Somewhere OVER The Rainbow…

“That’s where you’ll find me…” – Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Yarn over (YO). I have been a very mechanical knitter: I look at the pattern, I follow each instruction, and without any accompanying creative wonderings I move the yarn to the front. Until now. 

I’ve recently been dabbling in some lace patterns and have continuously found an error, or something that “just didn’t seem right”. I would take out the yarn, start over, follow the instructions and again, the same error. Always occurring right at the YO. And so, I forced myself to think. Why does this keep happening? What’s wrong? I’m doing exactly what it says. Why? Why? Why? 

A yarn over often occurs in this fashion: yo, sl1(slip 1 stitch), k1 (knit 1 stitch), psso (pass the slipped stitch over the stitch you just knit).   This was the particular yarn over that kept getting me in trouble. I investigate. And I realize one thing: the yarn needs to stay in the front! Seems simple, but here’s what I was doing:

  • Yo – I would bring the yarn between the two needles to the front as though to purl
  • Sl st- With the yarn still in the front, I slipped the next stitch over to the right needle.
  • Knit – I moved the working yarn to the back and knit the next stitch. WRONG!

DISCLAIMER: this pertains to English style Knitters. For us “throwers” a yarn over can’t stand alone. It relies upon the following stitch. Once this next stitch is completed, the yarn over now becomes a secured newly made stitch and when knitted on the way back; it creates a space in your work. Because a yarn over needs an accompanying stitch to be functional, and I always treated the sl1 as the accompanying stitch, my method gave incorrect results. In this series of stitches [yo, sl1, k1, psso] the accompanying stitch is the k1, not the sl1. I needed to keep my yarn to the front even after I slipped the stitch so that the yarn still remained in the front AND THEN I could complete the yo WITH the k1.  

This might explain better…
Problem solved. I am enlightened!

My yarn over troubles are no more and I began a new project. This project; unfortunately, comes with sad circumstances. Our little Norwegian community lost a very young life in October. She happened to be the 18 year old daughter of Cecelia’s kindergarten teacher. It was a car accident, explained only by the lack of wearing a seat belt. Like all daughters, Haley was a bright sunshine in her mom’s life and had a special fondness for sunflowers, among all things outdoors. Mrs. Fauske regularly adorns herself with scarves and so Cecelia and I thought a sunflower inspired scarf might be a comforting gift. 

I have sung for many funerals. It’s never an easy thing to do, but has proven much more difficult for me since having children of my own. This funeral tugged at my heart in a way none have before. And as I sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow, all thoughts of my own kids flooded my eyes. Unstoppable tears and a lump in my throat. The loss of a child…so unfair, so soon, so sad. I’m indulging my day with the munchkins I love.  The same munchkins whom I too often let add stress to my day, rather than welcome the joy they bring. Mrs. Fauske wants more minutes with Haley. I’m indulging myself with these precious minutes. Hope you do the same.


    6 thoughts on “Somewhere OVER The Rainbow…

    1. “Again, a yarn over needs an accompanying stitch to be functional, and I was always treating the sl st as the accompanying stitch. Not right! I needed to keep my yarn to the front even after I slipped the stitch so that the yarn still remained in the front for the following knit stitch. Problem solved. I am enlightened!”

      I’m trying to wrap my head around this (sorry for the pun!). How can you make a knit stitch with the yarn in front and not create a second yarnover? Does the pattern tell you to hold the yarn in front? I interpret the pattern details you shared as having the yarn in the back for all of it, including the slip stitch and everything. πŸ™‚ That’s how I always knit (YO, sl1, k1, psso) and it looks fine. I’m really curious about it!

      As for the singing, thank you for doing such a wonderful thing during funerals when it hits home so hard. I can’t even begin to imagine it! I really love Somewhere over the Rainbow and I wish I could have heard you perform (although perhaps under better circumstances.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the kind words πŸ™‚ I’ve tried several times to write a response and always found my wording confusing. I searched for a good YouTube video and came up short. And so…I recorded a terrible but hopefully helpful video πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, I see, thank you! I think technically you’re not making a YO at the beginning, you just move the yarn to the front. There is no YO at that point until you slip and knit the next stitches, because you end up laying the yarn over the needle only then. I think that’s why I got so confused by your wording because your YO is delayed. (I think that’s a good description?)

          Your method is 100% fine btw, I just knit continental and when I make YOs and it looks like this:

          So the yarn is automatically in the back even when you keep working other stitches and the YO is made before I move on to the next stitch. It’s interesting seeing how much of a difference holding the yarn can make in these techniques huh? πŸ™‚ Thanks for showing me, I think this will be helpful when I help friends who throw!

          Liked by 1 person

        • just thinking…perhaps a better notation for english knitters would be: wyif (with yarn in front) sl1, yo, k1, psso? The problem with this is however,an english knitter needs to start the k1 by inserting the right needle into the stitch, THEN lay the yarn over, then comple the k1. You’re right, the yo isn’t completed until you cross back over the needle and then secure that new yo stitch with the k1. With a normal yo,k1 instruction; the english knitter basically sees this as one stitch/movement. the yo,sl1,k1,psso interrupts that though with a simple passing of a stitch in between; thus “delaying” the yo. I think I’ll be redoing my little video πŸ˜‰ Once you know it, makes sense, but it’s a bugger to explain!


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