Knit and Crochet Ever After
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Using A Knitting Yarn Guide As A Tension Keeper

Clover's Yarn Guide
Clover’s Yarn Guide

A viewer told me recently that she used Clover’s Yarn Guide as a way to keep her tension while crocheting. I was incredibly intrigued since the way I usually keep tension (see the video below) hurts my hand after awhile.

I promptly purchased one and gave it a try.

Yarn Guide out of the package.

The Yarn Guide is intended to keep different colored yarns separated for working stranded knitting, but seeing as how I like to repurpose things, I was ready to change this into a tension keeper.

First try.
First try.

My first try included just laying the yarn through two of the posts and trying to crochet.

As you can see by the picture above, the tension created was… none.I couldn’t even make a stitch this way. I had to figure something else out.

This gave me an idea.
This gave me an idea.

I then realized that I had four posts to work with on my Yarn Guide.

The photo above shows how I hold my tension when I work projects where I need tight stitches. I wrap the yarn three times around my first finger and I get very tight tension and it keeps my fingers from hurting as much (see the video below for more info).

So I thought about wrapping the yarn around the guide for more tension.

This actually worked.
This actually worked.

Here I laid my yarn (back to front) in between each of the four posts. There was good news and bad news with this revelation.

The good news:

It worked. The yarn kept good tension and the yarn guide helped with my previous problem of having my circulation sometimes cut off with the three finger wrap. Having it wrapped around the plastic kept it loose enough to keep Β the circulation just fine.

The bad news:

The plastic itself. The wrapping caused the already pinching plastic to pinch even more. So I traded good circulation for annoying pinching.

Then two separate viewers had some good ideas.

1) Wear a band aid around the finger you put the Yarn Guide on with the padded part facing down. This definitely helped, but still not great. If I could create the tension without wrapping the yarn, this would all but eliminate my problem. Insert viewer number 2.

Just about perfect.
Just about perfect.

2) Weave the yarn between the posts instead of wrapping. The photo above shows the weave. This created just enough tension that I didn’t need to wrap the yarn.

If you want to try this, make sure the tail is on the left and facing back and the working yarn is on the right coming out the front.

The Verdict

Using the yarn guide as a tension keeper is something I will use in the future. Mostly for projects when my hand becomes tired from my normal tension holding. The pinching was greatly reduced when I didn’t have to wrap the yarn, but was still there. Putting on a band aid every time I need to crochet doesn’t sound too appealing.

Do you have a Yarn Guide? Have you ever tried using it for a tension keeper? Let us know your thoughts or ideas below. Be sure to check out the video below as well. It will show how the Yarn Guide works with different thicknesses of yarn.





  • kddomingue

    I think that you’re the first person that I’ve seen using multiple wraps around the index finger for extra tensioning when crocheting. Lol! I’m not alone! I thought that there was something wrong with how I held my working yarn since I needed the extra wraps at certain times and with certain yarns to get a tight stitch. I just bought two different yarn guides thinking that, perhaps, they could be used as a tensioning device and would help to take some of the strain off of my hand. Then, I stumbled across this post before I tried them out. I had myself a good giggle……. great minds think alike! By the way, thanks for all of the work you do producing all of your tutorials. They are a great resource for the crocheting community and are much appreciated!

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