Taking strands of yarn over the front of a fabric makes butterfly stitches. These strands are lifted and worked together to form a shape that looks like a butterfly. There are actually several types of ways to go about making the Butterfly Stitch. The easiest way is to work the strands along with a purl stitch on the wrong side of the work.
In order to start making a butterfly stitch, you must make strands. To do this, you need to knit to where your beginning strand should start and position the yarn to the front of the pattern you are working on.
Making sure the yarn is in front, slip the number of stitches that is required as if you were purling them. Most stitch patterns usually require five slipped stitches. If you want to design your own pattern, you could slip as many stitches as you like.
Once the stitches are slipped, complete the strand by putting the yarn back to the back of the work. Make sure that the slipped stitches are stretched out on the needle and not bunched together. This would cause your strand to be too short and the fabric will bunch.
As you work your way across the row, try to make your tension the same on each strand. Try to make it the same on each row where the strands are being worked.
You can do however many rows of strands your pattern implies you to do. Some work the strands together with a purl stitch on the wrong side of the fabric. Others work the strands on the right side. Both ways are correct and will result in the same outcome.
You will begin by forcing the stitch that is located in the middle of the strands and working the needle in your right hand to pick up the yarn. Make sure to place the strands on the left hand needle.
Once all the strands are on the left hand needle, purl them all together with the next stitch to lock them into place and form the butterfly design on the front of the fabric.
At first, purling six together can be difficult. Make sure your strands are counted and you'll get the job done in no time.
Once the row is completed in the manner described, you will see the cute little butterfly stitches.
You can use this as an allover pattern or you can add a row to the bottom of a sweater to add more interest.