What Does Yo Mean in Knitting

What Does Yo Mean in Knitting

Knitting is a popular craft that allows you to create beautiful and warm garments, accessories, and home decor items. If you’re new to knitting, you may come across some terms that can be a bit confusing. One such term is YO, which stands for “yarn over.” YO is a knitting technique that involves creating an extra loop on your needle, resulting in an increase of stitches and an eyelet effect in your fabric.

When you come across the abbreviation YO in a knitting pattern, it usually means that you need to create a yarn over. This technique is often used in lace knitting patterns, as well as in shaping and decorative stitches. YOs can add a delicate and lacy look to your knitting projects, making them perfect for shawls, scarves, and other lightweight garments.

Creating a yarn over is relatively simple. To do a YO, you’ll bring the working yarn over the right needle from back to front, creating a loop. This loop will then be worked as a stitch in the next row or round. It’s important to note that YOs are typically paired with decreases, such as knit two together (K2tog) or slip slip knit (SSK), to maintain the stitch count.

YO can also refer to a different technique called “yarn over needle.” In this technique, you wrap the yarn around the right needle before knitting the next stitch. YOs used in this way can create decorative texture and interesting patterns in your knitting.

As you become more familiar with knitting, you’ll find that YO is a versatile technique that can be used to create a wide range of stitch patterns and effects. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, understanding YO and how to execute it will open up a world of possibilities in your knitting projects.

So, the next time you see YO in a knitting pattern, remember that it stands for “yarn over” and get ready to add some beautiful eyelets to your work. Happy knitting!

The Basics of Yarn Over Technique

The yarn over technique, also abbreviated as YO, is a common knitting technique used to create new stitches and decorative lace patterns. It involves wrapping the yarn around the needle to create an extra loop, which is then treated as a regular stitch in the subsequent rows. Yarn overs are commonly used in lace knitting, openwork patterns, and creating decorative holes or eyelets.

To perform a yarn over, follow these basic steps:

  1. While holding your knitting needle in your right hand, bring the working yarn to the front of your work, between the needles.
  2. Next, bring the working yarn over the top of the right-hand needle, from back to front, in a clockwise motion.
  3. Position the working yarn in the correct position to knit the next stitch according to your pattern.

When you come across the yarn over on the subsequent rows, it will appear as a hole or eyelet in your knitting. The hole is formed by the additional loop created during the yarn over.

Here are a few key points to remember when working with yarn overs:

  • Yarn overs are typically paired with other knitting stitches, such as knit stitches or purl stitches, to create various lace patterns.
  • It’s important to keep track of how many yarn overs you have made, as they will affect the stitch count and pattern repeat.
  • If you need to increase the number of stitches in a row, yarn overs are a simple and decorative way to achieve this.
  • Yarn overs can be used in combination with other knitting techniques, such as decreases or increases, to create complex lace patterns.

Once you have mastered the basics of yarn overs, you can explore more advanced lace knitting patterns and incorporate them into your projects. Whether you’re knitting a delicate lace shawl or adding some decorative elements to a sweater, the yarn over technique adds a beautiful touch to any knitting project.

Remember to practice the yarn over technique on a swatch or smaller project before incorporating it into a larger pattern, as it may require some practice to get the tension and placement just right.

How to Work Yarn Over in Knitting

The yarn over technique is a fundamental method in knitting that creates an intentional hole or eyelet in your fabric. It is commonly abbreviated as “yo” in knitting patterns. Follow these steps to easily work a yarn over:

  1. Start by knitting or purling the stitches as indicated in the pattern until you reach the point where you want to create the yarn over.
  2. Bring the working yarn to the front of your work if you were knitting, or to the back if you were purling.
  3. Hold the working yarn loosely between your thumb and index finger, allowing enough slack to create the desired size of the yarn over.
  4. Insert the right-hand needle into the next stitch on the left-hand needle as if to knit or purl.
  5. Instead of wrapping the working yarn around the right-hand needle, simply bring it over the top and to the other side of the needles.
  6. Continue knitting or purling the stitches as instructed in the pattern.

