The Open Yarnover Increase (yo) is a neutral increase. This means that it leans neither to the left nor the right. This means it is vertical (neutral) in its appearance.
An Open Yarnover increase is a stand-alone increase. It is created by wrapping the yarn over the right needle between two stitches.
This yarnover is typically used in lace patterns, or when knitting openwork patterns for a decorative feature, as it leaves a hole. In this case, it is often balanced out by a decrease so as to maintain the same number of stitches on your needles.
However, it can also be used as a method to increase stitches. For instance, if you are knitting a shawl, you can add an open yarnover after the first stitch and before the last stitch on every other row to form a triangle.
This yarnover stitch is commonly used before knit stitches when used as an increase technique. Conversely, when used in lace or openwork patterns, it is used before knit and purl stitches.
How you make the yarnover will depend on whether you are creating it before a knit or a purl stitch. So we have included two different tutorials, one for each scenario.
- Creates a decorative hole
- Created by working yarn between stitches
- Decorative increases
- Eyelets and lace patterns
Step-by-Step Open Yarnover (yo) BEFORE a Knit Stitch
Knit or purl to where you want the yarnover. If the last stitch before the yarnover is a purl stitch, your yarn will already be in front or your work.
However, if the last stitch before the yarnover is a knit stitch, bring the working yarn between the two needles and to the front of your work.
Wrap the yarn up and over the right-hand needle so it is at the back of your work. It is now in the correct position to knit the next stitch.
Knit the next stitch and finish the rest of the row/round as per your pattern.
When you reach the yarnover again on the next row/round, depending on the pattern instructions, either knit or purl the yarnover.
Step-by-Step Open Yarnover (yo) BEFORE a Purl Stitch
Knit or purl to where you want the yarnover. If the stitch before the yarnover is purled, the yarn will be in front of your work.
Conversely, if the stitch before the yarnover is a knit stich, you will need to bring the yarn to the front of the work.
To make the yarnover, bring the yarn up and over the right-hand needle so it ends up at the back of your work.
Bring the yarn to the front again, between the two needles. It is now in the correct position to purl the next stitch.
Purl the next stitch and finish the rest of the row/round as per your pattern.
When you reach the yarnover again on the next row/round, either knit or purl the yarnover, depending on the pattern instructions.
If you enjoyed reading about this increase technique, why not check out this other great increase tutorial: Learn How to Make A Lift-Right Increase