Learn how to knit a yarn over step by step

Learn how to knit a yarn over step by step

Knitting is a popular craft that allows you to create beautiful and functional items using yarn and needles. If you’re a beginner knitter, one of the techniques you’ll want to learn early on is the yarn over. A yarn over is a simple maneuver that creates an extra stitch and an eyelet hole in your knitting. This versatile technique is often used in lace patterns, as well as to create decorative details in garments and accessories.

To knit a yarn over, you simply bring the yarn to the front or back of your work and then continue knitting as usual. This creates a loop over the needle, which will become the new stitch on the next row. Yarn overs are often paired with decreases, such as knit two together (k2tog) or slip, slip, knit (ssk), to create an intricate lace pattern. Once you master the yarn over, you’ll be able to add new dimensions and texture to your knitted pieces.

When working with a yarn over, it’s important to pay attention to its placement and direction. Depending on the pattern, you may need to bring the yarn over the needle from back to front or from front to back. The pattern will specify the correct direction to ensure that the yarn over is positioned correctly within the overall design. Take your time and carefully follow the instructions to achieve the desired result.

As with any new knitting technique, practice is key. Start by swatching a small sample with a simple lace pattern that includes yarn overs. Take note of how the yarn over affects the tension and appearance of your knitting. With time and practice, you’ll become more comfortable with the yarn over technique and be able to incorporate it into a wide variety of projects, from scarves and shawls to sweaters and socks.

Why Knitting is a Popular Hobby

Knitting has been a beloved pastime for centuries, and it continues to be a popular hobby today. There are several reasons why knitting is so widely enjoyed:

  • Creative Outlet: Knitting allows people to express their creativity and make unique, personalized items. From colorful scarves to cozy blankets, the possibilities are endless.
  • Relaxation: Many knitters find the repetitive motion of knitting to be soothing and stress-relieving. It can be a calming activity that helps to promote mindfulness and relaxation.
  • Productivity: Knitting is a productive hobby that allows individuals to create something tangible with their hands. It can be immensely satisfying to see a finished project and know that it was made with your own skills and creativity.
  • Portability: Knitting is a portable hobby, making it perfect for on-the-go or while traveling. All you need is a pair of knitting needles and some yarn, and you can create wherever you are.
  • Social Connection: Knitting also offers a sense of community and connection. Many knitters join knitting groups or participate in online communities to share their projects, get advice, and meet others who share their passion.

Overall, knitting provides a fulfilling and enjoyable way to unwind, create, and connect with others. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, there’s always something new to learn and explore in the world of knitting.

Getting Started with Knitting Supplies

Before you begin knitting, you’ll need to gather some essential supplies. Here’s a list of items you’ll need to get started:

  • Knitting Needles: Knitting needles come in a variety of sizes and materials. Choose a pair that feels comfortable in your hands and matches the yarn weight you’ll be using.
  • Yarn: Select a yarn that matches your project requirements, whether it’s wool, acrylic, or a blend. Consider the weight, color, and texture of the yarn.
  • Scissors: A pair of sharp scissors is essential for cutting yarn and finishing your projects.
  • Tapestry Needle: This large-eyed needle is used for weaving in loose ends and sewing up seams.
  • Stitch Markers: These small plastic rings or clips help you keep track of stitch patterns and mark important points in your project.
  • Row Counter: A row counter is a handy tool to keep track of the number of rows you’ve completed, especially in intricate patterns.
  • Measuring Tape: A flexible measuring tape is useful for checking gauge and measuring the size of your finished projects.

Once you have these basic knitting supplies, you’ll be ready to start your knitting journey. Make sure to check out our step-by-step guide on how to knit a yarn over to begin expanding your knitting skills!

Basic Knitting Techniques for Beginners

Knitting is a wonderful craft that allows you to create beautiful and functional items with just a few simple techniques. If you’re a beginner, these basic knitting techniques will help you get started on your knitting journey.

1. Casting On

Casting on is the first step in starting any knitting project. It is the process of adding loops onto your knitting needle to create the foundation row for your project. There are many different methods of casting on, but the most common method for beginners is the long-tail cast on.

