How to Yarn Over and Yarn Forward Round Needle

The Yarn Over is often the first increase stitch a knitter learns, and on occasion, learns it by accident. There are 4 ways to complete the yarn over which are written differently in the pattern according to how you should complete them. They vary depending on if you are going from a knit to a knit, a purl to a purl, purl to a knit, or if you are going from a knit to a purl. The Yarn Over stitch is referred to as a “yo” in your pattern, however, if you are working a vintage pattern, you may also see it written as a Yarn Forward “yf” but proceed with caution. A Yarn Forward can also be used just as a change in the position of the yarn. For instance, you could be directed to yarn forward then to slip stitches then yarn back, which does not involve in an increase, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. The language of knitting is ever-evolving and we can see this shift take place in written patterns about 20 years or so ago. The introduction of the Yarn Over was a clearer description of this type of increase. This is one of the simplest of the increase stitches, and make no mistake it is an increase. The “yo” leaves a hole in the work and creates a beautiful eyelet. You’ll find this stitch in many lace and leaf patterns.

Knit, yarn over, knit (k, yo, k) 

For this tutorial, we are using Mary Maxim Starlette Yarn in the color Medium Taupe and a size 10 (6.00 mm) circular needle by Prim. These are wonderful ergonomic needles. We began by knitting a swatch. Our swatch is 21 stitches by 12 rows with the first 4 rows, and the first and last stitches worked in the garter stitch and the 13 stitches in between the garter stitch are worked in stockinette stitch. We began our yarn over tutorial on the 6th stitch of the 13th row. 


knit the previous stitch 

yo step 1- move the yarn between your needles to the front of your work,

yo step 2- then move the yarn over the top of the needle and to the back of your work.

-knit the next stitch

Yarn Over Step 1
Step 2 yarn over

How to k, yo, k

Yarn Forward Step 1
Yarn Forward Step 2

Purl, yarn over, purl (p, yo, p) 

This tutorial begins after the k, yo, k tutorial ends.  We worked another row of knit then worked the next row starting with the garter stitch pattern and working # purls.

– purl the next stitch, 

yo step 1- move the yarn over your needle to the back of your work

yo step 2 – then move the yarn between the needles and return the yarn to the front of your work so that it is in position to purl again, 

-purl the next stitch.

Yarn Over Tips  

You will find that there is a big hole in the fabric where you made a yarn over. The yarn over creates an extra loop on the needle, which will be worked in the following row.

Does your pattern begin with a yo as the first stitch in the row? If your instructions indicate a yarn over then a knit, start with the yarn in front as if you were going to make a purl stitch, then continue to work the pattern. Vice Versa if your pattern begins with a yarn over, then a purl, begin with the yarn in the back of your work and continue with the pattern.

How to p, yo, p

How to Yarn Forward and Round Needle (yfrn)

The Yarn Forward and Round Needle is written specifically for a yarn over when transitioning from a knit stitch to a purl. When you are completing a yarn over when transitioning from a purl to a knit, it can be written a few different ways, so it is imperative that you read the special stitches section of your pattern.

Knit, Yarn Forward Round Needle, Purl (k, yfrn, p)


The Yarn Forward and Around Needle is written in your pattern as (yfrn), and is specifically used for incorporating a yarn over when you are transitioning from a knit stitch to a purl stitch. In this tutorial, we are pick up two rows after we completed the row of p, yo, p in the video tutorial above.

 knit the first stitch

yo step 1- move the yarn between your stitches to the front of your work, 

yo step 2- then move the yarn over the top of the needle to back behind your work, then move your yarn between the needles to the front of your work. Your yarn should be wrapped around your needle

-purl the next stitch

yfrn step 1
yfrn step 2
yfrn step 3
yfrn step 4
yfrn step 5

How to k, yfrn, p

yarn over p, yo, k step 1
yarn over p, yo, k step 1
yarn over p yo k step 3

Purl, yarn forward, knit (p, yfrn, k) 

This yarn over combination is nearly the same as p yo p. In this case, you are not bringing the yarn all the way around the needle but just knitting the next stitch.

 – purl the first stitch, 

yo step 1 – then move the yarn around the needle to the back so that it ends up in the knit position again, 

 – knit the next stitch

Stay Tuned

Stay Tuned! We have many more Stitch TutorialsPattern Tutorials, and more Free Patterns coming your way. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit or crochet, then now is a great time to start. There is so much more to come, so make sure to subscribe and never miss a thing!

Be sure to follow us on Social Media!


Check us out on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest.


Happy Crafting!

Leave a Comment

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