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How to Use a Yarn Guide Ring: The Tool You Need?

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Yarn guide rings are cheap, pretty, and a clever idea. A cute little ring that can help me control my yarn as I work? Sign me up! But, are yarn guide rings all they’re cracked up to be? And how do you even use a yarn guide ring?

Yarn guide rings keep your yarn in place as you knit or crochet. To use a yarn guide ring, slip it onto the middle finger of your nondominant hand with the loop of the ring pointing up. Thread your yarn through the loop. Keep knitting or crocheting, letting your yarn glide through the loop.

You may have also heard a yarn guide ring referred to as a crochet ring as well.

It can take some time to get used to a yarn guide ring or crochet ring, so if it feels awkward at first, that’s normal. It can be hard to get used to crocheting in general. Keep practicing with it and see if it becomes more natural overtime.

To begin with, we’ll talk about options for buying a yarn guide ring and what you should expect to pay. 

After that, we’ll dive into the steps you’ll want to take and the things you’ll want to consider when using a yarn guide ring.

Yarn Guide Ring Options

The great news is that yarn guide rings are inexpensive and easy to find. This peacock guide ring I bought came in a set of 3 rings and 2 crochet hooks – all for under $6 at the time I purchased it.

peacock yarn guide ring

You can also get guide ring sets that come with a large variety of neat designs and styles.

The guide ring sets that come with different loop sizes can be really helpful if you’re someone who uses a variety of yarns of different thicknesses. The loop is the portion of the ring where the yarn threads though.

yarn guide ring set

We’ll talk about threading your yarn through your guide ring in a later section.

If you don’t want to run to your local craft store, there are a lot of inexpensive yarn guide rings to choose from on Amazon.

You’ll notice that these rings don’t come with sizes. That’s normal. These rings are adjustable, so you don’t need to worry about getting the correct size ahead of time.

Speaking of sizing, let’s dive into how to size, position, and use your guide ring.

1. Adjust the Guide Ring to Fit Your Finger

Adjusting your guide ring on your finger is crucial. If you don’t fit it properly, you’ll probably live in awkward land for your entire guide ring experience.

As for placement, put the guide ring on the middle finger of the hand you manipulate your yarn with. 

For most people, this is your nondominant hand. But, whichever hand you use, make sure it’s the hand that you use to yarn over with, not the hand that you hold your hook or needles with.

Next, position the ring right below the second knuckle of your middle finger. This is a great spot to place the ring so that it doesn’t fall off of your finger, but isn’t so far down on your finger that it’s hard to use.

crochet with yarn guide ring below the knuckle

That said, some people like to have the ring above their second knuckle so they have more control over it. Get a feel for it and decide on the positioning that works for you.

crochet with yarn guide ring above the knuckle

Orient the ring so that the loop is facing up towards you and out towards the end of your finger. 

yarn guide ring

At this point, you may find that the ring doesn’t fit correctly. You don’t want the ring slipping up or down your finger, or for the loop to turn and fall to the underside of your finger. You want the ring to be solid and stable.

Most guide rings should be easy to adjust. 

For the peacock guide ring I have, I simply need to push or pull on the sides of it to make it the size that I need. The metal is pliable. 

You may need to make adjustments to your guide ring placement and sizing as you get used to it and understand how you want it to work for you. 

That’s ok! It’s great actually. Be mindful of how you can adjust your guide ring to suit your needs.

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2. Guide Your Yarn Through the Guide Ring Loop

Now we’re at a point where you can add your yarn to your guide ring set up. Carefully thread your yarn through the loop of your guide ring.

There’s no need to twist, loop, or otherwise adjust your yarn. Simply thread it through the loop so that it’s casually sitting in there.

yarn guide ring with yarn threaded through it

The goal of the loop is to hold your yarn on top of your fingers so that you don’t have to hold it yourself. It won’t fall down if you let go of it, which means it’s easily accessible when you need it. 

No tricks, complicated setup, or gimmicks. 

That said, you may find that the ability of your yarn to glide seamlessly through your loop will depend on the thickness of your yarn and the size of your loop.

If your yarn is really thick and your loop is really small, it may not glide easily through your guide ring.

On the other hand, if your loop is really big and your yarn is really thin, it could fall out of your guide ring more easily. 

This is why getting a variety pack of guide rings can be helpful. While loop sizes don’t vary a lot, different styles could give you different loop sizes to work with. This will give you more freedom to match your guide ring to the yarn you’re using.

Personally, I wish the yarn loops were as adjustable as the rings themselves. Alas, they are not, so making sure you buy a ring set that has variation is going to be your best bet.

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3. Spend Enough Time Using Your Guide Ring

It will take some time and practice to get used to your yarn guide ring. Even if it ends up being your favorite knitting/crochet accessory on your art shelf, you’ll have some awkward moments in the beginning.

There’s just a natural learning curve with it.

Once you get the hang of using your guide ring, decide if you actually benefit from using it. 

Personally, I think these guide rings are neat little contraptions and can serve a neat purpose for those of us who want some help with controlling our yarn.

That said, I don’t find it to be essential. If I sit down with my crochet and realize I don’t have my guide ring, I’m not getting up from my chair to find it. My guide ring just isn’t a must-have tool in my crochet process.

I like using it, but I don’t mind if I don’t have it.

Give yourself enough time to get over the awkward phase of using your yarn guide ring. Once you get the hang of it, decide for yourself whether you want it to be a mainstay in your knitting or crochet process.

Yarn guide rings can be inexpensive and simple accessories that can help control your yarn. If you’ve been looking for a way to make your yarn easier to manage as you work, give them a try and see what they can do for you.

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