will become, the more natural it will feel, and the looser you’ll hold your crochet hook!

And remember, there’s no right or wrong way to hold your crochet hook: it’s totally up to you which ‘grip’ you choose, depending on which is most comfortable for you and / or which feels most natural. If you ever start feeling pain or getting cramps in your hands, have a break and perhaps try a different ‘grip’.

Let’s have a look at both methods…

The Knife Grip

So this is my preferred ‘grip’, apparently: hold the hook under your palm using your thumb and middle finger, and use your index finger to gently keep the loop on the hook steady.

Righties - The Knife Grip

Lefties - The Knife Grip

The Pencil Grip

If you’re using the pencil grip method: hold the hook as you normally would hold a pencil, with the hook resting in between your thumb and index finger.

Righties - The Pencil Grip

Lefties - The Pencil Grip

Holding the Yarn

So, if you’re a ‘rightie’ (i.e. right handed, like me) you’ll be holding your hook in your right hand and using your left hand to control the yarn.

OR, if you’re a ‘leftie’ (i.e. left handed) you’ll be holding your hook in your left hand and using your right hand to control the yarn.

*Simples!* But how, exactly, do you hold the yarn anyway? I believe there are a few ways of doing it, but (of course) I think my way is best and helps me to better control the tension of the yarn as I’m crocheting:

*Please also note that I’m demonstrating the ‘knife’ grip in these photos*

1. Holding the hook in your chosen hand using your chosen ‘grip’, turn the palm of your other hand to face the ceiling. Let’s call this your ‘yarn hand’… Slide the yarn between your ring finger and pinkie.

How to hold yarn - Step 1

2. Turn your ‘yarn hand’ over so that your palm is facing the floor. Gently pull the hook and yarn under your hand towards the outside of your index finger. Then loosely wrap the yarn up, over and around your index finger.

*You’ll probably want an inch or two (2) of yarn to work with between the index finger of your ‘yarn hand’ and the crochet hook*

How to hold yarn - Step 2

3. Hold your crochet work reasonably close to the hook between the tumb and middle finger of your ‘yarn hand’.

How to hold yarn - Let's go!

Which grip do you find the most comfortable – or do you hold your hook in a totally different way? How do you hold the yarn in your ‘yarn’ hand? Be sure to leave your comments below… Happy crocheting! 

There's no right or wrong way to hold your hook and yarn... But here are some examples you might want to try.


3 thoughts on “How to hold the hook and yarn”

  1. You do learn something new every day – I apparently hold my hooks with the knife grip. For funsies I just tried the pencil grip, and I don’t understand how anyone can crochet while holding it that way! I had to undo the stitches, they were such a mess


    1. Knife grip all the way! Haha, I don’t know how the pencil grip works either – feels so awkward – but I also know a lot of people who think the opposite. In fact, I have a strange feeling my mum holds her crochet hook with the pencil grip…?


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