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This crochet tutorial will teach you how to crochet yarn over versus yarn under using Photos and a Video. Learn the difference between yo versus yu crochet.
When I learned how to crochet, I taught myself using some crochet books and Youtube. I learned quickly, but not the correct way, or a better common way. It wasn’t until years later when someone pointed out to me that I was yarning under (yu) and yarning over (yo) in the same stitch instead of yarning over when crocheting.
I was shocked. I really thought I was doing it right. And at that point, I actually had gotten very fast in crocheting the “incorrect” way.
After testing out the “correct way” – yarn over – I noticed a huge difference in several different areas. Not only did my hand and wrist stop hurting, but I also had better tension throughout my projects.
Table of contents
- Is Yarn Over Correct and Yarn Under Incorrect?
- Yarn Over vs Yarn Under – Video Tutorial
- The Most Important Part of all: HOW to Crochet Yarn Over vs Yarn Under
In case you are curious about the above crochet hook, I am using and loving the Furls Crochet Hooks – especially the Odyssey crochet hooks. They are made out of metal and have more weight in the front which makes it easier and faster to crochet. I wrote an entire review on these beautiful hooks.
Is Yarn Over Correct and Yarn Under Incorrect?
Let’s first say this a bit differently! There is NO incorrect or incorrect way (although I was told I was incorrect for combining yo and yu in the same stitch). Let’s make yarn over the “common way” and the yarn under the “not-so-common way”. Both are correct and both have different purposes and features.
Yarn Over is Recommended for Beginners
However, when you first learn how to crochet, it’s highly recommended you start with yarn over (yo) as it’s easier on your wrist, tension, and gauge.
When you crochet and you yarn over, you actually use more yarn than when you yarn under. Now, one might say, that is better because they can save on yarn and money. But actually, it creates several problems for those who never used yarn under before.
First, you create tighter crochet projects with much tighter tensions and you might have trouble following a crochet pattern’s gauge. That problem comes with another issue. You will feel pain in your wrist will be in pain quicker and you will not be able to crochet for as long as you might like.
Next, some crochet patterns, such as Tunisian Crochet, can be extremely challenging and almost impossible to crochet when yarning under.
To make these troubles with “yarn under” more clear, let me show you some examples using photos as well as a video. I will show you in detail how to crochet each one and explain why they look so different after. You will finally understand why “yarn over” is the common way to crochet.
Yarn Over vs Yarn Under – Video Tutorial
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The Most Important Part of all:
HOW to Crochet Yarn Over vs Yarn Under
Yarn Over vs Yarn Under using Single Crochet
First, check out the 2 different swatches below. Both were made with the same number of rows and stitches per row using single crochet and the same hook size. Sounds like both should look the same, right? Well, they don’t, because the left one is made with “yarn over” and the right one is crocheted with “yarn under” which uses less yarn, has increased tensions, and also looks different because the single crochet stitches are twisted.
Yarn Over using Single Crochet
Now, let me teach you how to correctly yarn over using
When you crochet single crochet stitches with yarn over, you will notice that the stitches line up nicely and you create a lot of little V’s that are not twisted.
Yarn Under using Single Crochet
This way of crocheting is often used for amigurumi (stuffed plushies) as it helps create tighter tension to prevent stuffing from poking out).
Now, in order to yarn under, you insert your hook into a stitch and pull the yarn through the stitch without wrapping it around the hook. Because you do not wrap, you use less yarn and increase your tension.
When you crochet and yarn under, you twist the yarn when pulling it through the stitches. The V’s are not nicely aligned anymore, but rather twisted and tilted. Your entire crochet project will also be smaller than it should be. The only reason, someone would crochet this way, is when they actually want to achieve this kind of look. But be aware of the consequences it m
Yarn Over vs Yarn Under using Tunisian Crochet
For Tunisian Crochet, it actually seems to be even more important to do Yarn Over instead of Yarn Under. The swatches below actually have the same amount of stitches per row (not the same number of rows though) and you can clearly see the difference in tension between the 2 swatches. The left one was created with Yarn Over it and the right one with Yarn Under. The video tutorial below shows you exactly how they are made.
Yarn Over using Tunisian Crochet
Looking at the swatch that was made with Yarn Over, one can clearly see that the top row is aline nicely and straight. No stitches are twisted. And in fact, crocheting Tunisian Crochet with Yarn Over is very easy and smooth and allows you to work quickly. Not that this is the point of using yarn over, but it is very important to mention. You will have a lot more joy crocheting Tunisian using Yarn Over, for sure. Your wrist will thank you too.
Yarn Under using Tunisian Crochet
The swatch below shows Tunisian (simple) crochet made with the yarn under when crocheting the stitches. I can tell you it was hard to do. The yarn slips off often and the Tunisian hook is super hard to move as the tension is so tight, especially because you are keeping the stitches on your hook when you are going one way first, before going back and finishing the stitches.
In the video, you can clearly see that I had trouble showing you how to crochet Tunisian with the yarn under the hook. I would never recommend using yarn under for Tunisian Crochet, even if they would not call “yarn over” as the common way. Try it out and see it for yourself.
There are clearly other swatches or projects that prove that yarn over is the common way to crochet and usually easier and better for beginners. One way would be going in rounds instead of rows.
When I crochet amigurumi
However, if you have trouble with keeping a tight tension, some crocheters prefer to use Yarn Under for those types of patterns. Tighter tension is actually important for amigurumi, so some designers prefer it instead of yarn over. Try it and see what works better for you.
If you had any trouble with the above photo tutorial, I highly recommend you check out my above video tutorial to learn how to crochet with the yarn over vs under the hook. It is very detailed and shows every step. I will first explain and show you the difference between the 2 types before showing you the actual technique. So be patient and you will be glad you did.
In case you need some more inspiration or are curious about other crochet stitch patterns I have tutorials for, please check out these:
The Break-Through Moment:
Yarn Over vs Yarn Under Video Tutorial
This video is a previous/older version. It mentions yarn over as the “correct way” and yarn under as “incorrect”. But since then I’ve learned that that is not true and one is more common than the other.
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