how do you yarn over

Master the Knitting Technique: How Do You Yarn Over

Are you ready to take your knitting and crochet skills to the next level? One important technique to master is the yarn over. This technique involves wrapping the working yarn around the needle to create an extra loop, resulting in an open space in the fabric. Yarnovers are a crucial element in creating intricate patterns and designs.

Whether a beginner or an experienced crafter, understanding yarnovers is essential for achieving a polished and professional look in your projects; learn the essential technique of executing a ‘yarn over’ in your knitting projects and discover the age-old art of spinning wool into beautiful yarn.

Key Takeaways:

  • The yarnover technique involves wrapping the working yarn around the needle to create an extra loop.
  • Yarnovers are essential for creating intricate patterns and designs in knitting and crochet.
  • Mastering yarnovers requires practice and attention to technique but can significantly enhance the quality and appearance of your projects.

how do you yarn over

Understanding Yarn Overs

If you’re new to knitting or crocheting, you may have encountered the term “yarn over” and wondered what it means. A yarn over is a simple technique used to create extra stitches and decorative holes in your fabric and is essential for creating lace and other intricate patterns.

Yarn Over Instructions

The basic yarnover technique involves wrapping the yarn over your needle before knitting or purling the next stitch. Here’s how to do it in knitting:

  1. Bring the yarn to the front of your work, between the needles.
  2. Take the yarn over the top of the right-hand needle and around to the back of the work.
  3. Continue knitting as usual.

And here’s how to do it in crochet:

  1. Bring the yarn over the hook from back to front.
  2. Continue with the next stitch as directed in your pattern.

Yarn Over Tutorial for Beginners

If you’re new to knitting or crocheting, watching a tutorial to see the yarnover technique can be helpful. Plenty of beginner-friendly videos available online will guide you through the process step-by-step.

Remember, practice makes perfect! Take your time, and don’t get discouraged if your first few yarnovers don’t turn out as planned. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon master this essential technique.

Yarn Over Techniques in Knitting

Yarnovers are essential for creating intricate stitch patterns in knitting. They are often used to create eyelets or lace designs. There are different techniques for executing yarnovers, and they can be used in combination with other stitches to create unique designs.

How Do You Yarn Over?

To execute a yarn over in knitting, wrap the yarn over the needle as if you were doing a regular knit stitch. The position of the yarn over the needle will determine whether it creates a hole in the fabric. For example, the yarn should be placed after a knit stitch and before a purl stitch to create an eyelet.

Yarn Over Technique

The yarnover technique will depend on the pattern being followed. The most common method is to bring the yarn to the front of the work between the two needles before wrapping it around the right-hand needle. Another technique involves simply wrapping the yarn over the needle without moving it to the front or back of the work. This technique is often used for lace patterns.

Yarn Over in Knitting

Yarnovers can be used in various ways in knitting. One everyday use involves creating decorative holes in the fabric, while another involves increasing the number of stitches. Yarnovers often combine with other techniques, such as increases and decreases, to create more complex stitch patterns.

Another way to use yarnovers is to create distinctive stitch patterns such as lace designs. The yarnovers create spaces in the fabric, filling with decreases to create intricate designs.

When working with yarnovers, it’s essential to maintain consistent tension in the yarn. Loose tension can result in unevenly sized yarnovers, while tight tension can make it challenging to execute the stitch. The needle size can also impact the gauge or size of the yarn stitches created. A larger needle will create a larger yarn over, while a smaller needle will create a smaller yarn over.

Yarn Over Techniques in Crochet

Crochet projects also require yarnovers to create open spaces and decorative effects. However, executing yarnovers in crochet differs from knitting. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wrap your yarn over the hook from back to front, then complete the next stitch as instructed by your pattern.
  2. For a double crochet stitch, yarn over once. For a triple crochet stitch, yarn over twice.
  3. To create a chain space, yarn over and chain the desired number of stitches.

Similar to knitting, it’s essential to maintain proper tension when creating yarn overs in crochet to ensure consistent results.

When working on a crochet pattern, yarnovers may appear as “yo” in the instructions. Pay close attention to the placement of yarnovers to achieve the desired effect in your project.

One advantage of yarnovers in crochet is the opportunity to create intricate lace designs. By combining various yarn over patterns, you can create beautiful and delicate crochet lace.

