Monica left me a comment on my post about my Pinwheel Blanket. She writes “Beautiful blanket. I made one myself. I hated the YO, I messed them up, forgot about them and so on. I love your colores and it is nicely done!”
She brings up a good point. It can be hard to keep track of YOs sometimes. However, I thought I’d write up a little somethin’ somethin’ about my YO philosophy (because really, everyone needs a YO philosophy).
First – When knitting the Pinwheel Blanket I’d suggest using stitch markers before each YO. In places where it’s 100
million stitches(or more) in between each increase, stockinette stitch can become automatic – stitch markers are good to remind your fingers that you need to pay attention.
Next up: What does a YO (Yarn over – also sometimes called yrn, yarn round the needle, yf, yarn forward, etc – there are some minor differences in what each of these mean, but it’s really kind of the same thing – but that’s another how to, another day) look like? In the pinweel blanket, you knit one round plain and in the next round you YO when you get to your stich markers. What’s an easy way to keep track of which round you’re on? Simple. Read your stitches. If they next stitch on your needle looks like the one in the photo to the right, you will knit the yarn over you made in the previous round- so you’re on a plain knit row.
But how can you tell it’s a yarn over? Well, basically there are no stitches below it. That means that if you drop this stich off the needle, you will not get a run all the way down your work (a YO is just an increase that leaves a hole) like you would for normally dropped stitches. You can drop this stitch if you like (to make sure it’s not a YO) – it’ll be real easy to pick back up again.
So, you would knit that YO and continue around the blanket, knitting every stitch of that round.
But what if one stitch marker falls off and I miss a YO you ask? Simple. Force one. First, how to recognize such an occasion. You’ll know this happened when you are knitting around, knitting your YOs and suddenly one is missing. It’ll look something like this:
A pretty easy fix. First, you have to understand that in between those two needles, the top bar of yarn is simply the yarn that runs between two stitches on the row below (where you should have made a YO). It is the same as this:
What you used to think was a dropped stitch when you were learning to knit.
So, in order to rescue your work (and not, as near the end stages of the blanket, unknit 1,000,000,000 stitches) all you have to do is force the yarn over. And to do that is really very simple.
Just insert the left needle into the bar and knit it like you would a yarn over.
It may look a bit funky to you but it’s really not worth worrying about. Any unevenness can be worked out when you block the piece (because you block everything right?). Really, you can probably do this and barely be able to tell that you even had a mistake to fix.
Ok, good. So you’ve got that.
But what if you totally flaked and you don’t notice until your mistake (a forgotten YO) is 2 rounds back?
First. Your stitches will look like this. Instead of having the single bar, you’ll have two of them. Use the needle in your right hand to pick up the bottom bar (let the top bar lie behind the stitch you’re picking up)- in my photo this bar is being pointed to by a bright green arrow.
Now your knitting will look like this (minus the green arrow of course):
For the next step, you’ll use the left needle to pull the other bar forward between the loop now on your right needle.
See photo below for illustrative help. (Visual illustrations are best sometimes)
Drop the loop of the right needle. now your knitting looks like this:
Whew. That’s what it should look like. Now, your next step would be to yo and continue knitting until your next stich marker where you’ll YO again etc. all through the round. Any uneveness can be worked out in the blocking.
If you forget and don’t realize until 3 or more rounds later you can use the same general ideas to force yarn overs and fix your mistakes. It’s probably not such a good idea because at a certain point, even blocking may not fix the uneven-ness.
Monika – I hope this helps you – and anyone else who is thinking about knitting the Pinwheel Baby Blanket.
And remember (this my advice to all knitters with questions) – WWIII will not begin because you drop a stitch, forget a YO or generally screw up your knitting. I promise. Trial and error is the best way to learn how knitting is really constructed. Use your mistakes as an opportunity to play and see how you can fix it. Be creative and try different ideas until one works and looks right. Your own knitting skill will grow so fast as you do this.
In the meantime, let me know if this was hellpful – what could have been better (for future how-tos)? what was missing? Was the text easy to understand?