Beginner’s Guide to Crochet Yarn Over

Crochet Yarn Over

Yarn over is one of the most basic and essential techniques in crochet. It is the technique of simply wrapping the yarn over the crochet hook to create a new loop. It can be worked with any of your regular single-ended crochet hooks of any size. The same goes for working with any interchangeable Tunisian crochet hooks for both regular crocheting as well as Tunisian crocheting. Abbreviated as "yo", it is a common technique used to create new stitches and increase the number of stitches in your work. Besides its use in all basic crochet stitches, it is used to create decorative stitch patterns, such as lacework or eyelets, and is also used in stitch combinations like shells and clusters. They are essential for creating the necessary height and space in crochet projects.

One of the fundamental skills that every crocheter needs to master is to move on to the basic stitches and a wide range of patterns and designs. In this blog, we’ll explore what a yarn over is, why it’s essential, and how to do it correctly.

Abbreviation for Yarn Over in Crochet 

The basic crochet technique of yarn over is abbreviated as “yo” in US crochet patterns and “yoh” in UK terminology. Unlike the basic crochet stitches that have the same names but are worked differently. For example, double crochet stitch in US terms is different than in UK crocheting. But, yarn over is basically the same in both.

How to Make a Yarn Over in Crochet 

Yarn over in crochet is a basic technique used in every crochet stitch. Here’s a quick tutorial with steps to make a yarn over:

Gather a crochet hook in the size that matches the yarn weight and a beginner-friendly yarn. Make a slip knot on the hook any method you prefer. Now hold the hook in a pen grip or the knife method and tension the yarn in your left hand.

Step 1: Yarn Over Hook 

Get the yarn held between your forefinger and middle finger, and bring the yarn up behind the hook in a loop. You can either move the crochet hook or slide it with your finger. You can experiment with how you hold the yarn and make the yarn over motion. Some crocheters find it better to hold the yarn between the thumb and the index finger while some wrap the yarn around the fingers and lay it flat on your palm. If you are a Continental knitter or understand the working of the Continental style of knitting, then it is somehow easier to work the yarn overs.

Step 2: Continue With the Stitch 

Position the yarn behind the crochet hook with the yarn tail hanging over your index finger.

Bring the yarn over the top of the hook from back to front, crossing over the hook.

As you bring the yarn over, the crochet hook will catch the yarn, forming a new loop on the hook.

After completing the yarn over, you can proceed with the next stitch according to the pattern instructions. For example, if you were working on a basic single crochet stitch, you would insert the hook into the next stitch, yarn over again, and pull the yarn through both loops on the hook to complete the stitch.

Now that you’ve made the yarn over continue with the stitch as usual. You can start with the chain stitch and lay the foundation of the project. Depending on the stitch you are making, you will need to work that many yarnovers. Even for many advanced techniques, you may need to insert the hook into a specific stitch or chain space.

For the single crochet stitch (SC), you’ll insert the hook in the 2nd chain space while for the half double crochet stitch (HDC) you will work in the 3rd chain space. Alternatively, you will use the yarn over to pull through loops on the crochet hook.

What is the difference between a crochet yarn over and a crochet yarn under? 

In crochet yarn over (yo) you move the yarn behind the crochet hook and over it to create a new loop for any of the basic stitches. The yarn under (yu) is the complete opposite where you move the yarn to the front of the crochet hook, up and over the crochet hook.

The technique to crochet yarn under requires less yarn than a crochet yarn over, however, it increases the tension making the stitches look puckered. It is not a fundamental technique too and may be required according to the stitch pattern or technique you are working on.

When do you use yarn over in crochet? 

The fundamental crochet technique is used to create any loop of yarn on the hook. Without knowing a yarn over, you will not be able to crochet as the craft basically makes interlocking loops with yarn. While knitting two has loops they are created with a pair of needles while crocheting creates loops with one single hook.

Chain Stitch or Chain Spaces: To make the foundation or what can be said as the most basic stitch, you will have to start with a yarn over, making a chain of loops.

All Crochet Stitches: From the basic to advance stitches one or multiple yarnovers are always necessary. While SC requires two yarnovers, the taller stitches will always require more.

Crochet Clusters: The advanced technique requires multiple yarn overs.

Once you’ve mastered crochet yarnovers, you have completed the first step of your crafting journey. Before you even get started with the basics you need to get the yarn over motion right as they will create the loops that form the foundation of crochet. And with yarn over you can create a wide variety of stitches and patterns.

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