Yarn Over and More Adventures in Knitting

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According to dictionary.com an acronym is a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words and pronounced as a separate word, as Wac from Women's Army Corps, OPEC from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or loran from long-range navigation. And wow, do we have some acronyms in the world today.Did you know there is an  acronym site to help you decipher this cryptic use of many abbreviated terms? LOL!

A lot of abbreviated terms were invented long before our fast paced world of technology! And with knitting there are many abbreviated terms that are used in pattern reading or designing to create a certain look.So your grandmother was using shortened terms like yo, k2tog and was way cool long before texting! What those terms mean can be found here in this link to knitting terms thanks to craftyarncouncil.com. Wow! That list might seem a bit overwhelming! Let's take a look at just one term for now!

And in the Beginning...

You have mastered casting on (CO) and knitting (K)....well okay so you don't quite feel you have it mastered but you are doing alright and we here at Darn Good Yarn couldn't be prouder of your knitting skills! Have you stuck to a pattern that is all knitting because you are comfortable with the garter stitch (garter stitch=knitting all rows). Great! Amazing what you can make with all those lovely ridges...scarves are a great place to work on your K mastering.

Let's adventure on over to purling. Ah, does that sound like a whole new thing? Thinking that you are happy to know that knit stitch and purling must be so much harder?  Not true! Not true at all! Purling (P) is the next best thing to (K). And see? You are pattern reading already! Youtube has so many tutorials and I suggest trying one to learn to purl(P). Practicing all purl rows will afford you the garter stitch again.

The adventure cranks up when you K one entire row and P one entire row, also known as the stockinette stitch. One side looks like smooth v's (the knit side) and one side is all nubbly-bubbly (the purl side). Sometimes the purl side is considered the wrong side (ws) of your work. The reality is that you are the knitter so the right side (rs) is up for discussion.  There is something quite engaging with the texture of the purl side of stockinette stitch. So now you have a whole different look for your work in adding P. 

Feeling your confidence building?  Cuffs that you might see on mittens, socks, hats are often in a ribbing pattern. Or what some of us see as hills and valleys. Now that you knit and purl, you can K1 P1 or K2 P2 or K2 P1 and or any variation of this to make ribbing. 

YO, yeah you!

Yeah, you may have a few unforeseen holes in your knitting because, let's face it, we are all human. Mistakes happen. Ever made something only to find a gaping hole, not where you want it? Some of the most amazing art is created through the process of making mistakes.

Our staff loves art and people and we aren't all experts on knitting either. Through our playing with fiber, learning a few things, we find that place that fills our souls! So enjoy those imperfections as life would be ho-hum without them and find some incredibly unique fiber for creating your work of art.

But what if you want a hole in your project?  How do knitters create a hole for lacing an icord, a lacey pattern, a button hole? I found a few examples of yarn over looks on craftsy.com. 

It's time for high adventure! This is a super easy stitch, this YO,  and you can do this! Yarn over (YO) is the process of simply wrapping the yarn from the back of your right hand needle and up over the right needle and back down. That's it! So in fact, the yarn over (YO) gives you an extra stitch now on your right hand needle. 

Sometimes that extra stitch is part of a pattern where you are doing increases so that extra stitch makes sense as your YO's are making your piece larger. Sometimes you are doing a YO (and so have an extra stitch) but will decrease somewhere later in the row to still have the same amount of stitches but are creating a design within your pattern.Try wrapping this yarn in a practice swatch and know that this simple yarn over technique is going to be useful.

Holey Moley!

How can an extra stitch make a hole when it seems like a yarn over just mean more stitches on the needle?  Quite often a YO is used with a  knit two together(K2tog).  Don't run, don't hide. Just play with the yarn over because that is really what this adventure is about. Practice the wrap, see what it looks like and do it again. 

And now for the holes. A yarn over adds a stitch to your right needle. In knitting two stitches together you will create the hole.The knitting of two stitches is just that...put your needle through two stitches and knit as usual...double the fun and you have just done a K2tog.

I am including a simple pattern for a wash cloth that you might make with cotton.This pattern is a great way to play with basic stitches such as your yarn over.

 And remember that this pattern has room for play...always a good thing! So do you want to make this a small piece or perhaps you just want to go crazy with creating a large cotton square for a table decoration or something for your nightstand? So yeah, YO!  Try your new skills for yarn over (yo) and a few other abbreviations with this pattern!

Dish Cloth Pattern

Cotton yarn     # 9 needles or what ever you want if you are playing!

Cast on 4 stitches (sts). Knit one row (K)

Increases:Knit two , yarn over, knit to end of row (K 2 , YO, K to end of row). Repeat this increase row every row until there are 44 sts. on your needle or whatever size you want for one half your square.Once it is as wide as you want you can try the decreases!

Decreases:Knit 1 stitch, knit two together, yarn over, knit two together, knit to end of row (K 1 st, K 2 together, YO, K 2 together, K to end of row. Repeat until 4 sts. Remain. Bind off.

Go for it and remember to play with color too....don't be sheepish! After all, it's cotton! And who says it has to be a washcloth? This can be made into a larger pattern to make a square throw perhaps using our lovely recycled silk yarns. Or any other fiber you choose...wow, the possibilities are endless! You're gonna love the door that open once you let yourself go with the possibilities!

YO! YO!

What would happen if you were to do two yarn overs, what happens if you knit a row even though it says purl?

The possibilities are endless and this pattern is a great way to practice a few new stitches and could be a sampler or something really creative that you bump into...what a fabulous way to experiment with your stitches. And remember, there is no need to stick to the exact pattern.... throw in a purl row or a knit row...go beyond that pattern and watch where your imperfections and creativity takes you! Perhaps your path leads to a new discovery for a design you want to try on a larger scale? So yeah you've got this, K? And YO, you're knitting! And another definition for YO?...Yearly Output so get going and experiment like crazy!

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  • Nicole Snow