Remember, when you work a yarn over, you are essentially creating a new stitch on your needles. Keep in mind the following tips to achieve a neat and consistent yarn over:

  • Be mindful of the tension in your yarn over. Avoid pulling the yarn too tightly, as it can distort the stitch and make it difficult to work with in subsequent rows.
  • Practice creating different sizes of yarn overs. Experiment with the amount of slack you hold in the yarn to achieve larger or smaller holes in your fabric.
  • Pay attention to the pattern instructions for the correct placement of yarn overs. They may be worked before or after specific stitches, or within pattern repeats.

Yarn overs can be used in various knitting techniques, such as lace knitting or creating decorative patterns. With practice and experimentation, you can master the yarn over technique and incorporate it into your knitting projects with ease.

Common Mistakes to Avoid with Yarn Over

When practicing the yarn over technique in knitting, there are a few common mistakes that beginners should be aware of. By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your yarn over stitches are neat and well-executed.

  • Not wrapping the yarn correctly: The most common mistake when executing a yarn over is not wrapping the yarn around the needle correctly. To create a yarn over, bring the yarn to the front of the work, then wrap it over the needle from the back to the front before continuing with the next stitch.
  • Twisting the yarn over: Another mistake is twisting the yarn over, which can lead to distorted stitches. When wrapping the yarn over the needle, make sure it lays flat and doesn’t twist or cross over itself.
  • Forgetting to knit or purl the next stitch: After completing a yarn over, it’s crucial to remember to knit or purl the next stitch as instructed by the pattern. Skipping this step can result in dropped stitches or uneven tension in your work.
  • Making yarn over mistakes in lace patterns: Yarn overs are commonly used in lace patterns to create decorative eyelet holes. However, mistakes in yarn overs can easily disrupt the lace pattern. Pay close attention to the stitch count and placement of yarn overs in lace patterns to ensure correct execution.
  • Confusing yarn overs with other increases: Yarn overs can be mistaken for other types of increases, such as make-one stitches or knit-front-and-back (KFB) stitches. Make sure to refer to the pattern instructions and identify when a yarn over is called for.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can improve your yarn over technique and create beautiful, consistent stitches in your knitting projects.

Advanced Yarn Over Techniques

Advanced Yarn Over Techniques

Once you have mastered the basic yarn over technique in knitting, you can begin exploring advanced yarn over techniques to add more intricate and decorative elements to your projects. Here are some techniques to consider:

  • Double Yarn Overs: A double yarn over (abbreviated as yo twice or yo2) is used to create larger, more pronounced holes in your knitting. To do a double yarn over, simply wrap the yarn around the needle twice instead of once.
  • Ssk Yarn Overs: An ssk (slip, slip, knit) yarn over is a decrease stitch that is combined with a yarn over to create a decorative eyelet pattern. To do an ssk yarn over, slip the next two stitches knitwise, then insert the left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and knit them together, creating a decrease. Then, yarn over as usual.
  • Slip, Slip, Purl Yarn Overs: Similar to ssk yarn overs, slip, slip, purl (ssp) yarn overs combine a decrease stitch with a yarn over to create eyelets. To do an ssp yarn over, slip the next two stitches knitwise, one at a time, then insert the left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and purl them together, creating a decrease. Then, yarn over as usual.
  • Yarn Overs Between Knit and Purl Stitches: To create a yarn over between knit and purl stitches, start by knitting a stitch, then bring the yarn to the front of the work between the needles, and purl the next stitch. This creates a small hole between the knit and purl stitches.

