Direction of a yarn over?

I’m following a chart with some cable, traveling stitches. There are yarn overs and I notice one side of my pattern doesn’t sit right. It’s too late for this project as I’m up to the armholes but I’d love to know how to improve this for future projects.

I always YO in the same direction regardless of what comes before or after. I take my yarn forward between the needles and over the top of the right needle to the back. But now I notice an asymmetrical result in my project I am wondering is there ever a time the YO should be done the other way? Over the top of the right needle to the front then between the needles to take it to the back?
Would this result in symentrical stitches?

Below, my project and sitting on top of it marked with a red line is my swatch.
My swatch has symetrical stitches and no odd parts. It was knit back and forth, flat. Does this makes a difference to how YO works because of the purl coming across on the WS? I’ve marked the swatch with a blue square where the stitches are even.

My project though has an oddness.
I’ve marked a green square around the stitches where it happens and in the repeat below I have marked each stitch leg in green. There are 2 right legs to 1 left leg and this happens 3 times in all (I’ve marked 2, the 3rd is the next stitch above). The long left leg covers the little eyelet somewhat and is just not so neat or pretty having 2 right legs.
The project is worked in the round. Does this make a difference? It’s the only thing different between the swatch and the project.

I’d love to know what the reason is for this and how to correct it or avoid it.

I saw this earlier and wasn’t at all sure what’s going on and decided coffee first. I thought at first this was a loose knit before a purl problem but it seems there’s something else involved. You ask

and my answer is, it depends. I don’t know if knit English style so I’ll link a video for Continental also then go back and read your post again.

I changed to Norwegian purling and that helps me a lot with making things more even but if you knit English that’s not a viable option. Have you blocked the piece or a swatch to see if it opens up the eyelets?

You’ve asked so I’ll tell you what I think. I hate asking for a solution and being told it’s fine, don’t worry, block it, it’s lovely, etc. I think you might have some of the loose knit before a purl thing going on with the stitches on the left which are knits before purls; to me they look larger. Suzanne Bryan has a video about why it happens and how to deal with it. I’m sure there are others I just know hers helped me. Flat vs in the round - I’m clueless about it making a lot of difference. I bet someone else knows and will reply. Now that I’ve failed to diagnose your issue and offer real help I will add the tried and true response but only because I believe it: Blocking should help even things out a lot.

Hello, thanks for try to help. Yes the swatch is in the photo, washed and dried flat and looking fine with no weird 3 legged stitch.

That’s an interesting video, thanks, although it doesnt apply here. The video is for differing sizes occurring due to a k, yo, p or a p, yo, k combination which ìs fixed in a k, yo, k sample. I have none of the problem combinations.
There are no purls in the cable/lace/travelling stitches column. There are purls either side and I have no gaps (which is great, I was going to tighten the p after k to avoid a loose one but have not needed to at all).

Whilst blocking my swatch was fine, my actual project has not knit up the same. I have investigated the travel of the yarn as much as I can without damaging the yarn and it is not a loose stitch which could be tightened or fixed with blocking. Something about the travel I don’t understand causing what looks like an elongated left leg and 2 right legs.
I expected my project to be just as the swatch.

When I divide at the armhole and finish the front and back separately I suspect the stitch will be fixed by the flat knitting in that top section but I don’t understand how, why, where, when so that in future I can avoid this.
No one will see or notice it on this but it’s a shame the stitch travel has gone wrong.

Maybe I will knit everything flat in future.

I can’t explain why it happens and I don’t understand the structure/travel of the yarn well enough to understand why this happens
I have experimented and worked out a cause and solution for how to make it right next time.

I work my left leaning decrease as a ssk and the result of working it as a ssk in the round is the problem.

Slip knit wise, slip purl wise, k2tog through the back loop
This works neatly when working flat back and forth, as in my swatch.
This worked in the round causes the yarn to travel incorrectly so on the following round where the SSK and YO are knit, the YO yarn goes wrong making the 3 legged stitch.

Slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over
This works both on the flat and in the round.
Working the next round the SSK and the YO look good, no 3 legged stitches, all neat and proper.

Had I known or realised sooner I could have worked it this way for my project but I didn’t realise it would make a difference.
It’s a lesson - and I’ll probably forget and do it wrong next time!

So as it turns out, I don’t need to alter my YO direction but I do need to switch from ssk to skpsso.


You are so good, I knew you will figure out. Sometimes just talking about it give ideas for solutions.

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I just struggle along one stitch at a time, it’s all a learning curve!
You’re right, talking it through does give ideas for reasons and solutions which wouldn’t otherwise emerge.

Thanks for taking a look.

