Wrap and Turn

I’m currently working on a new cardigan, “Constant Carving” by Annamaria Otvos. I love this cardigan. It’s a top-down, set in sleeve cardigan with short-row shoulders and picked up collar and button bands, which means there is some wrapping and turning involved.

The traditional “wrap and turn” short row is the one I come across most often  and, consequently, the one I’m most familiar with. I’m not entirely happy with how my wraps look on this though:


I’m not sure why they are showing so much since I know I picked up the wraps and knit/purled them with their respective stitches but they are visible. After I did these I remembered another method for doing the “wrap and turn”. This is known as the “Japanese” method and I first came across it in Anne Hanssen‘s “Grey Impression” pattern. With this method you use a bit of scrap yarn (or stitch marker/safety-pin) to mark your wrap and then pull it up over the needle on the next round like this:




The result is a much nicer looking, almost invisible, short row and I wish I’d remembered it before I started this sweater. As it is, I’ve ripped this poor thing out three or four times already and I’m not up for doing it again.

For a full tutorial on doing this type of short row check out Carol Feller’s free craftsy class on short rows. She goes over the traditional wrap and turn method first then this “Japanese” method plus some different wrap and turn methods for shoulders and bust darts. The whole thing runs about 45 minutes and, did I say this already? It’s FREE!

The other thing I’ve learned with this pattern has to do with the shoulder seams. Usually, in a top-down sweater like this, I would have used a provisional cast on allowing for “live” stitches to knit on both the fronts and the back. However, this pattern calls for a regular cast on and then “pick up and knit” for the fronts. I wasn’t too sure about this when I started but decided to give it a try. I have to say I like this method because it gives a really nice stable shoulder seam. I know this won’t get pulled out of shape in the finished sweater like the provisional cast on has a tendency to do. The difficulty, of course, is that you have to be really meticulous with your picked up stitches so that the “seam” doesn’t look wonky. To make clean and even pick-ups I use a crochet hook in a slightly smaller gauge than my knitting needles to pull up loops and then transfer them to my knitting needle. I’m really happy with the way they look.


But those short row wraps are screaming at me!!!


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