A yarn over needle (or open) increase is made by taking the yarn over the needle between two stitches. It is referred to as ‘yo’ in some patterns, or more specifically as ‘yfwd’, ‘yrn’ or ‘yon’ depending on the circumstances. The basic technique is to wind the yarn once around the needle, making a loop to be knitted or purled on the next row. The direction in which the yarn is wound depends on the type of stitch that precedes it or follows it.
You will find this tutorial an invaluable reference for knowing in which direction to wind the yarn around the needle when instructed to make an open increase or ‘yo’ in a pattern. The direction is dictated by the stitches before and after the ‘yo’ instruction and here we show you all the usual variations.
Yo before first knit stitch:
Hold the yarn in front of the right-hand needle. Insert the needle in the first stitch in the usual way for a knit stitch. Take the yarn over the right-handle to wrap it around the tip of the right-hand needle in the usual way, and knit the stitch. The extra stitch can then be seen on the right-hand needle.
Yo before first purl stitch:
Hold the yarn behind the right-hand needle and insert the needle purlwise into the first stitch. Slip the stitch onto the right-hand needle. Knit the next purl stitch in the usual way, which means the yarn comes over the top of the right-hand needle and creates the increased stitch.
Yo after knit stitch, before purl stitch (also yrn):
Bring yarn forward between the needles. Take it back over the right-hand needle and bring it forward under the tip ready for the next purl stitch. This increase is used in rib patterns.
Yo after knit stitch and before a knit stitch (also yfwd):
Used in stocking stitch and lace stitches. Bring the yarn forward under the right-hand needle and then take it back over the top of the right-hand needle into the usual position for the next knit stitch.
Yo after knit stitch and before knit stitch (also yrn):
Used in garter stitch. Bring yarn forwards over the right-hand needle then back under it again into the usual position for the next knit stitch.
Yo after purl stitch, before a knit stitch (also yrn):
Take yarn over right-hand needle and work next knit stitch in the usual way.
Yo after purl stitch, before a purl stitch (also yrn):
Used in stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch. Take yarn back over the right-hand needle, then forwards under it, into the usual position to work the next purl stitch.
Yo after purl stitch, before purl stitch (also yrn):
Take yarn back under right-hand needle then forwards over the needle. Work the next purl stitch in the usual way.