What Does Yarn Over Needle Mean in Knitting?

Updated November 21, 2016

Knitting is a useful pastime for those who enjoy making their own blankets, potholders or clothes. If you are new to the knitting world, however, it can be somewhat daunting to learn all of the terminology and abbreviations printed on knitting patterns. "Yarn over" or YO is a knitting instruction often found in knitting patterns.


Yarn overs increase the number of stitches in the work itself or create deliberate holes in knitting to resemble lace. Knitted eyelets or doilies often use a lot of yarn over stitches. Some use yarn over stitches to create simple buttonholes.


To complete a yarn over, simply bring the yarn to the front of the work, wrap it over the right-hand needle to the back of the work, and knit the next stitch.


As you knit the stitch, be careful not to let the yarn slip off the needle. You can tell whether or not you have done the yarn over correctly while you work the row following the yarn over. A hole should suddenly appear on your needle where a stitch should be. You will also have one more stitch than you did in the previous row.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author