Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tutorial: Yarn Overs--Getting Over the Confusion

This post is for a knitter who wrote for help with her Cataraqui Scarf. Yarn overs can definitely confuse. Adding to the confusion is that terms such as "yarn forward" (yfwd) or "yarn over needle" (yon), and "yarn round needle" (yrn) sometimes pop up (usually in British instructions). Charted stitch patterns are helpful because they give you a visual representation of what's going on, without all the linguistic gobbledegook. 
Put simply, how a yarn over is executed depends on what comes before and after. There are four situations to consider:
1. Knit stitch, YO, knit stitch.

Bring the yarn from back to front,
then simply knit the next stitch. The yarn will automatically create a yarn over on the needle.

2. Purl stitch, YO, purl stitch.
Take the yarn from front, over the top of the needle to the back and under to the front again.

 3. Knit stitch, YO, purl stitch.

Start by bringing the yarn forward between the needles, then...
take it back over the top of the needle and under to the front again.
4. Purl stitch, YO, knit stitch.
This one is so simple it's tricky. It makes an appearance once in each cycle of the Cataraqui chart.

Leave the yarn at the front after the purl stitch and simply knit the next stitch; the yarn will automatically pull up and over the needle to create the yarn over.

Once you understand what's happening, you'll stop having to think about the process. Remember, the goal is just to place an extra strand of yarn over the needle between two stitches.