Close Window

Tutorial: The Forgotten Yarn Over

Did you get the chance to read the superb article by Deborah Newton, A Taste for Lace, in the spring issue of Creative Knitting? It is such a great exploration of lace sweater basics! Let's expand on it a bit with a tutorial on how to fix those forgotten yarn overs (when you inadvertently forgot to work one).

I teach lace classes at my local yarn store and every student runs into that moment when they are "one stitch short." It simply means they've forgotten to work a yarn over, which is one of the most common issues with lace. Well, until now, that is.

Forgotten Yarn Over, Part 1

Click here for larger image.
Steps 1-4

Let's start with the simplest one, when you are on the wrong-side row, working it, and you discover that you've forgotten the yarn over on the preceding row.

Step 1: Do a quick turnaround: Turn your work so that the right side is facing, just to double-check where the yarn over should be. In this case, I was working the lace pattern from Deborah's Hint of Lace Cardigan and missed the yarn over six stitches in. Place a stitch marker to mark the spot and turn it back over so that the wrong side is facing.

Step 2: Work to the marker where the yarn over is supposed to go. There is a bar there between the needles, attached to the stitch on the left needle. See it?

Step 3: From behind, with your right needle, lift up that bar.

Step 4: Place that bar onto the left needle. BAM! That new stitch IS the yarn over now. Just work it as you are supposed to on the wrong-side row.

Forgotten Yarn Over, Part 2

Let's say that you've worked the right-side row and then worked the wrong-side row, only to begin the next right-side row and realize you've skipped right over where a yarn over should have been two rows ago! That happened in the image below; my needle is pointing to where a hole should be.

Click here for larger image.
Missed Yarn over

You don't need to worry about ripping back, though! With a few swift moves of the needle, you'll replace the yarn over in no time.

Click here for larger image.
Missed Yarn over Steps 1-4

Step 1: Work to where the yarn over should have been (or slip the stitches until you are at the correct place). There will be two bars between the needles; we'll call those BAR 1 and BAR 2. BAR 1 is the highest bar, while BAR 2 sits underneath BAR 1.

Step 2: With your right needle, lift BAR 2 from behind.

Step 3: Place BAR 2 on the left needle.

Step 4: With your right needle, again from behind, lift BAR 1 (it sits a little behind the stitches now since it has been pulled a little taught from lifting BAR 2).

Click here for larger image.
Missed Yarn over Steps 5-8

Step 5: Place BAR 1 on the left needle, in front of BAR 2.

Step 6: With your right needle, reach into the front of BAR 2.

Step 7: Lift BAR 2 up and over BAR 1, right off the left needle.

Step 8: You have now created a new stitch, the eyelet from the missed yarn over.

This tutorial, along with Deborah's article, should have you happily knitting lace sweaters without a care in the world.