Everyone tells you how great knitting is, science has done studies on how it calms your mind down, and you really want to buy one of those cute pins that says something like, “I Knit so I Don’t Kill People,” but the truth of the matter is that you DO want to kill people – right after you burn your yarn and needles to the ground.

I get it. Knitting is hard. At first. There’s a huge learning curve, and when you spot a mistake several inches below your current spot and you need to take out, it can be wildly frustrating.

But don’t give up because that’s something everyone goes through. Stick with it, continue to practice, and you will become one of the zen knitters you see sipping tea on their porches. (Or at least, that’s my end goal.)

One thing that is a huge help is tension. Not tension in your neck or back (you’ll never be a zen knitter that way!), but tension in your yarn.

When you’re new to knitting, it’s hard enough to focus on what the needles and yarn are doing instead of adding another step to the mix, but something as simple as wrapping the yarn around your finger can give the yarn some extra tension, make it taut, and help achieve a neater row of stitches.

Wrap the yarn around your finger once.

Wrap the yarn around your finger once.

I know it’s not the most natural feeling, but go ahead and get into the habit now because it will help you achieve the results you want when you do master the knit and purl stitches.

Wrap the yarn a few times around your finger. Wrap the yarn a few times around your finger.

There is no wrong way to hold the yarn (except to not hold it at all). You can wrap it a few times around your finger, slip in between a few fingers, or you can even wrap it around you neck – anything you want to do so long as it holds your yarn taut.

Weave the yarn in between your fingers. Weave the yarn in between your fingers.

I made a quick little video that highlights the difficulty of knitting when you aren’t hold your yarn properly.

Let me know what you think! Any favorite way you hold your yarn?

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