These advanced yarn over techniques can add complexity and beauty to your knitting projects. Experiment with different combinations and placements of yarn overs to create unique patterns and designs.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Yarn Overs

Yarn overs are an essential technique in knitting that create an eyelet or a decorative hole in your fabric. They can be used to create lace patterns, make buttonholes, or simply add visual interest to your project. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve perfect yarn overs:

  1. Keep your tension consistent: When working a yarn over, it’s important to maintain a consistent tension. If your yarn over is too loose, it will create a larger hole than desired, while a tight yarn over can distort the shape of your fabric. Practice and experiment to find the tension that works best for you.
  2. Use the right size needle: The size of your needle can affect the size and appearance of your yarn over. If you want a smaller, more subtle hole, use a smaller needle size. If you want a larger, more prominent hole, use a larger needle size. Be sure to check your gauge and adjust your needle size accordingly.
  3. Practice with scrap yarn: If you’re new to yarn overs or trying out a new stitch pattern, it’s helpful to practice with scrap yarn before working on your actual project. This will give you a chance to get comfortable with the technique and make any necessary adjustments before committing to your project yarn.
  4. Count your stitches: Yarn overs can sometimes be easy to miss or accidentally skip. To avoid this, make a habit of counting your stitches after each yarn over row or round. This will ensure that you don’t lose or add stitches unintentionally.
  5. Read your pattern carefully: If you’re following a pattern that includes yarn overs, be sure to read the instructions carefully. Different patterns may have different conventions for indicating yarn overs, such as using a specific abbreviation or symbol. Understanding the pattern will help you execute the yarn overs correctly.
  6. Use stitch markers: Stitch markers can be helpful when working on patterns that include multiple yarn overs or complex stitch patterns. Place a stitch marker before and after each yarn over to help you keep track of the stitches and ensure that you’re working the correct number of yarn overs.
  7. Block your finished project: After completing your project, blocking can help enhance the appearance of your yarn overs and make them more even and defined. Follow the blocking instructions for your specific yarn and project to achieve the desired result.

With these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be able to confidently incorporate yarn overs into your knitting projects and create beautiful, intricate designs. Happy knitting!

Using Yarn Over in Lace Knitting

Yarn Over (abbreviated as YO) is a commonly used technique in lace knitting to create decorative holes, increase stitches, or form eyelets in the knitting pattern. It involves wrapping the yarn around the needle before making the next stitch.

In lace knitting, yarn overs are often used to create the intricate and delicate patterns that are characteristic of lace designs. These decorative holes and eyelets add depth and texture to the fabric, making it visually appealing.

To perform a yarn over in lace knitting, follow these steps:

  1. Bring the yarn to the front of the work, between the knitting needles.
  2. Without inserting the right-hand needle into any stitches, bring the yarn over the right-hand needle from front to back, creating a loop around the needle.
  3. Proceed with the next stitch as indicated in the pattern.

It’s important to note that yarn overs are usually paired with other knitting techniques, such as knitting or purling stitches together, to create the desired lace pattern. The specific instructions for incorporating yarn overs into a lace pattern will vary depending on the design and stitch pattern being used.

The placement and frequency of yarn overs in lace knitting determine the shape and design of the finished piece. To create lacy motifs, yarn overs are often placed strategically alongside decreases to form intricate patterns, such as leaves, flowers, or geometric shapes.

It’s helpful to use stitch markers or highlighters to keep track of the yarn overs in the pattern, especially when working on complex lace designs. These tools can help ensure that the yarn overs are correctly placed and maintain the overall structure of the lace pattern.

In summary, yarn overs are a fundamental technique in lace knitting that allows for the creation of decorative holes, eyelets, and intricate patterns. By practicing and mastering this technique, knitters can explore and enjoy the beauty of lace knitting.

Creating Unique Patterns with Yarn Over

Creating Unique Patterns with Yarn Over

Once you have mastered the yarn over technique in knitting, you can use it to create unique and intricate patterns in your projects. Yarn overs are a simple and versatile way to add decorative holes and lace-like designs to your knitting.

