How to Hold Yarn Double Using Two Strands from One Skein

Ever wondered if you could crochet or knit with two strands of yarn from just one skein? Well, guess what? You totally can!

Knowing how to hold yarn double from one skein is an awesome trick that’s a total game-changer both both knitters and crocheters! No need to fuss with multiple skeins of yarn —just grab one and you’re good to go.

Now, you might be wondering, why would you even want to crochet with two yarn strands from the same skein? Well, there are actually a bunch of reasons!

Stick around as I dive into the ins and outs of this nifty technique which includes a video tutorial and free crochet patterns to practice with. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it! 

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hands crocheting with two strands of yarn held together with text that says how to hold yarn double using two strands for a single skein tutorial plus video tutorial

Reasons To Crochet With Double-Stranded Yarn:

Yarn Thickness

We all know that arn thickness can be like a mystery box—surprise, surprise!  You order some yarn, thinking they’ll be the same thickness because they both have a number 4 on the label but one’s thick like a cozy blanket, and the other’s so thin you think it’s a fingering weight or even lace weight yarn that’s been mislabeled!  

What are you going to do with that thinner yarn?!  Hold it double-stranded to create a thicker yarn, of course! 

Crocheting with two worsted weight yarns can create something similar to a chunky or even super bulky yarn, like I did in my Enid’s Snood Pattern here.  I needed a bulky weight yarn in specific colors that I just couldn’t find in bulky or even super bulky yarn at my local yarn store so I doubled up two strands of worsted weight and got crocheting.

Below I’ve included a cheat sheet for pairing yarns together for the first time.  Pairing up different yarns isn’t an exact science (since no two yarns in the same yarn weight category are exactly the same) so the best way to make sure the yarn will work for your project is to do a gauge swatch.  

crocheting with two strands of yarn cheat sheet ©The Loopy Lamb

Save Money

As I mentioned above, you can use a thinner yarn held double to create a thicker yarn and doing that can save you money!  Chunkier yarns typically sell with less yardage than thinner yarns and they can be pricey!

Double stranding yarns of a lighter weight (like two strands of medium weight yarn / aran weight yarn) can get you a chunky yarn at a fraction of the price. It’s a clever way to crochet on a budget.

Color Blending & Texture Variation

Crocheting with two different colors of yarn can create some really beautiful and unique color blending in your finished fabric.  

If you’re not sure what two different yarn colors will look like together, you can create a small gauge swatch with them to get an idea of what it will look like before committing to a larger project.

You can also create a more interesting texture in your fabric by pairing two different yarn textures together or yarns with different fiber content together. A common practice is to pair a strand of mohair yarn with a smooth yarn to create a slightly fuzzy fabric.  

hands crocheting showing how to hold yarn double next to a crochet snood and crochet tools.

Color Choices

Sometimes you just can’t find the yarn color you need in the yarn weight you need for that crochet project you’re dying to make. You can expand your color options by exploring different yarn weights and then using them to multi-strand crochet to get the exact colors you want.

Faster Crocheting

When you crochet using a thicker yarn, the time needed to finish your project is usually shorter, which is super handy when you’re under a time crunch (have you started those Christmas gifts yet?)

By crocheting multi-stranded with thinner yarns, you create heavier yarn weight that works up quicker than if you just crocheted using the single strand. 

Heavier weight yarns use a bigger hook and needle size so you can get through projects faster.

Use Up Your Yarn Stash

If you need to work through a large portion of your yarn stash fast then knowing how to hold yarn double from one skein is an invaluable skill to have.  

You are literally working through balls of yarn at double the speed than if you were working a single strand of yarn.  

It’s a great way to make a big dent in your stash, particularly if you need to make room for new yarn that’s on its way.

group of colourful yarns in a flay lay

How to Hold Yarn Double From One Skein Video Tutorial

YouTube video

How to Hold Yarn Double from One Skein

There are three different ways to hold yarn double from one yarn ball and we’ll break down each way here.  I’m using a worsted weight yarn for this tutorial but it can be done using any skein of yarn.

Pull From Both Ends of a Single Skein of Yarn:

Each skein of yarn has an outside strand and an inside strand that you can pull yarn from.  

To find the outer strand, remove the yarn label from your skein and the yarn tail should be easy to spot.

To find the inner yarn strand, insert your fingers into the center of the skein and feel around for the tail.  You can also hold the strand vertically and hit the top of it a few times which can sometimes make this strand easier to find as well.

Then pair up the two strands and start crocheting.

hands holding each yarn end from a yarn skein, showing how to hold yarn double from a single skein

Create a Yarn Cake (or two!):

Sometimes working from both ends of the skein can make a bit of a mess. If you have a yarn winder you can use it to create a center-pull yarn cake from a big ball of yarn.  

The benefit of this is that the yarn cake doesn’t usually roll around as much, especially if you put it in a yarn bowl.  

Once your yarn cake is done, you’ll pull your yarn strand from the center and the outside of the cake and start to crochet or knit.

hands holding each yarn end from a yarn cake, showing how to hold yarn double from a single skein

You could also split your yarn ball in two and create a second new ball or cake with your winder from 1 ball of yarn. So if you start with a 100 g skein of yarn, you could split it into 2 – 50 g skeins. Then you pull from the center of each of those separate balls / cakes.

Don’t have a yarn winder? No problem! Check out this video showing how to create a center-pull yarn ball without a ball winder.

Create a Double-Stranded Yarn Cake:

If you pull your yarn from the outside and the inside of your skein and pull from both ends while creating a yarn cake, you can create a double-stranded yarn cake.  This cake would then pull from the center of the yarn to use 2 strands at once or pull from the inside and the outside to work 4 strands at a time!

Things to Know When You Hold Yarn Double From One Skein:

  • You will need to adjust your crochet hook size from what’s recommended on the yarn label. Since the yarn will be thicker, you’ll need to use a bigger hook size to work with it.

  • If you find that you have an overly dense fabric, use a bigger hook! Start with going up 1-2 sizes until you create a fabric you’re happy with.

  • If your fabric has too many holes, go down a hook size or two until you create a fabric you like.

  • When you crochet double-stranded, you hold the extra strands together as if they are a single strand.

  • When you weave in your ends, you’ll weave them in as a single strand as well.

hands crocheting double-stranded

Ready to practice your new skill? Check out these free patterns to crochet now that you know how to hold yarn double from one skein:

I hope you enjoyed this crochet tutorial for how to hold yarn double from one skein and are excited to get started learning more crochet stitches and techniques! Here are some other great crochet tutorials to check out next:

Be sure to check out my Crochet Stitch Tutorials page to get a list of tutorials for basic stitches in both traditional crochet and tunisian stitches, tips, tricks, special stitch patterns and techniques and more.

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