How to hold knitting needles

Published on April 25, 2019 2 min read

When you’re learning how to knit, you might think a new knitting project starts with a slip knot? Think again! Discovering how to hold knitting needles in a strong and comfy position is the real starting point for any beginner knitter.

Whether you’re knitting with single point (or straight) needles, circular needles or double pointed needles, the basic principles of holding your needles is usually the same.

While you’re likely to start out with traditional single point needles, you’ll find your own preferences as you become a more confident and experienced knitter. Nail your starting position, and you’ll have a skill that can be used for any style.

There are lots of different ways to hold your knitting needles - it varies according to where in the world you’ve been taught and, of course, what feels comfy for you. There are no right or wrongs here, just go with the flow and do what feels right for you.

How to hold knitting needles step-by-step


Pick up your needles. Pick up a needle in each hand, in a gentle and relaxed fashion. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to get started – just do what feels right for you!


Hold with your fingers and thumbs. Place each needle in your four fingers, holding the top with your thumbs.


Start knitting! You’ll only know, once you get going what feels comfy. The closer you are to the end, the easier it is to pick up the yarn.

Free patterns for beginners

Once you’ve mastered how to hold your knitting needles, you need to learn the basic knitting stitches. We recommend mastering how to make a slip knot before learning how to cast on and how to knit your first row.

Shop Easy Beginner Patterns

Celebrate the joy of creating! Share your craft and knowledge or pick up some tips.

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