Learn Yarn Overs for Different Situations

  • 01 of 05

    Yarn Over Between Two Knits

    yarn over knit stitches
    Sarah E. White

    Making a yarn over is a simple way to increase stitches. It makes a hole in the knitting and is popularly combined with a decrease such as knit two together to keep the number of stitches the same across the row. It can even be used to make garments bigger or to add shape to your knitting. Some patterns use yarn over techniques to intentionally add holes as a design element. Strategically used, they can make your knitting seem light and airy.

    The most common situation in which you will be asked to do a yarn over in your knitting career is between two knit stitches, but that is not the only way to do it, as this tutorial explains. First, however, the most basic type of yarn over.

    Yarn Over Between Two Knit Stitches

    All you have to do to make a yarn over between knit stitches is bring the yarn around the right-hand needle from back to front, wrapping counter-clockwise around the needle and taking the yarn back to the back before knitting the next stitch.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Yarn Over Between Two Purls

    Yarn over purl stitches
    Sarah E. White

    Creating a yarn over between two purl stitches isn't any harder than yarning over between two knits, but it is less common. It's the same basic steps as yarning over between to knits, only with purls.

    To perform the yarn over, take the yarn from front to back over the right-hand needle and continue wrapping counter-clockwise until the yarn is in the front again, ready to purl the next stitch.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Yarn Over Between a Knit and Purl

    yarn over a knit stitch and a purl stitch
    Sarah E. White

    What happens when you try to yarn over between a knit stitch and a purl stitch? This one is a little strange feeling because you're wrapping the yarn all the way around the needle, but it's not at all difficult.

    Bring the yarn from the back to the front between the needles and wrap it around the right-hand needle, then bring it back to the front between the two needles to make the purl stitch.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Yarn Over Between a Purl and a Knit

    A yarn over between a purl and a knit stitch
    Sarah E. White

    Yarning over between a purl stitch and a knit stitch may be the easiest of all, but it doesn't feel quite right when you're doing it.

    Simply take the yarn from the front to the back of the right-hand needle, rather than between the two needles as you normally would to switch from purl to knit.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Yarn Over at the Beginning of a Row

    A yarn over at the beginning of a purl row
    Sarah E. White

    Some knitters get confused when asked to yarn over at the beginning of a row. How do you wrap the yarn around the needle when there's nothing to hold it in place?

    All you have to do is drape the yarn over the right-hand needle and immediately make the next stitch. The way you do this will depend on whether you're starting with a knit stitch or a purl stitch, but it's pretty intuitive once you try it.