I’ll have to try the way you do ssk (improved version I think it’s been called) again. I’ve used it in the past but can’t remember exactly why I went back to the original way of doing it. I wonder if slipping both stitches knitwise would work better in this instance. I personally find skp doesn’t look as good in my knitting. I find the differences in results for different knitters so interesting and always vote for what works for you.

Yep, I haven’t used skp since pretty much I started knitting. I was working with a cotton linen yarn and it looked messy (I think at that time I went a step further and put a yank and twist in which I found on a video tutorial and it really neatened up the travelling stitches). After that I just always replaced skp with ssk as standard, I suppose partly because it worked and partly laziness as I didn’t put any effort into remembering any other method.
This is the first time I remember seeing some problem with it. The yarn I’m using is a cashmere merino silk blend, so bouncer than a cotton linen, and here the skp looks neat.
The other solution would be to always knit flat which I usually prefer anyway.

My problem is I discover tips and alternate methods and then forget them by my next project!

I’m not alone! I think, gotta remember that, then come across it several years later and think, this time I’ll remember. :sweat_smile:

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Is your usual way of ssk or skp to do a slip knit wise, slip knit wise, slip both back and knit 2 together through the back loop?
Just wondering what you usually do for a left leaning decrease.

If you have the time, patience, oxidation to try out a swatch of this 3 legged anomaly I would be very interested in your results and thoughts.

The row/round is
P3, k1, yo, left leaning dec, k2tog, yo, k1, p3

The rows/rounds before and after are, from RS
P3, k6, p3

The detail is set off by the p3 either side but these aren’t necessary and don’t effect the yo and left leaning decrease because they aren’t adjacent.

When I’ve consumed sufficient coffee to follow instructions and find some yarn to try it with (I’m trying to get organized so I don’t know where I put things away lol) I’ll try it.

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I think the answer is in the curve of the twist in the yarn. The twist is an ‘S’ ply and it favors the left leg of knit stitches to blend together. The twists of the ply line up parallel on the left leg fooling the eye to interpret it a one strand of yarn. The right side leg causes the plies to line up vertically.

(Enlarged view of your image with red lines following the ply edge lines.)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to have a look and going to the trouble of marking up a pic for me @OffJumpsJack I really appreciate it.
It’s great to have people to talk to about these knitty things.

Certainly the ply of the yarn has the effect you describe, I love the look of it for this reason.

The 3 legged stitch though has a structural problem going on in the yarn travel.
I’m not clever enough to know why this only happens when I work it in the round, I like to understand things and this I just don’t understand, but second best is knowing how to avoid next time - working skpsso instead of ssk.

For the sake of interest I’ll photo the stitch opened out with a mark up in it and come back to post it.

Here it is

The red line is a single yarn strand, a single left leg, not an illusion, it enters the back of the work above a stitch higher than it should. The green shows the 2 right legs leading into a single elongated left leg.
The uppermost of these 2 right legs does have its own left leg which is lower than the defective elongated left leg. That left leg belonging to the green stitch is visible in the pic and travels under the dominant red left leg.
Same for the following 2 rounds above with a left leg (blue) travelling higher than and over the stitch above it, making 2 right legs (purple).

It’s a mutant stitch.

Thank you. I see it now. My eyes needed that closer look since I lacked the touch and manipulation of the yarn.

The next likely option is the translation from flat to in the round is actually changing one of your stitches on the purl row.

Is it a transposition error? Purl stitches a, b, c, d ne und work as d’, b’, c’, a’ instead of d’, c’, b’, a’ similar?
(Where a’ indicates the knit side k to a purl side a being a purl)

Did you give the stitchs from the flat sts as well as in-the-round sts for both rows? I am intrigued.

I mean I myself can’t say what an ssk would be on the purl side with out working a sample to see it. I think I could at one time, 12 years ago. Maybe. Or I just got lucky. lol

12 years ago I could still solve the 4 by and 5 by Rubik’s cubes. Now I can not remember how. :frowning:

I really need to read more completely. Less skimming.

You already posted an/the answer. :confounded:

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Well, half an answer. I don’t know the reason for it, only the solution. It’s probably the best half of the answer, knowing why its wrong but not being able to fix it would be a more frustrating half answer.

The WS row is all purl, below and above the mutant. So in the round worked as knit.

In my first post is a flat swatch with a blue mark up around the stitches in question. They all look and travel as you’d expect, no problems.

I’m still intrigued and interested in understanding, partly because if it can happen on this stitch can/will it happen on others that I’m still not aware of?
Swatching for an in the round project should really be an in the round swatch and perhaps I would have noticed the mutant before working the project - or perhaps not.

I’m glad of your input. Any thoughts and ideas are welcome. Love this forum!

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