I'm helping my cousin Alex knit a blanket via the internet, and I wanted to do a quick post with pictures to show her how to do a yarn over (YO).
Ok, so you're knitting something and you want to make a little eyelet-type hole which will also increase your work by one stitch. You want a YO, and here is how to do it. (Wow, what a dork - that sounds like a knitting infomercial, haha.) I am actually going to show you how to do a YO followed by a knit stitch. (Keep in mind it is not easy to take pictures of how to knit something since I knit with two hands and need one for camera work :) So this is a little awkward and I don't really hold my knitting the way I am in these photos, but I think it will hopefully work out! Click on the pictures to make them bigger!)
Normally when you do a knit stitch, you will have your "working yarn" (the yarn attached to the ball) in back of the needles, like this:
To do a YO, you want to bring the working yarn in front of the needles:
From there, you just work as you would a normal knit stitch, by inserting the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle:
...and wrapping your working yarn around the left needle, which will cause the working yarn to lay over the right needle (highlighted in red here - thought I wrote it larger, haha, but click on it to enlarge)
Then slip the stitch off the left needle as usual. Now, on the right needle you have added a stitch (the YO, or the yarn over the right needle, where I have the arrow) plus you have knit one stitch. You can also see the little eyelet that the YO created.
The knit stitch following the YO is considered a separate stitch, so these instructions are technically for "YO, K1." The YO itself is really just bringing the yarn to the front and then laying it back over the needle, but I know that the pattern Alex is working on calls for a knit stitch after each YO, so I'm not going to get any more technical at this point!