How to yarn over in knitting

Master the Art: How to Yarn Over in Knitting Simplified

Knitting is a versatile craft that allows you to create many beautiful projects. One essential technique that every knitter should know is how to yarn over. Now that you know how to make a yarn ball, you’re ready to learn the easier way of doing a yarn over in knitting. This will help you become even better at knitting. Yarnovers create an extra loop in your work and play a crucial role in creating lace patterns and increasing stitches. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of mastering the yarn over knitting technique, from understanding its purpose to advanced techniques and troubleshooting tips.

Key Takeaways

  • Yarnovers are essential in creating lace patterns and increasing stitches in knitting projects.
  • Understanding the yarn overstitch and how it differs from other knitting techniques is crucial.
  • Performing a yarn over in knitting is easy with step-by-step instructions.

How to yarn over in knitting

Understanding the Yarn Over Stitch

Before diving into the steps to perform a yarn over in knitting, it’s essential to understand the yarn over stitch and its purpose. A yarn over creates an extra stitch and a small hole in your knitting, which is why it is commonly used in lace patterns and to increase stitch count.

Unlike other knitting techniques, the yarn overstitch doesn’t involve knitting through any stitches. Instead, it requires moving the yarn from the back to the front of the work (or vice versa) without knitting a stitch.

When executed correctly, the yarn overstitch should create a small loop around the needle that will be knit on the following row. Understanding this stitch is crucial in mastering the art of knitting lace patterns, so take the time to practice and perfect your technique before moving on to more complex patterns.

Steps to Perform a Yarn Over in Knitting

If you’re new to knitting, the yarnover technique may initially seem daunting. Nevertheless, you can become skilled in this method through dedication and patience and incorporate lovely lace patterns and additional stitches into your knitting projects. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to perform a yarn over in knitting:

  1. First, knit to the point where you want to create the yarn overstitch.
  2. Next, bring the yarn forward as if to purl.
  3. Next, encircle the yarn around the right-hand needle, going from the back to the front.
  4. Finally, continue with the next stitch in the pattern.

It’s important to note that the yarn overstitch does not require inserting the needle into the stitch. Instead, it is created by wrapping the yarn around the needle.

Practice this technique several times until you feel comfortable with it. Once you get the hang of it, yarnovers can create beautiful patterns and add decorative touches to your knitting projects.

Yarn Over Techniques for Different Stitch Patterns

Yarnovers can create a wide range of stitch patterns, making them a versatile technique to master. Here, we will explore ordinary yarnover techniques used in various stitch patterns.

Eyelet Stitch Pattern:

An eyelet stitch pattern combines knit stitches and yarnovers in a specific sequence. The yarnovers create holes or eyelets in the fabric. Here’s how to work an eyelet stitch pattern:

  1. Knit a few stitches
  2. Bring the yarn to the front of the work, between the needles
  3. Take the yarn over the right needle and back to the front of the work
  4. Knit the next stitch
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the end of the row

Repeat these steps on subsequent rows to create a beautiful eyelet stitch pattern.

Lace Stitch Pattern:

A lace stitch pattern uses yarn over and decreases to create a delicate, openwork fabric. Here’s how to work a simple lace stitch pattern:

  1. Knit a few stitches
  2. Bring the yarn to the front of the work, between the needles
  3. Take the yarn over the right needle and back to the front of the work
  4. Knit two stitches together
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the end of the row

Repeat these steps on subsequent rows to create a beautiful lace stitch pattern.

Cable Stitch Pattern:

A cable stitch pattern is created using a specialized cable needle and crossing stitches over each other. Yarnovers can be used to create space between the cables. Here’s how to work a simple cable stitch pattern:

  1. Hold the first two stitches to the front of the work with the cable needle
  2. Knit the next two stitches
  3. Proceed to knit the two stitches from the cable needle.
  4. Bring the yarn to the front of the work, between the needles
  5. Take the yarn over the right needle and back to the front of the work
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 until the end of the row

Repeat these steps on subsequent rows to create a beautiful cable stitch pattern.

Enhancing Your Knitting with Yarn Overs

Visualizing and practicing the yarnover technique can be difficult for beginners, but many resources, including video tutorials, are available. These tutorials show exactly how to perform a yarn over in knitting, making the process much easier to master.

One excellent resource to check out for yarn over video tutorials is YouTube. Many talented knitting instructors provide step-by-step instructions on yarn and incorporate it into various stitch patterns. Many knitting websites and forums offer video tutorials for yarnovers and other techniques.

By practicing yarnovers with the help of video tutorials, you can enhance your knitting skills and become more confident in using this technique.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Yarnovers can be tricky for beginners, but with practice, anyone can master this technique. However, there are some common mistakes that you should be aware of to avoid frustration and ensure your knitting projects come out looking great.

Confusing Yarn Over with Knit Front and Back

Yarn over and knit front and back (KFB) are two techniques. While yarn over is used to create a new stitch by wrapping the working yarn around the needle, KFB is used to increase stitches by working the same stitch twice in one stitch. Understanding the difference between the techniques is essential to avoid mistakes.

Forgetting to Bring the Yarn to the Front

One of the most common mistakes beginners make when attempting yarnovers is forgetting to bring the yarn to the front of the work before wrapping it around the needle. If you don’t bring the yarn to the front, you won’t be able to create a new stitch. Always double-check that the yarn is in the correct position before attempting a yarn over.

Wrapping the Yarn Incorrectly

Another common mistake is wrapping the yarn incorrectly around the needle. The yarn should always go over the top of the right-hand needle to create a new stitch. If you wrap the yarn under the needle, you’ll have a twisted stitch and a frustrating mistake to fix.

Tightening the Yarn Over Too Much

When you create a yarn over, it’s important not to tighten the stitch too much. If you do, working within the next row will be challenging, and your work will become tight and bunched up. Instead, ensure the yarn over is loose enough to accommodate the needle when you return to work it in the next row.

Miscounting Stitches

Miscounting stitches is a common mistake that can be frustrating when working with yarnovers. Always double-check that you’ve created the correct number of stitches both before and after the yarn over to avoid messing up the pattern.

By paying attention to these common mistakes and practicing your knitting, you’ll master the yarnover technique quickly!

Troubleshooting and Fixing Yarn Over Errors

As with any new knitting technique, mistakes are common when attempting yarnovers. Here are some ordinary yarn over-knitting stitch errors and tips on how to fix them:

Accidentally Knitting or Purling Yarn Overs

One of the most common mistakes is accidentally knitting or purling the yarn overstitch with the following stitch. This mistake can be easily fixed by unraveling and re-knitting the last stitch correctly.

Uneven or Loose Yarn Overs

Creating uneven or loose yarnovers is another area that many beginners need to improve. This can result in holes or ladders in your knitting. Try tightening your tension when wrapping the yarn over the needle to fix this.

Forgetting to Yarn Over

It’s also possible to forget to perform a yarn over, which can throw off your stitch count and alter the pattern. To correct this mistake, unravel the last stitch and repeat the necessary yarn before continuing with the pattern.

Yarn Overs in the Wrong Place

Sometimes, yarnovers can be placed incorrectly, either too close or too far from the edge of the work. This mistake can be fixed by unraveling the last few stitches and correctly placing the yarn in the desired location.

Following these tips can avoid ordinary yarnover errors and successfully incorporate this versatile technique into your knitting projects.

Incorporating Yarn Overs in Your Knitting Projects

Yarnovers are a versatile and essential technique for any knitter aiming to infuse texture and fascination into their projects. Below are a few imaginative methods you can integrate yarnovers into your knitting:

Lace projects

Using yarnovers in lace patterns can create beautiful designs and textures. From delicate shawls to intricate doilies, yarnovers can add an elegant touch to any lace project.

Eyelet details

Adding yarnovers in specific locations can create eyelet details in your knitting. These small holes can add a playful element to your design and are perfect for summer clothing or accessories.

Cable accents

Yarnovers can also be combined with cable stitches to create unique textures. By inserting a yarn before or after a cable, you can create an intricate design to make your project stand out.

Colorwork projects

Yarnovers can be used in colorwork projects to create a lacy effect or to add some dimension to your design. By carefully positioning yarnovers in distinct colors, you can craft a breathtaking contrast that elevates your project to new heights.

Integrating yarnovers into your knitting projects lets you introduce depth and texture to your designs. Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for your style. Happy knitting!

Advanced Yarn Over Techniques

If you are comfortable with the basic yarnover technique, it’s time to take things up and explore the world of advanced yarnover knitting. This technique involves intricate patterns and multiple yarnovers, allowing you to create unique and stunning designs. Let’s dive in!

Multiple Yarn Overs

One of the most straightforward advanced techniques is using multiple yarnovers in a single stitch. This creates a giant hole or eyelet and can be used to create more intricate lace patterns. For example, you can use two yarnovers in a row, creating a large eyelet. Alternatively, you can space the yarn in different rows, creating a more complex design.

Intricate Lace Patterns

If you want to create genuinely intricate designs, lace patterns are the way to go. These patterns use yarnovers and other stitches, such as decreases, to create stunning textures and shapes. Some popular lace patterns include the feather, fan, and diamond lace patterns. These patterns can take time and patience, but the result is worth the effort.

Combining Yarnovers with Other Stitches

Finally, you can combine yarnovers with other stitches to create even more complex designs. For example, you can use yarnovers with knit and purl stitches to create a cable pattern. This involves manipulating the stitches on your needles to create a twisted cable effect, which is enhanced by using yarnovers.

Advanced yarnover techniques require patience, practice, and attention to detail. Take your time, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they can lead to new and exciting design possibilities!

Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Yarn Overs

Yarnovers are an essential technique in knitting, but they can take some time and practice to master. Here are some tips and tricks to help you perfect your yarn over technique and achieve consistent and beautiful results:

1. Practice makes perfect

Like any skill, the more you practice, the better you will become. Take the time to practice yarnovers on scrap yarn before incorporating the technique into your knitting projects.

2. Pay attention to the tension.

Tension is critical when it comes to yarn over. Ensure the yarn is tight enough when wrapping it around the needle. Experiment with different tensions to find what works best for you.

3. Keep track of your stitches.

It’s easy to lose track of your stitches when incorporating yarnovers, especially when working on intricate patterns. Use stitch markers or keep a tally of your stitches to avoid mistakes.

4. Use a suitable yarn.

When working with yarnovers, using a yarn that is not too slippery or too fuzzy is essential. Opt for a smooth yarn within a light or medium weight for optimal outcomes.

5. Experiment with different stitch patterns

From simple eyelets to intricate lace designs, yarnovers can be used in stitch patterns. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things.

6. Take breaks

Knitting for long periods can lead to fatigue and mistakes. Take breaks and give your hands a rest to avoid making errors.

7. Don’t be afraid to unravel

Feel free to unravel and start again if you make a mistake or are unhappy with the results. It’s better to fix mistakes early on than to go back and fix them later.

By following these tips and tricks, you will be well on your way to mastering the yarnover technique in knitting. You can easily create beautiful lace patterns and increase stitches with little practice and patience.

Adapting Yarn Overs in Different Knitting Styles

The yarnover technique is widely used across different knitting styles, including Continental and English. As with most knitting techniques, how you perform a yarn over may vary depending on your preferred style.

In Continental knitting, also known as picking, the yarn is created by wrapping the yarn counterclockwise around the right-hand needle. This creates a small loop on the left-hand needle and counts as a stitch.

Conversely, in English knitting, also known as throwing, the yarn over is created by bringing the yarn to the front of the work between the two needles, then taking it over the right-hand needle to the back of the work. This creates a small loop on the right-hand needle and counts as a stitch.

While the method of creating a yarn over may differ between these two styles, the purpose and effect of the stitch remain the same. The yarn over is a versatile technique that can create various stitch patterns, regardless of your preferred knitting style.


Yarn overs in knitting are a valuable technique to master, providing endless possibilities for creating intricate lace patterns and increasing stitches. This article covers everything you need to know about yarnovers, from understanding the stitch to incorporating them into your knitting projects.

Following the step-by-step guidance and the tips and techniques shared, you can master the yarnover technique and achieve splendid outcomes. Remember to practice, troubleshoot errors as they arise, and experiment with different yarnover techniques to expand your knitting skills.

Mastering how to yarn over in knitting will enhance your knitting projects and provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. So, gather your needles and yarn, and begin practicing yarnovers today!


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