An apparatus for tufting yarn in a backing comprising a yarn applicator for penetrating the backing and implanting the yarn therein and an electric motor for supplying a predetermined length of the yarn to the yarn applicator. The electric motor is operable to selectively advance the predetermined length of yarn to the yarn applicator, and alternatively, hold the yarn or retract the yarn from the applicator. Desirably, the electric motor is a stepper motor, and more desirably, the apparatus comprises a plurality of stepper motors for selectively feeding yarns to a row of reciprocable hollow tufting needles for producing a patterned tufted product. According to one aspect, the tufting apparatus composes a modular supply system and a corresponding modular control system. Pattern information and timing signals are sent to modular yarn control units by a remote process control computer system. According to another aspect, an apparatus for tufting yarn in a backing is provided wherein a flexible yarn supply tube extends from the outlet of a stationary manifold to the inlet of a reciprocable needle mount for a hollow tufting needle, so that during reciprocation of the needle, yarn does not move relative to a yarn feed path due to the reciprocation of the needle. This allows for yarn to be fed to the needle during the entire needle reciprocation cycle. A yarn movement monitoring apparatus, a yarn movement managing apparatus, a needle assembly for tufting yarn in a backing, and a knife assembly for mounting to a frame and cutting yarn implanted into a backing by a hollow needle are also encompassed.