How to Crochet: Fixing a Too-Loose Hold

by Ivory Soap


Whenever someone is continually struggling with crochet, at any point in the process, I generally find that they’ve lost tension in their grip, as seen above.  Once that happens, your fingers just aren’t long enough to save you.  I’ve been harping on the proper static left hand grip (I suppose there could be others, but this one has worked consistently for me and mine)  in previous posts, so you can go find it there.

But assuming you have the correct grip, your problem is tension.


1.  If it’s too slack, hold your left hand static and pull the yarn-to ball string with your right hand until your left forefinger is uncomfortably close to the needle.

2. Then barely relax your pinky and fourth finger so that when the hook comes around, it has to pull a smidge to get enough yarn to do what it needs to do.  You should now have your tension back.  Let the needle do the work.


The next kind of problem I run into is the knots on the needle getting too tight or too loose.  I’ve noticed that I often release the work with my left thumb and middle finger when I yarn over.  This leaves all the stabilizing work up to the right side, which usually means the knots get tighter and tighter over there.

Solution: Right forefinger pause button.

1.  If you find that you need to let go of the work for a sec to wrap, pause your knot tension by putting your right forefinger finger on it.  Anytime I release my thumb and middle finger on the left hand, I find that I press the *pause* button with my right to keep the work from expressing its own opinions about how tight it wants to be.



If I get going really fast, I have noticed that there’s a repetitive switching back and forth between thumb-middle finger left hand hold and right forefinger pause button.  One is always engaged.  But no matter who is in charge in that department, pointer must point, UNDER and AWAY and the slack is pinned under the left fourth and pinky.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cat November 22, 2013 at 9:10 am

Although this is a somewhat different subject, I was hoping that you could help. A friend has an afghan that was chewed on by mice. She said that she also has some of the original yard for repairs. How can I repair the holes? Thanks in advance for all the advice!

Tiffany January 24, 2014 at 7:58 am

I’m just learning to crochet and I’m having such trouble with keeping my tension. I just happened upon your post here and I’m so thankful for it!! Is there any chance you could do a video demonstration of what your saying here? That’d be SO helpful!! Thanks a bunch! Love your blog!

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