Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything,
and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.

[Colonel Potter, M*A*S*H]


In knitting, any technique that produces the results you desire is “the right way.” In the text of an excellent knitting reference book, the auther insists that the best way to hold the yarn is between the thumb and first finger of the right hand without wrapping the yarn around any fingers. I insist that the best way to hold the yarn is the method that works best for you.

A two-handed method is commonly taught for managing two strands of yarn. I tried that long enough to get proficient at it, but was not happy with the results. I experimented with other ways to hold the strands, and the method demonstrated here produces the smoothest results for me. I am left handed so I do most of my movements with my left hand. My right hand mainly holds the yarn, kind of like a spool on a sewing machine.

1. This image shows the position of my hands and the yarn. The strand that lies nearest my hand (the light color) always falls on top of the darker strand as I change colors. I could hold it so the dark always falls on top. The main thing to remember is to keep the same color falling on top since it will show if you switch the order in the middle of a piece of knitting.

2. This image shows how I wrap the yarn on my hand—like threading a sewing machine for tension control. Notice that I’ve separated the strands with my ring finger. I find that this helps in keeping the strands separated over my index finger.

3 & 4. These images show how I select and knit first one color then the other.

When I taught myself this technique, I worked slowly until my hands were used to the new motor skill. Now, I can knit with the same speed and smoothness as though I were knitting one strand.