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"Mixed Yarn Overs"

I'm surprised by what I've discovered about the yarn over (yo) in crochet! There isn't enough room in this newsletter so below are just the highlights. I'll include more detail on my blog within a day or two of sending this. 
Some basic terms after the jump!

Is this image too small or fuzzy? I'll also post a larger version of it on my blog.

Standards, Terms, Abbreviations

Yarn Over (yo) is the standard term (at least in the US) for the standard way to wind the yarn around the hook while crocheting all stitches. Wind the yarn up behind the crochet hook and over the top to catch it in the hook. It's also called things like yarn round hook and wool over hook, usually in the UK (yrh, woh, wrh, yoh).

Yarn over(s) also refers to alternatives, as in "mixed yarn overs" or "nonstandard yarn over". The logical opposite of a yo is to wind the yarn around the hook the other direction: up the front of the hook and over the top to the back. It's been called a yarn under (yu). Jane Rimmer likes hook over.

On my shiny new blog I'll add more about yo alternatives, and circling the hook/yarn talk for righties and lefties. And, why I mentioned Jane :)

Surprise #1: Yes to Yarn Unders Too

I've been using only the standard yo my whole crocheting life, and admit to disapproving of the yu a bit. (I'm otherwise not into right vs. wrong rules about crochet!)

Although I continue to uphold the yo as the standard that everyone should learn first and be using by default, an alternative to the yo can also be a great choice! I'd love it if every (intermediate-level) crocheter were empowered with these choices. More about this on the blog.

Surprise #2: YTF is Not a Yarn Over Type

I've seen the yu and the yarn to front (ytf) conflated in books, so I'm not the only one to have confused these nonstandard ways to begin a stitch. Ytf is also called purlwise and as if to purl. While the yu is pretty common among people doing regular crochet, the ytf option seems to be mostly a Tunisian crochet thing. It's also needed for inverse crocheting.

Here's how I straightened them out in my mind: the ytf refers only to where the yarn is just before you insert your hook in a stitch. It's either at the back of your work (the default and standard), or you can bring it to the front. Pin it down with a finger so that it's just below the stitch as you insert the hook into it. THEN you complete the new stitch with yo's (or yu's, or a mixture of the two).

The ytf tempts some crocheters to do a yu because the yarn is already there for it. A yo is usually a better choice though. You need a better reason than convenience to do a yu though!  (More on the blog.)


The top two diagrams show how to do a standard Tunisian Yarn Over (Tyo). The bottom two show a nonstandard Tyo (a "Tyu"?).
The finger in this diagram is holding the yu loop there to prevent it from dropping down in front of the vertical bar and becoming a ytf instead. If it turned into a ytf, not only would you lose a lacy eyelet created by this "Tyu", you'd also decrease one stitch!


Surprise #3: Both YO & YU are Traditional

The yo and yu were carefully differentiated as early as 1796. In 1886 Thérèse de Dillmont specified the yo more often, but of the first nine stitches she describes, two of them are purposely begun with yu's instead (Biased stitch and Crossed stitch). (Details: the blog.)

Surprise #4: YU's Can Correct Leaning

I wondered if I was seeing this with a preliminary Tunisian swatch. Perhaps! More swatching is needed and in different kinds of yarn. In the meantime I stumbled across confirmation of this effect for tapestry crochet. See Rebecca Medina link over in the sidebar.  ---->

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Adding Loops

I prefer the love knots made with yarn unders. The "knot" parts are crisper and grip better. I don't prefer what it's like to crochet them! I might try one or two yu's for just the "knot" of each love knot. Or maybe just for the places where the rows link up with the single crochets.
By the way, I remastered a Crocheting the Love Knot Mesh how-to page (and blogged about other new pages like it.)
I created this tip for newer crocheters months ago. It stuck in my mind and this newsletter issue is the result. I now think the main advantage of the standard yo is how it regulates gauge especially for newer crocheters.
It's also required for anyone using crochet patterns because it is the default yarn over type.


The biggest news: got a full makeover!
My seven year old website needed it. It looks different, but that's just the obvious stuff! So many powerful features. I'm elated with all the control and flexibility now.

I'd planned to announce a sale party in this issue but am still learning how to do discounts correctly.

Also, I can't get two things to transfer from the old site: registered customers, and images in pre-Oct. blog posts 😬

I DO already know how to provide free patterns in my new shop though! 
How about this? I make my two newest patterns (Aquarienne and Rosepuff) free for Thanksgiving week🍃 🍂  Don't miss the Bargain Bin area I created also.
Mamruana Wrap-Up!
The Graven Capelet: Wore this new Tunisian design to a memorial service two weeks ago (no pattern yet). Graven on the hook (edging test), and then Off the hook.


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Fun Links

I love Rebecca Medina's blog post on how a well-placed yarn under improves tapestry crochet: "Creating Straight Vertical Lines with a Modified Single Crochet".

Ever wonder what Shanie Jacobs was up to after she wrote the 1979 Shanie Jacob's Crochet Book? I Googled her when I dipped into her book for this issue. She was dyeing her own angora yarn to crochet and knit trendy cropped tops for fashion magazines and her website customers!
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