Yarn Over Term Confusion

YFWD (yarn forward), YON (yarn over needle), YRN (yarn round needle) and YFRN (yarn forward round needle) are all variants of the plain old YO (yarn over).

The four terms YFWD, YON, YRN and YFRN are basically just letting you know which different stitches (knit or purl) are in front of and behind the yarn over.

YFWD (yarn forward): A YFWD is a YO between two knit stitches. After your knit stitch your yarn is behind the needles. Bring the yarn forward between the needles and then knit the next stitch.

YRN (yarn round needle): The YRN is a YO done between two purl stitches. Purl one stitch and you’ll find your yarn is in front; bring the yarn all the way around the needle until it is back in front again and then purl your next stitch.

YON (yarn over needle): The YON is a YO done after a purl and before a knit stitch. Purl one stitch and your yarn will be in front; bring it back so it is behind the needle and then knit the next stitch.

YFRN (yarn forward round needle): The YFRN is a YO done after a knit and before a purl stitch. After you knit your stitch, the yarn will be behind your needles. Bring the yarn forward and then all the way around the needle until it is in front again before purling the next stitch.

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9 Responses to Yarn Over Term Confusion

  1. CC says:

    Good info and thanks for sharing. YO’s seriously beat me up for a long time and I wish I’d had this then.

  2. Janet says:

    Thanks for these definitions – by far the most useful I’ve found about these terms!

  3. Karen says:

    Hi there,

    Can anybody help me? I want to knit a baby jacket, it has a kind of scalloped edge and the first row says K1, yfwd ,yrn, yon, K2tog.. How do you do the yrn, then yon??
    Thanks Karen.

    • E A Cole says:

      I know this is way past the time when this question was asked but it sounds to me if the pattern writer was being minutely specific about how to make the yarn over and specifically make a large yarn over. You DO bring the yarn forward and then carry it over the needle in any case. The directions you cite are an extra wrap around the needle, which takes more yarn which in turn makes it a larger hole. Some might even call it a double yarn over.

      It seems that yarn overs are just complex enough that it is challenging to be explicit without giving too much info and thus confusing a newish knitter.

  4. charmaine says:

    Easy to find you.com! Thanks. its not nice to get stuck while doing things such as knitting. You made it easy.

  5. deanne owen says:

    Hi my pattern states k1, k2tog, yfwd, yrn, yon, s1, k1, psso, k1, which is fine. But on the return row its saying, knit into front and back of yfwd, yrn, yon of previous row. Do I knit into front and back of these 3 stitches or just front and back once. Im baffled. Thanks

  6. Mary says:

    I can’t thank you enough. I am reintroducing myself to knitting and have torn down my work 5 times before finding your explanation. Is YRN same as YFRN? Pattern says S1, K2tog, YRN, P2. I start with 32 stitches and after this repeat I end up with 38. So YRN is an increase?

  7. judy mcguire says:

    1st row is *K1, yrn, P1 ,yon, rep from *to last 2 stitches.
    2nd row is Dropping yrn and yon from previous row off needle, work as for 1st row.
    I cannot understand how to do second row. Help needed please.

  8. Ann says:

    Thanks so much for putting this down for others to find, most helpful

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