I’ve been writing a series about blog posts about knitting stitch structure and have been focusing on increases. Today’s post in this sequence is about the Yarnover, a method for adding an open stitch between two existing stitches.
All my other stitch structure posts can be found under my stitch structure tag, or in the menu at the top of this page.
- These posts aren’t meant as instructions for how to work these stitches; instead I’m showing the structure of the resulting stitches. In aid of that, I am not showing needles in the stitches as I feel they make it harder to see the fabric structure.
- The yarn is drawn to be much thinner relative to the stitch size than would be practical for actual knitting. This helps make it easier to see the structure, but it doesn’t look exactly like the final knitting.
This illustration shows two columns of stitches that have already been worked for three rows. The first stitch of a fourth row has been knit. Now I want to make an extra stitch before knitting the next one. What to do? I have already illustrated the structures for m1, m1L & m1R, left lifted increase, and right lifted increase, which are all things one could do in this situation.
This time I’m going to illustrate the yarnover, which is commonly used in lace knitting, or anywhere one might want visible holes in knitting.
To form a yarnover, the working yarn is laid over the top of the needle next to the previously knit stitch. This makes an open space where the loop of yarn uses approximately the same amount of yarn as a regular knit stitch. Only one leg of the yarnover has been secured so far, by the top of the existing light green stitch below and to the right of it.
The next step is to knit the next existing stitch on the other side of the yarnover. Now the other leg of the yarnover has been secured by the other light green stitch, though it won’t be completely held in place until it’s worked on the next row. This will secure the top of the loop, leaving an open area. (It’s more rounded than is shown here; my illustrations are more of an approximation.)
The final step of forming the yarnover is to work it like any other stitch; here I’ve drawn a row of knitting. The hole of the yarnover is formed by the gap between the two stitches on the previous row, and the loop of yarn that was laid over the needle.
The yarnover can be treated like any other stitch on the next row; one I sometimes do is to twist it on the next row in much the same way as m1L or m1R.
An alternative is to drop the yarnover on the next row, at which point no new stitch will be formed, and the yarn from the loop will add a little slack to one or both of the stitches on either side. (Some stitch patterns will do this instead of an elongated stitch.)
The yarnover is very much the same structure as the m1 increase (in the way I use that abbreviation; see link for the problems involved with the m1 name), but it makes a bigger space because the strand between two existing stitches is made longer by being laid over the needle. The hole is also one row higher than if I were to work a m1 while knitting this row.
I’ve put the illustrations side by side for the final stage of the m1 (on the left) and the yarnover (on the right). This shows how the two stitches are at different heights, even though they are worked between the equivalent two stitches on row 4 (as drawn).