Yarn Over Techniques in Crochet: Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips to help you master yarnovers in crochet:

  • Practice on a small swatch before working on a larger project to get comfortable with the technique.
  • Keep your hook steady and in the correct position when creating yarnovers to maintain consistent tension throughout your work.
  • Try various yarn types and hook sizes to achieve diverse effects and textures in your crochet projects.

With practice and perseverance, you’ll develop the ability to execute yarnovers in crochet effortlessly and incorporate them into various projects.

Yarn Overs for Lace Knitting

Yarnovers are essential for creating intricate lace patterns in knitting. These tiny holes add delicate detail to the fabric and allow for unique designs. Here’s how to execute a yarn over in lace knitting:

  1. Bring the yarn to the front of the work between two knit stitches as if to purl.
  2. Take the yarn over the right-hand needle, and then bring the yarn to the back of the work between the needles.
  3. Continue with the next stitch as directed in the pattern.

It’s important to note that in lace knitting, yarn overs are often paired with decreases to create unique shapes and designs in lace patterns. For example, pairing a yarn over with a knit-two-together (K2tog) decrease creates a subtle diagonal line.

When working with multiple yarnovers in a row, it’s important to maintain tension and keep them in line. Using markers to separate and track each yarn can be helpful.

Creating Clean and Consistent Yarn Overs

Attention to tension and needle placement is essential to achieve clean and consistent yarnovers in lace knitting. Here are some tips:

  • Keep a loose tension when executing the yarn over to ensure the hole is not too small or tight.
  • Use a needle with a smooth surface to prevent the yarn from catching or snagging.
  • Practice the yarnover technique on a swatch before starting a lace pattern to ensure even tension and consistent results.

Following these tips and techniques, you can create intricate lace patterns using yarnovers in your upcoming knitting project, resulting in beautiful and delicate designs.

Advanced Yarn Over Techniques

For experienced knitters and crocheters, yarnovers offer endless possibilities for incorporating intricate designs and stitch patterns into their projects. Advanced crafters can create stunning pieces with complex textures and shapes by combining yarnovers with other techniques, such as increases and decreases.

Incorporating Yarnovers in Lace Patterns

Creating lace patterns is one way to take yarnover techniques to the next level. Mastering the basic yarnover technique allows you to create eyelets and lacy designs perfect for shawls and delicate garments. To make your lace patterns even more intricate, try playing around with different-sized needles or using multiple yarnovers in a single stitch.

Cable Stitch Patterns with Yarn Overs

Another way to incorporate yarnovers into advanced projects is to use them in cable stitch patterns. You can create intricate designs with added interest and texture by knitting or crocheting yarnovers alongside cables. Try experimenting with different cable patterns and yarnover placements to create unique designs.

Combining Yarn Overs with Colorwork

For expert-level crafters, combining yarnovers with colorwork can result in stunning creations. Adding yarnovers in coordinating or contrasting colors can add dimension and interest to your projects. Try different colorwork techniques like Fair Isle or Intarsia to create a unique piece.

With these advanced yarnover techniques, the possibilities for creativity and unique designs are endless. Explore various techniques and combinations to craft your own unique and one-of-a-kind projects.

Troubleshooting Yarn Overs

While yarnovers are a simple technique, they can be prone to errors. Here are some ordinary yarns over issues and solutions:

The yarn over the hole is too large

If your yarn over the hole is too large, you may be wrapping the yarn too loosely. Try wrapping the yarn tightly around the needle to create a smaller hole.

The yarn over the hole is too small or nonexistent

If your yarn over the hole is too small or nonexistent, you may need to wrap the yarn around the needle more times. Make sure to wrap the yarn at least once around the needle and, if needed, create a giant hole a second time.

The yarn over is twisting or leaning.

If your yarn is twisting or slanting, you might be wrapping the yarn in the incorrect direction. Make sure to wrap the yarn clockwise when creating a yarn over on the right side of the work and counterclockwise when creating a yarn over on the wrong side.

Yarn overs appear uneven or inconsistent.

If your yarn overs appear uneven or consistent, it could be due to consistent tension in your knitting or crochet. Take the time to practice your tension control, and maintain a steady pace while working.

Following these tips and solutions, you can troubleshoot ordinary yarnover issues and achieve neat and consistent results.

Yarn Over vs. Yarn Forward

While yarnovers and forwards may seem interchangeable, they are different techniques with distinct outcomes. In yarnovers, the yarn is brought over the needle from back to front, creating a new stitch and an eyelet hole. On the other hand, yarn forwards involve bringing the yarn to the front of the work before knitting the next stitch, resulting in a longer stitch and no eyelet hole.

