This helped me, maybe it can be useful to others

I’ve spoken a bit previously about recently changing my tension and increasing my knitting speed but, I hadn’t shared specifics or visuals of how. After discussing it without knowing how to properly explain otherwise I feel a post is best.

So first I wrap my yarn around my wrist were the working half of the yarn is over the wrist and heading away from the body. The half pulling from the ball or cake of yarn will be under.


This I do for both knit and purl stitches which greatly decreases my need to drop the yarn to re-tension differently. I also pull my arms towards my chest to minimize movement and to add a bit more tension on the end of the yarn strand coming from the ball. (It works some how)

For knit stitches this is the way I tension the yarn around my hand.


And I knit.

For purl this is how I tension my yarn.


I then purl by swirling my thumb towards my palm which lowers muscle strain, aches, and joint pain. (I have tendinitis/carpal tunnel in my hands. Doctors differ in their opinions)


When it comes to the next row. Instead of picking up my work and turning it I do this:

After the last stitch I take the just worked needle (the one the stitches ended on) and bend it towards me instead of away. And start knitting. *This way I won’t have to keep lifting up the work to turn back and forth and it should not tangle. The outside of the work will always be the outside because I’m not twisting it. It’s like knitting in the round although I’m knitting flat. I’ll try to show a picture.

Beginning of the row
Knitting the row
End of row bend right needle toward you; left away

For tutorial purposes say the picture above is the end of the row. I’ll take the current right needle and bend it towards me using my left hand. (The working yarn as you can see is already tensioned from the previous row.) Then I’ll take the left needle and swoop it backwards to bring it around to my right hand. Work has been turned without fiddling with the weight of the project and I can keep knitting.

The video link below by laylock on YouTube and Ravelry will show how I purl but using my tension method shown above.

How to purl

*Edited for clarification & to add video.

V o n n a


7 thoughts on “This helped me, maybe it can be useful to others

    1. I’ve learned it’s not about your way vs. my way but practice. No matter how we choose to knit (as long as it’s comfortable and accomplishes what we set out to do) speed itself comes from practice and training our muscle memory. So anytime we pick up a new technique or way of tensioning we’ll slow down before we speed up again due to the learning curve of things. I came to this way of knitting in order to lower pain while knitting and knit longer periods. Both of which has naturally increased my progress speed and my even stitch tension, which has resulted in more practice time and overall speed and efficiency while knitting.


  1. Great tips. I had carpal tunnel too (had the surgeries on both wrists) and found that it helps to minimize wrist movements and keep the tension constant, which is what your tips seem to do. Square needles really help me minimize wrist movements too. I will have to try out your trick at the end of the row. :-)


    1. Definitely. Because I can’t seem to get a consensus on what’s wrong with my hands surgery is not even an option so yes, I had to find ways to knit and knit for normal to long periods of time without pain during or after. That’s why I initially switched from English to continental knitting but I couldn’t purl normally so the Norwegian purl worked for a while but my tension was all over the place. I started wrapping around my wrist basically by accident. I did it without realizing it (twisted up in my yarn) and realized that felt better and then tried laylocks way of purling with my way of tensioning the yarn and it’s been great for wrist pain management, even stitch tension, & increased speed. I can’t imagine changing to any other way. The row turn/non-turn came to me as I was knitting on Emeraude and Grain of Salt. So, that also sped up “production”. I do hope it helps others not solely for speed but, for comfort as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh, I do hope that you eventually get a good answer for what is going on with your hands. It is so frustrating to deal with hand pain especially when it interferes with knitting therapy! :-( As it turns out I have a condition called scleroderma that causes hand swelling and extra collagen to deposit in my skin and that was the root problem with my hands. Now that I am on immuno-suppressants I am doing much better (and knitting more!!)


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