Lace Stitches: Yarn Forward vs. Yarn Over

Personally, when I read “yo” in the pattern I simply bring the yarn forward and then start the next stitch as usual wrapping the yarn that is now in front around the needle to knit the next stitch. This is what that will look like:

A yarn forward with the tail wrapped around the needle fully in preparation for the next stitch.

A yarn forward with the tail wrapped around the needle fully in preparation for the next stitch.

Now, the only time I read a yarn over as  “yarn over” is when there is more than one wrap around the needle for the increase. This will happen for one of two reasons: either the next stitch is a purl, or there is more than one yarn over listed in the pattern in a row. (For example: yarn over x2.) This is what this type of stitch will look like:

Two wraps around the needle.

Two wraps around the needle.

Now, the only difference between these two stitches is that a yarn over is a more generic term and a yarn forward is a specific kind of yarn over. So is one better than the other? Not really in my opinion, and you will find them used interchangeably. However, if you understand both terms it will make reading any lace pattern much easier. The gap that will be left on the next row will look like this:

Yarn over finish

I this helpful for you? Are there any stitches you want me to cover to help you with patterns? Happy Knitting!

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