Yarn overs are great for decorative increases or creating eyelets (or when you make one by mistake).
Sometimes, it can be confusing depending on if it comes between knit or purl stitches (or both). It’s not that difficult though, just read on…
Yarn Overs as Increases
You’ll see yarn overs used as increases whenever the designer wants to create a decorative way of increasing. You might see it along the spine of a shawl or at the raglan line of a sweater.
Yarn Overs as Eyelets
The other way you’ll commonly see a yarn over is paired with a decrease (typically a k2tog or ssk). In this case, you’re not changing the stitch count (the YO and the decrease cancel each other out) but it will create some pretty movement in the stitches.
Now that we’ve talked about 2 types of yarn overs, let’s talk about the different ways you can work a yarn over.
Yarn Over between 2 knit stitches
This is the easiest of the lot.
Yarn Over between 2 purl stitches
Working a yarn over between 2 purls isn’t much harder. You just wrap the yarn counter-clockwise around the right needle (just like above).
Yarn Over between a purl and a knit stitch
You just move the yarn over the needle instead of in-between it like you normally would
Yarn Over between a knit and a purl stitch
This is the most confusing of the four options. Not so much because of the question of where you put the yarn, but the eyelet can be larger because of it.
Yarn Over between a Knit and a Purl Stitch – Make the Yarn Over Smaller
If you have issues with your yarn overs looking differently-sized, here’s a way to tackle it. Be sure to read both the first row and second row instructions because you need to do both.
And here you can compare the regular YO (below) with the improved YO (on the top). See how the top one is smaller? That little difference makes a big impact if you have YO’s placed next to each other.
So there you go – FIVE different ways to work yarn overs. Hopefully it’s enough so you’re no longer afraid of it – and maybe you even found a better way to work them.
Knotions Patterns with Yarn Overs
There are lots of patterns that have yarn overs. Here are a few:
- Amiririsu scarf – lace, ruffles and worsted weight.
- Tiveden shawl – top-down, triangular.
- Lillia shawl – two-color and an ususual construction method.
- Tufted Diamonds socks – both crew length and knee high length, toe-up and with instructions for making it fit well.
- Lombard Street socks – lovely chevrons dot the instep and leg of this sock.
Or, take a peek at all our lace patterns.
Lace patterns are notorious for using charts, and most of our lace patterns use charts. Tune in tomorrow for a tutorial on reading charts.
About the Reviewer: Jody Richards
Jody is the founder and lead editor of Knotions. She loves poring over stitch dictionaries and trying out new stitches.
She’s also on a mission to get everyone to embrace the blocking. And, to avoid using garter stitch edges in swatches.
And while she likes all things crafting (well ok, except that one thing), yarn crafts are her true love (and she has the stash to prove it).