Wrapped stitches

Posted 9 Sep 2016 by JC

It’s not often, but sometimes you’ll see a stitch pattern with instructions to “wrap” a group of stitches – not “wrap and turn” as part of a series of short rows, but literally wrapping the yarn around the stitches before working them. Typically, the instructions will say something like, “Slip 3 stitches with yarn in front, bring yarn to back, slip those 3 stitches back to left needle, and k3.” The goal is to create a decorative horizontal bar, while pulling together a set of stitches.

Stitch-Maps.com now has symbols for this sort of maneuver, making it possible to map stitch patterns like this beauty from Lesley Stanfield:

Stanfield #274

The symbol at the center of row 9 clearly shows that three stitches should be wrapped. Similar symbols allow for wrapped groups of 2 to 9 stitches. For example, Barbara Walker’s Pear-Shaped Cable wraps a group of 7 stitches:

Pear-Shaped Cable

Note that the key suggests wrapping a group of stitches just once, then working the stitches in stockinette stitch. But it’s possible to wrap the stitches multiple times, or to work them in some manner other than “knit on RS, purl on WS.” Check the notes that come with a stitch pattern to see if they call for special treatment – for example, Stanfield #274 suggests wrapping 3 stitches 8 times, then merely slipping them to right-hand needle.

One other item of note: the knitspeak phrasing you’ll want to use when creating stitch maps of this sort is wrap 2 sts or wrap 5 sts. You could say wrap next 2 sts or wrap yarn around 5 sts, but that extra verbiage isn’t necessary.

And for a final bit of eye candy, Barbara Walker’s Four-Lobed Escutcheon, with wrapped stitches strategically placed on WS rows 15 and 29:

Four-Lobed Escutcheon

(I had to look up “escutcheon.” It means “a shield or emblem bearing a coat of arms.”)

Enjoy!

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