2. Knit Stitch

The knit stitch is the most basic stitch in knitting. It creates a smooth, V-shaped pattern on the right side of your work. To knit, insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from left to right, wrap the yarn around the right needle counterclockwise, and pull the new loop through the old loop.

3. Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is the reverse of the knit stitch and creates a bumpy, horizontal pattern on the right side of your work. To purl, insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from right to left, wrap the yarn around the right needle clockwise, and pull the new loop through the old loop.

4. Yarn Over

A yarn over is an increase technique that creates an extra stitch and a small hole in your knitting. To yarn over, simply bring the yarn to the front of your work if you’re knitting or to the back if you’re purling, then continue with the next stitch as usual.

5. Decreases

Decreases are techniques used to reduce the number of stitches in your knitting. The most common decrease is the knit two stitches together (K2tog), where you knit two stitches as if they were one. Another common decrease is the slip, slip, knit (SSK), where you slip two stitches one by one as if to knit, then insert the left needle into the front of those two stitches and knit them together.

6. Binding Off

Binding off is the process of finishing your knitting project by creating a neat edge. To bind off, knit the first two stitches on your left needle, then use the left needle to lift the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle. Repeat this process until you have one stitch left, then cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch to secure it.

7. Reading Patterns

Reading knitting patterns is an essential skill for any knitter. Patterns use a combination of abbreviations, symbols, and written instructions to guide you through the steps of a project. Take your time to familiarize yourself with common knitting abbreviations and practice reading patterns to improve your knitting skills.

With these basic knitting techniques, you’ll have the foundation to start your knitting projects and expand your skills as you gain more experience. Happy knitting!

Understanding Yarn Over in Knitting

Yarn Over is a simple technique used in knitting to create an eyelet or an increase in the fabric. It involves wrapping the working yarn around the needle to create an extra loop.

Here are a few important things to understand about yarn overs:

  1. Placement: A yarn over can be placed between two stitches or before or after a stitch, depending on the pattern instructions.
  2. Direction: The direction in which the yarn is wrapped around the needle determines the orientation of the resulting eyelet. Wrapping the yarn from back to front creates a standard yarn over, while wrapping from front to back creates a reverse yarn over.
  3. Increase: Yarn overs are often used to create increases in the fabric. When the next row is worked, the yarn over is treated as a stitch and knitted or purled accordingly.
  4. Decorative effect: Yarn overs can also be used for decorative purposes, such as creating lace patterns or creating an openwork effect in the fabric.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform a yarn over:

  1. With the working yarn in back of the work, bring the yarn to the front between the needles.
  2. Wrap the yarn around the right needle from back to front, creating a loop.
  3. Continue with the next stitch according to the pattern instructions.

It is important to keep in mind that the specifics of the yarn over technique may vary depending on the knitting pattern. Always refer to the pattern instructions for the correct placement and direction of the yarn over.

Step-by-Step Guide to Knitting a Yarn Over

Learning how to knit a yarn over is an essential skill for any knitter. A yarn over is a simple stitch that creates an eyelet or an increase in your knitting. It is commonly used in lace knitting patterns, but can also be used to create decorative effects in other projects. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to knit a yarn over.


  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles


  1. Start with the yarn in front of your work.
  2. Insert your right-hand needle into the next stitch on your left-hand needle, as if to knit.
  3. Instead of wrapping the yarn around the needle, simply bring the yarn from the front to the back over the needle.
  4. Complete the knit stitch as usual, drawing the right-hand needle through the stitch and slipping the worked stitch off the left-hand needle.
  5. You have now completed a yarn over.
  6. Continue knitting the next stitch or following the pattern instructions.

A yarn over creates a small hole in your knitting, which can be used to create lace patterns or decorative effects. It is important to keep in mind that a yarn over is considered an increase, so you will need to account for it in your stitch count and pattern instructions.


  • Practice the yarn over technique on a swatch before applying it to your main project.
  • Pay attention to your tension while working the yarn over, as it can easily become too tight or too loose.
  • If you need to purl a yarn over on the next row, make sure to purl through the back loop to prevent the stitch from becoming twisted.

Now that you have learned how to knit a yarn over, you can confidently incorporate this stitch into your knitting projects. Whether you are creating lace patterns or adding decorative elements, the yarn over is a versatile stitch that will add interest to your work. Happy knitting!

