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La_chica_gomela's avatar

Knitters: what does "yarn forward" entail exactly?

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12493 points ) December 20th, 2009

I’ve read that it’s the same thing as a yarn over, but I also noticed that in this glossary, many of the entries said, “same as yarnover”, but the definition for ‘yarn forward’ didn’t say that. Help please, my knitters!

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8 Answers

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Ah, now I see that it is the same as a yarnover, I just wasn’t looking hard enough. Alrighty then, feel free to disregard this question!

hannahsugs's avatar

I’m glad you found the solution in the case of your pattern, but be careful, because “yarn forward” can also sometimes mean “bring the yarn to the front of the work,” but NOT passing it permanently over the needle. In other words, bring the yarn to the front of the work as if you are about to purl. You see this sometimes with the short-row technique, or in other cases where you want to “wrap” a stitch. Your pattern may say something like: “Yarn forward, slip one purl-wise, yarn back, turn work, slip one purl-wise”
or:
YF, SL1pw, YB, turn, SL1pw.

What are you working on? (I just finished some mittens, and am starting a pair of these)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@hannahsugs: Yeah, it’s exactly like that! It took me forever to figure it out on my own, lol! Actually, as long as you’re here, now I’m having another problem! Okay, so I’m making this dishcloth that according to ravelry, users have made almost 6,000 times, but I’m just…VERY CONFUSED! So, right now, I’m on row 7, and I’m supposed to use Color A, which is 5 rows down…do you think I’m just supposed to cut it, and then weave in a thousand ends at the end? It doesn’t even say anything about weaving in ends? I’m kind of stuck… ~Pouts~

hannahsugs's avatar

I’m sorry to hear that you’re stuck! You don’t have to cut the yarn if you don’t want to. It’s hard for me to see in the pattern (I only figure out patterns as I knit them), but you might be able to “carry” Color A along during those 5 rows of Color B by twisting it into the stitches as you go (i know you’ve already done those rows, and probably don’t want to go back, but as you continue on, you could). If you just pick up the color A yarn and start knitting again, you’ll get a “float” along the side of the work. I notice that the pattern suggests crocheting a border along the edges if you want to, which would hide those floats. You could also pick up stitches and knit a border, if you don’t feel like crocheting.

For now, you could cut the yarn, and have two more ends to weave in at the end. Then, as you continue on, experiment with “catching” that Color A yarn with some of your color B stitches so that the float will be more “tucked in” to the work. Or you could alter the pattern just a bit and add a color B border on the side, so that you’re actually knitting with it for one or two stitches each row and you won’t need to carry it along at all. If you do this, make sure you twist the yarns together so that you don’t get a hole in between stripes.

To summarize: the pattern leaves you some freedom as far as what to do with that yarn. Play around and see what you’re happy with. Feel free to ask me more questions if what I said was too confusing. writing about knitting techniques is hard

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Yes it is, it’s very hard, but I think I understood what you said. I kind of decided in the end that it was a front-and-back kind of pattern trying to hide that fact from me by not showing any photos of the ‘back’. This knitter says she doesn’t like that it’s not reversible, and links to one that is. Now I’m wishing I was doing that one (of course) but it looks like basically two of them sewn together, so I think I’m just gong to finish this one up, and then decide what to do with it.

So, I did play around with it, like you suggested, and just went with the float, hoping to make two and sew them together like in the “double sided” one.

evegrimm's avatar

@La_chica_gomela, not completely off-topic, but have you considered doing something with a garter stitch design, like this? They are relatively easy and are usually only one color. There are a TON out there, too—probably because they are so easy to design with.

(Ravelry should have lots of designs for you!)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@evegrimm: Those “picture” dishclothes aren’t really my thing, and I’m already done with one and a half dishclothes in the pattern I’ve been working on. Thanks anyway though.

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