My latest one-skein project included the instruction “w&t”, meaning “wrap and turn”.
There are probably numerous methods of doing this, and I know some people don’t even bother with it – it is a technique to avoid creating an unwanted hole when working short row shaping, and once you know how, it’s very easy and quick.
Want to give it a go? I’ll share a few photos of my work-in-progress, to show you the method I use* …
Here I’m working a purl row and have reached the stitch that I need to ‘wrap’. I now slip the stitch (to be wrapped) onto my right hand needle, without purling it:-
I move the yarn round the slipped stitch …
and then move the slipped stitch back onto the left hand needle, without knitting or purling it, and bring the yarn to the front between the needles …
That’s the so-called ‘wrap’, and then it’s just a case of turning the work and continuing to knit as normal on the other side. It now looks like this on the ‘knit’ side, with the yarn at the back, ready to use …
The tension on the working yarn should stay consistent with the rest of your stitches, not too tight, not too loose. You’ll soon get a feel for it!
On a knit row, the process is similar – slip a stitch, move the yarn around to the front, slip the stitch back to the original needle, ‘wrapping’ the stitch and moving the working yarn right round to the back of the work …
The ‘wrap’ yarn should sit neatly over the top of the wrapped stitch.
Turn the work, and continue, ready for the purl row.
The completion of the trick comes next!
Here I’ve purled to the point where my next stitch is the one that I’d ‘wrapped’ on the previous row … Instead of purling just the stitch on the needle, I also pick up the yarn that has ‘wrapped’ the stitch, and purl that piece of yarn with the wrapped stitch.
And then continue with the pattern instructions as if nothing special had happened!
The same principle applies when working a knit row … Knit to the wrapped stitch, and work the ‘wrap’ yarn with the stitch …
Et voilà! Wrap and turn – the secrets revealed!
I do think ‘short row shaping’ using ‘w&t’ is a clever technique, adding depth/height to parts of a piece using gentle gradients, and with no jagged ‘steps’ to distract the eye. It’s certainly perfect for this crescent-shaped shawlette by Ysolda Teague, which I shared with you last week.
Do you have any useful knitting techniques that sounded complicated until you discovered their simple secrets? I’d love to hear all about them!
* I knit ‘English’-style, using my right hand to control (or ‘throw’) the yarn. If you knit ‘continental’-style, using your left hand to ‘pick’ the yarn, the same principle will apply, and I’m sure you won’t have any problems adapting my photo demonstration to get you started!
Funny you should feature this – I just implemented both vertical and horizontal darts in a little pink cardigan yesterday for a better fit over the bust and used short rows with w&t. I did find the pick-up slightly more awkward knitting continental style at first – you have to pay attention not to twist the double-pick-up stitch but I’ve done it often enough to know, now!
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I did wonder, so I’m glad to know – thank you! Maybe you could do a photo tutorial on The Little Washhouse? I’m contemplating trying a Hitchhiker using continental knitting, to see if I can get it into my muscle memory and potentially switch (at least from time to time) so I’d love to learn how you do it 🙂