Here are some ideas for incorporating yarn overs into your patterns:

  1. Lace Patterns: Yarn overs are commonly used in lace knitting patterns to create intricate and delicate designs. By strategically placing yarn overs and decreases, you can create beautiful motifs and openwork patterns.
  2. Eyelet Patterns: Yarn overs can be used to create eyelet patterns, where small holes are scattered across the fabric. These patterns are often used in shawls, scarves, and lightweight garments to add visual interest and texture.
  3. Cable Panels: By combining yarn overs with cable stitches, you can create unique cable panels with an open, airy feel. These panels can be used as a focal point in sweaters, hats, and other garments.
  4. Edgings and Borders: Yarn overs can be used to create decorative edgings and borders for your knitting projects. By adding yarn overs at the beginning and end of rows, you can create a lacy, scalloped edge.

When using yarn overs in your patterns, it is important to keep track of them and make sure they are balanced with corresponding decreases. This will ensure that your fabric lays flat and the pattern is evenly distributed.

Experiment with different combinations of yarn overs and decreases to create your own unique patterns. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things! Yarn overs are a versatile technique that can add depth and interest to your knitting projects.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep practicing your yarn over technique and soon you’ll be creating beautiful and intricate patterns with ease.

Exploring Different Yarns for Yarn Over Projects

When working on projects that involve yarn overs, it is important to choose the right yarn to ensure your stitches turn out beautifully. The yarn you select can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your knitting. Below are some popular yarn options to consider for yarn over projects:

  • Cotton: Cotton yarn is a popular choice for yarn over projects due to its smooth and crisp texture. It creates clean and well-defined yarn over holes, making it perfect for lace knitting.
  • Merino Wool: Merino wool yarn is known for its softness and warmth. It provides excellent stitch definition, enhancing the appearance of yarn overs. Merino wool yarn is a great choice for both lace and cabled yarn over projects.
  • Alpaca: Alpaca yarn is known for its luxurious feel and drape. It adds a beautiful halo to knitted fabric and creates a subtle and elegant look for yarn overs. Alpaca yarn is ideal for shawls and wraps with yarn overs.
  • Silk: Silk yarn adds a touch of elegance and sheen to yarn over projects. It creates a beautiful drape and enhances the stitch definition. Silk blends well with other fibers and is often used in combination with other yarns for yarn over patterns.
  • Mohair: Mohair yarn has a fluffy and fuzzy texture that adds a unique and delicate look to yarn overs. It creates a soft halo effect and gives a lightweight and airy feel to knitted fabric.

In addition to these yarn options, it is also essential to consider the weight and thickness of the yarn for your specific project. Thinner yarns tend to create more delicate and intricate yarn over patterns, while thicker yarns produce bolder and more prominent yarn overs.

Experimenting with different yarns can help you discover the perfect combination for your yarn over projects. Whether you prefer a crisp and defined look or a soft and ethereal feel, there is a yarn out there to suit your knitting preferences.


What does YO mean in knitting?

YO stands for “yarn over” in knitting. It is a technique used to create an extra stitch and an eyelet hole in the fabric.

How do you do a yarn over in knitting?

To do a yarn over in knitting, you simply bring the working yarn over the needle from front to back. This creates a new loop on the right-hand needle, which counts as a new stitch.

What is the purpose of a yarn over in knitting?

The purpose of a yarn over in knitting is to create decorative patterns, such as lace or eyelet designs. Yarn overs can also be used to increase the number of stitches in a row.

Can yarn overs be done in different directions?

Yes, yarn overs can be done in different directions depending on the pattern. They can be done from front to back, back to front, or even slanting to the left or right. The direction of the yarn over creates different effects in the knitted fabric.

Are yarn overs used in any specific knitting techniques?

Yes, yarn overs are commonly used in lace knitting, where they are essential for creating the openwork patterns. Yarn overs can also be used in other techniques, such as cables or textured stitch patterns, to add an element of visual interest.

How do you fix a mistake with a yarn over?

If you make a mistake with a yarn over, you can simply drop the extra loop and continue knitting. If the mistake is several rows below, you may need to use a crochet hook or a knitting needle to fix the stitch. It’s always best to catch mistakes early and fix them as you go along.


How to knit a reverse yarn over – step by step for beginners


YO! All About Yarn Overs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *