37 comments on “Yarn Over

  1. I’ve always wondered how to keep your stitches loose enough to make knitting “not” a pain while keeping them actually on your needles. This has been a problem for me. I’ve watched your video about this situation but I’m still having a problem. Would appreciate any advice…Thanks, Terri

  2. Hi Terri – it’s really just practice, and finding a balance between tension and ease of movement of the stitches on the needles. It can also depend on what kind of needles you’re using…if you’re a tight knitter, you probably want to move on to metal needles to making the sliding easier. I have a video about the different needles here:

    It also has to do with how coordinated you are with the first finger on your left hand. That finger has two important purposes – it holds that first stitch on, and it pushes it off when you’re done knitting it.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  3. Staci, Thanks for the refresher course on needles & your advice. I wish it wasn’t so hard to teach an old dog new tricks! haha

  4. Does the term YO in a pattern just mean pulling the yarn in front or does it include the knitting of the next stitch? For example, my pattern K3, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k3; should I be doing the YO as pulling the yarn over, knit 1 and then knit 1 again, pull the yarn over, knit 1 and then k2tog? Of course, I’ve tried both ways and can’t seem to get the number of stitches to match in the end so I’m not sure which it should be.

  5. Hi Laura – the YO stitch is just the action of pulling the yarn to the front (or to the back, if you’re purling) and does not include any more than that. I often teach the stitch by calling it a “yarn forward” as the English do, because it really makes more sense that way.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  6. Hi Staci

    How do you work a yarn over when the next stitch is a purl stitch? Eg. K1, YO, P1. If you pull the yarn to the front and purl the next stitch then there won’t be a stitch increase so I’m a little confused.



  7. Hi Vikky – yes, the YO is a bit different when you throw purls in with the knits. In the situation you describe, it ends up being a yarn over and a half. Forward between the two needles, back over the right needle, and forward between the two needles again to work the purl stitch.

    S t a c i

  8. Dear Staci

    I am attempting to make a circular shawl for my niece’s baby due in April. I have watched your video on yarn over, which is brilliant! However, each alternate row is just knit. Do I knit into the front or into the back of the loop? I’d much appreciate your advice.


  9. Hi Gillian – unless the pattern specifies to knit in the back loop (ktbl), you always want to knit the stitch normally, which is to knit it into the front loop.

    Hope that helps!

  10. your videos are so helpful & “unstick” me alot in projects thank you
    This time its with 3 yos in a row on a knit side
    How do i knit or purl them back on the following roe, mine are real messy droops & don’t look lacy at all Thank you

  11. Lois – yes, that is a difficult stitch combination to get looking neat. Just work the yarn-overs as regular stitches on the next row, and hopefully it will all look neater after blocking!

    S t a c i

  12. Can you help me please? How do I knit theses stitches? p1. *(yo) twice, sl2, p3 tog., p2sso, (yo) twice p1. Can you explain via video please? many Thanks Barbara

  13. I am trying to do a Lacey scarf and am stuck on k2 (k1,p1, k1 into yo) it is suppose to give me an increase of 2 stitches.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

  14. Thanks – am I correct in thinking that YO is what we Brits call yfwd (yarn forward)? Also, I thought that after fifty years of knitting I knew all there was to know, but I’ve just discovered an abbreviation I hadn’t come across before – yfrn which I presume means yarn forward round needle – can you explain how to work that one please?

  15. Hi Bayla – thank you for the note. Yes, in my experience, “yarn over” and “yarn forward” are the same thing. “Yarn forward ’round needle” is probably referring to how you would work a YO between knit and purl stitches. Going from a knit stitch, to a yarn over, to a purl stitch requires another half-wrap of the needle. This video, Yarn Overs Between Knit and Purl stitches might explain it better: https://verypink.com/2012/05/16/yarn-overs-between-knit-and-purl-stitches/

    S t a c i

  16. I am knitting on a round,pattern i am working on is to knit 2tog,I have 126 stitches total,when I finished the row up to my marker I had one extra stitch.dont want to rip out,can I decreases 1 stitch to get back on track
    I am stuck as this point.

  17. Hi Helen – it is up to you. You can usually sneak a decrease in there and it will be fine. Try it, take a look, see if you are happy with the way it looks.

    S t a c i

  18. Hi, i’m having trouble with a cowl pattern i’m working. It says this: Rnd 1-Yo, K2tog to marker. Rnd 2-K2tog, Yo to marker, then repeat both rounds. I dont understand the round 2 part… how do you K2tog AND THEN Yo? Also, i’m working on circular needles. Please help!

  19. Hi Katie – I’m afraid you’re over-thinking this! 🙂 If you’re able to work Round 1, then you can work Round 2. They’re really the same thing. The only difference is that you’re yarning-over first in Round 1, then working a k2tog. Then in Round 2 you start with the k2tog, then yarn-over. Both rounds are a two-stitch repeat, across the row.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  20. Hii .. I am working on a boot project lately and I am considered to add 10 stiches on both sides of the already established stitches can you please help me with this 🙂

  21. Round 1 says to

    *k1, yo, k5, s2kp, k1, yo; rep from *

    Does this mean that I end the round with a yo???

    Please help. Thank you very much.

  22. Rheta – yes. Based on the info you’ve given me, you will end that row with a YO. But that’s no problem – you’re knitting in-the-round, so it’s not a YO at the end of a row.

    S t a c i

  23. Furthering Rheta’s question – how is a yo at the end of a round not a problem? I’m currently knitting a top-down hat and every odd row (for the first 32 rows) is *(k1, yo) twice* rep from *to* to end of rnd. Every even row is knit entire round. The yo at the end of the row becomes the first stitch at the beginning of a consecutive round and it’s throwing off the evenness.

  24. Hi Staci,

    How do I knit a yarn-over at the very beginning of a row, to increase that first stitch to two? The pattern says to increase 104 sts. to 208 sts., using “k1, yo, repeat to end of row” but apparently the first stitch is a little different from the rest. Am I missing something? Many thanks for your help!

  25. Melinda – I recommend contacting that pattern designer on Ravelry with your question. From the info you’ve given me, the YO is after a knit stitch, not at the beginning of a row. The designer will be able to clarify your specific question.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  26. Hi I am really struggling on YO without a knit stitch in between! The pattern says ” increase 1 stitch by working a YO on each side of each marker ( there are 4 all together in the row) but my hole isn’t uniform and I’m not sure how I work the YO’s on the return row. This is basically making a holey raglan with stretch and as a decorative feature.
    Your help would be appreciated.

  27. Jackie – a double yarn-over (with a marker between, no less) is tricky to work. I personally would never put that in a pattern, because you’re totally right – it is almost impossible to keep even tension in those stitches. I recommend contacting the pattern designer directly, because you can bet she’s seen this issue before! Otherwise, I’m sure you can alter the pattern a bit and adjust your stitches so that you have a knit stitch between the YOs.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  28. Magic loop hat pattern says to begin round with a YO, then K2TOG. How do I begin a round in circular knitting with a YO? I just want to tell you I reference you videos a lot and find them so very helpful, but could not find on with beginning a round with a YO. THANK YOU!!

  29. Eli – beginning a round with a YO is easy…just slip your marker, and YO for the first stitch. Beginning a row with a YO is more difficult, because there is no stitch before the YO to hold it in place. But when you’re knitting in-the-round, the last stitch of the previous round will hold your YO in place.

    S t a c i

  30. Hi Staci-
    I’m working off a basket pattern for socks. The stitch I’m having trouble with is marked with a downward facing arrow with the instructions “insert right needle into hold of double yo and knit 1”. I’ve tried it multiple times and ways and I cannot figure it out, but I have to do quite a few of them. Suggestions/resources?

  31. Another great video! Question, if I want to just make an increase without leaving a hole, how would I do that? Or is there a video for me to watch. I think it’s called an increase by 1 of a M1.

  32. Hi Staci –

    Is a YRN (yarn round needle) the SAME as a yarn-over? If not, what is the difference?



  33. Hi Staci – I’ve marked the fields with a *, but it will NOT let me post my comment. Frustrating.

    My question (fifth and final time I’m trying) is this:

    Is a YRN (yarn round needle) the SAME as a yarn-over? If not, what is the difference? Thanks for your help Staci.


  34. Shawn – both of your comments posted.

    YRN is usually the same as a YO, but you’ll either need to ask the designer of the pattern you’re using or take a look to see how the stitch count changes, it could be more than one YO.
    S t a c i

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