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Knitting a Yarn Over

Knitting a yarn over is a simple technique that creates an eyelet or hole in your knitting. It is used to increase stitches and create decorative patterns. However, it’s essential to execute the yarn over correctly to achieve the desired results. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when knitting a yarn over:

  1. Forgetting to bring the yarn to the front or back: One of the most common mistakes is forgetting to bring the working yarn to the front or back of the work before performing the yarn over. This can result in twisted stitches and an uneven fabric.
  2. Twisting the yarn: When wrapping the yarn over the needle, it’s important to keep it loose and not twist it. Twisting the yarn can make it difficult to work the stitch in the next row or round.
  3. Confusing the yarn over with a knit or purl stitch: A yarn over is not the same as a knit or purl stitch. It’s essential to distinguish between these techniques and follow the instructions closely.
  4. Skipping the yarn over: When following a pattern, it’s crucial not to skip the yarn over instruction. Skipping the yarn over can throw off the stitch count and affect the overall design of the project.
  5. Tightening the yarn over: It’s common to tighten the yarn over inadvertently, especially if you’re a tight knitter. Make sure to keep the yarn over loose to maintain the intended size and shape of the hole.
  6. Placing the yarn over in the wrong direction: Depending on the pattern, the yarn over might need to be placed in a specific direction, either from front to back or back to front. Placing the yarn over in the wrong direction can alter the stitch pattern.

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you achieve clean and beautiful yarn overs in your knitting. Practice the technique with patience and pay attention to the details to improve your knitting skills.

Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Yarn Over Technique

  • Practice, practice, practice: Like any knitting technique, mastering the yarn over requires practice. Set aside dedicated time to work on your yarn overs, and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come easily at first. With time and repetition, you will improve.
  • Use the right yarn: The type of yarn you use can affect the outcome of your yarn overs. Choose a yarn that has good stitch definition and isn’t too slippery. This will make it easier to see and manipulate your yarn overs.
  • Pay attention to tension: Proper tension is essential for achieving neat and even yarn overs. Make sure you’re not pulling the yarn too tight or leaving it too loose. Experiment with different tension techniques until you find what works best for you.
  • Take it slow: When first learning the yarn over, it can be helpful to slow down and focus on each step. Take your time to understand how the yarn is wrapping around the needle and how it impacts the following stitches.
  • Count your stitches: It’s easy to lose track of your stitches when incorporating yarn overs into a pattern. Make sure to count your stitches regularly to ensure you haven’t accidentally added or missed a yarn over.
  • Use stitch markers: Stitch markers can be helpful when working on patterns that involve multiple yarn overs. Place a stitch marker after each yarn over to help you keep track of your progress and catch any mistakes early on.
  • Experiment with different patterns: Once you feel comfortable with basic yarn overs, try incorporating them into different stitch patterns. This will not only help you refine your technique but also expand your knitting repertoire.

Remember, learning a new knitting technique takes time and patience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek out online tutorials if you’re struggling. With practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful and intricate designs using the yarn over technique.


What is a yarn over in knitting?

A yarn over in knitting is a technique used to create an extra stitch on your needle. It is a simple and basic knitting technique that adds an eyelet or an opening in your knitting fabric.

When do you use a yarn over in knitting?

A yarn over is commonly used in lace knitting patterns, where the eyelet created by the yarn over adds a decorative element. It is also used in shaping techniques, such as creating increases or buttonholes.

How do you do a yarn over in knitting?

To do a yarn over, bring the yarn to the front of your work between the needles, then continue knitting the next stitch as usual. This will create a loop of yarn around the needle, which counts as a stitch.

What is the purpose of a yarn over in knitting?

The purpose of a yarn over is to create an opening or a decorative hole in your knitting fabric. It is often used in lace patterns to create the intricate designs and patterns. Additionally, it can be used as a way to increase the number of stitches in your work.

Are there any variations of the yarn over technique?

Yes, there are variations of the yarn over technique. Some knitters prefer to wrap the yarn over the needle in a different direction, such as from back to front. This can create a different effect in the resulting fabric. Additionally, there are different ways to execute the yarn over in more advanced lace knitting patterns.


How to Knit: Beginning a Row with a Yarn Over

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