How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Eastern (Russian) Knitting

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

We’ve already discussed the most common way to cast on stitches in Eastern (previously known as Russian) knitting. If you missed that tutorial, you’ll find it right here.

Now, let’s see how we should hold the working yarn and knit stitches using this efficient knitting style that is not only fast but is also gentle on our hands and wrists.

If you prefer to learn from a video tutorial, click here to watch all steps described below in a video. Or, simply scroll to the bottom of this page to watch the embedded version of the video.

HOW TO HOLD YARN IN EASTERN KNITTING

When we knit using the Eastern knitting style, we hold the yarn in our left hand, the same way as we do when we use the Continental knitting style. So if you are a “Continental knitter”, you can skip this section.

If you normally use the English knitting style, you will need to learn to work with the yarn in your left hand. It might feel awkward at first, but don’t worry – with just a bit of practice, you’ll easily get the hang of this technique.

So, here are step-by-step instructions that explain how to hold the yarn in your left hand. As with anything in knitting, these instructions are not set in stone. Feel free to make minor adjustments that suit your own personal knitting style.

The general guidelines are very simple:

1.As you hold the tip of the needle with your right fingers, take the working yarn with your left middle, ring and little fingers so that there is a bit of space between the fingers and the needle.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

2. Move your left hand so that your left index finger gets under the strand stretched between the needle and your left hand.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

3. Now align the needle with the working yarn and hold it along with the yarn with you left middle, ring and little fingers.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

4. Place your left thumb on the needle and pull the yarn hanging at the left side of your left hand to adjust the tension.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

If you feel that the yarn is too loose and is hard to control, wrap it around your left little finger.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

You can do it with your right hand after you performed steps 1 – 4 described above. Or, you can make that wrap at the very beginning, before you follow step 1. Watch how to do it.

Now that we have the working yarn in place, we are ready to start knitting.

HOW TO KNIT STITCHES IN EASTERN KNITTING

This technique is very different from knitting stitches using any of the Classic knitting styles. No matter whether you use Continental or English knitting style, you will have to remember to work stitches differently.

The good news is – it is not hard at all. Eastern knitting is one of the easiest knitting styles out there and the process of knitting a stitch happens in the easiest way possible – through the back loop.

There is no need to move the right needle by over a hundred degrees to get into a stitch from left to right. We simply keep the needle straight and insert it into a stitch from right to left.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

Then we pick the yarn that is conveniently sitting on our left index finger right next to the stitch we want to knit.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

Pull the yarn through and slip the original stitch off the tip of the left needle.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

That’s it. No unnecessary movements.

As you knit more stitches, you will notice that you work very much like a knitting machine – quick and efficient.

Keep practicing until you feel comfortable knitting the Eastern way. By the time you master this method, you will probably make a little swatch in garter stitch like the one shown in the photo below.

How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting

Most likely, you will also notice one of the unusual traits of the Eastern knitting – garter stitch created using this knitting style is made of twisted stitches.

It is a bit odd, but it makes perfect sense from the point of view of the ladies who used this knitting style to keep their families warm during cold Easter European winters – it is a well-known fact that fabric made of twisted stitches is denser, warmer and less likely to wear out fast. This is exactly what peasant women needed centuries ago.

To learn more about the Eastern knitting style, its amazing properties and some other unusual traits, consider joining the detailed online course – Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified.


If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Neat Side Edges” Book

Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.


Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko - www.10rowsaday.com

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How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting
 | 10 rows a day
How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting
 | 10 rows a day
How to Hold Yarn and Knit Stitches in Russian Knitting
 | 10 rows a day