Yarn overs are typically used in lace knitting to create decorative holes and patterns, while yarn forwards are often used for shaping and creating longer stitches.

When incorporating both techniques into a project, paying attention to the pattern instructions and using the correct technique for each stitch is essential. Sometimes, a pattern may require a combination of yarn overs and forwards to create a complex stitch pattern.

Knitters and crocheters can create beautifully textured and intricate projects by understanding the differences between yarn overs and yarn forwards and when to use each technique.

Yarn Over in Different Stitch Patterns

Yarnovers can create stitch patterns that add texture and interest to knitting and crochet projects. Here are some examples:


Eyelets are a popular stitch pattern that creates an open lace effect. To make an eyelet, work a yarn over followed by a decrease (such as a knit two together). The decrease closes the gap the yarn creates, creating a hole in the fabric.


Cables are a classic stitch pattern that creates a raised, twisted effect in the fabric. To add a yarn over to a cable pattern, work it between two cable stitches. The resulting hole adds a decorative element to the cable.


Bobbles are a fun stitch pattern that creates small, raised balls of fabric. To make a bobble, work several stitches into one stitch (such as knit five into one stitch), then work a yarn over before knitting the next stitch. The yarn over adds a decorative element to the bobble.

Feather and Fan

Feather and Fan is a stitch pattern that creates a wave-like effect in the fabric. To make this pattern, work several increases (such as knit two into one stitch) followed by several decreases (such as knit two together), then work a yarn over before repeating the pattern. The yarn over adds an open lace effect to the wave.

Add yarnovers to different stitch patterns to create unique designs and textures in your projects.

Tips for Perfect Yarn Overs

Yarnovers are a versatile and essential technique in knitting and crocheting, but achieving consistent and professional-looking results can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you master yarnovers:

  1. Control your tension: Maintaining consistent tension is crucial for even yarnovers. Practice holding the yarn consistently and adjust the tension of your stitch as needed.
  2. Select the right needle: Choosing the right size and type of needle can affect the outcome of your yarn overs. Test different needles and find one that produces your desired results.
  3. Follow the instructions carefully: Ensure you understand the instructions for each pattern and follow them accurately to ensure proper execution of yarn overs.
  4. Practice different techniques: Experiment with different techniques to achieve different results. You can experiment by wrapping the yarn around the needle in various directions or twice instead of once to create more extensive yarnovers. This allows for greater flexibility in achieving the desired effects in your knitting projects.
  5. Use stitch markers: Place stitch markers before and after the yarn over to keep track of where it should be placed and ensure consistency throughout the project.

Following these tips, you can improve your yarnover technique and create beautiful, intricate designs in your knitting and crochet projects.

Yarn Over in Combination with Other Techniques

Yarnovers can be combined with knitting and crochet techniques to create intricate designs and patterns. Here are some examples:

Yarn Over with Increases

A yarn over can create a giant hole or eyelet in your work when paired with an increase, such as a knit front and back (KFB) or a make one (M1). This is particularly useful when working on lace patterns or shawls where a decorative touch is desired.

Yarn Over with Decreases

Combining a yarn over with a decrease, such as knitting two together (K2tog) or slip knit (SSK), can create unique stitch patterns. For example, a central double decrease (CDD) paired with a yarn over can produce a lacy effect.

Yarn Over with Colorwork

Integrating yarnovers with colorwork can add texture and dimension to your project. For instance, combining a yarn with a slipped stitch can create a raised stitch that stands out against the background color.

Experiment with different combinations of yarnovers and other techniques to unlock the endless creative possibilities in your knitting and crochet projects!


In conclusion, yarns are a fundamental technique for creating stunning and intricate projects in knitting and crochet. By mastering this simple technique, you can open up a world of creative possibilities, from eyelets to lace patterns and everything in between.

Remember that practice is vital to mastering yarnovers in your knitting projects. You’ll improve your skills and achieve the desired results with dedication and repetition. Start with the basics and work up to more complex stitch patterns and combinations. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things; the beauty of yarnovers is their versatility and adaptability to various projects.

With the guidance in this article, you now have the knowledge and tools to execute flawless yarnovers and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Consider factors such as tension and needle selection to ensure consistently perfect results.

So pick up your knitting needles or crochet hook and incorporate yarnovers into your projects today. The possibilities are endless!


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