It sounds like the name of a dance, doesn’t it? The Loco-Motion, the Mashed Potato, the Watusi… the Yarnover. (We already had the Twist. That one was too obvious.)
Anyway, I’ve seen a bunch of questions on the Ravelry forums about how to execute yarnovers, especially yarnovers between knits and purls or between purls and knits. It was really difficult to describe in text the way I make ‘em, so I got out the little tripod and video’d myself (which, btw, is a lot trickier than it seems…)
The key point is that a yarnover is performed as a stitch of its own each time, another wrap of the working yarn over the right needle – the same movement as a stitch, without inserting the needle into the next stitch. Some people like to do a yarnover that’s between a purl and a knit by leaving the yarn in front, inserting the needle into the next stitch knitwise, and bringing the yarn up and over the needles, then wrapping the next stitch. While this does indeed make a yarnover, I think it’s confusing and can make it more difficult to grasp what the concept of a yarnover is all about.
Here, I’ll demonstrate that the yarnover can be formed the same way every time, regardless of what stitches are coming before and after. Of course, if the way you do yarnovers works better for you, by all means continue (and make a video, if you can, because I’d love to see the different technique) – this isn’t a “you must yarnover like I do” video, but a “here’s how I do it” video that I hope will help reduce confusion.