Wrap and Turn Knitting With Short Rows

  • 01 of 03

    Wrap and Turn on Knit Side

    Close up of Wrap and Turn on the Knit Side
    Sarah E. White

    Knitting instructions sometimes will tell you to "wrap and turn" in the middle of a row when you are knitting short rows. Short rows are handy because they allow you to add length or width to one part of your knitting but not all parts of the project.

    The wrap and turn are necessary to help prevent holes at the sides of your heel where the gaps occur when you turn the knitting before completing the row. Sock knitting patterns do not always call for a wrap and turn, but you can always do one if you want to make sure you don't end up with gaps in the back of your sock.

    To accomplish a wrap and turn on the knit side or with a knit stitch, work to the stitch that is meant to be wrapped. Slip the next stitch as if to purl, then bring the yarn to the front of the work and slip the stitch back onto the left-hand needle. You'll notice the wrap sort of covering the stitch from the previous row.

    When you turn the knitting to work the wrong side, the yarn is in position in what's now the front so you can purl to your next turn.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Wrap and Turn on the Purl Side

    Close up of Wrap and Turn a Purl Stitch
    Sarah E. White

    Since sock heels are typically worked in the stockinette stitch, you also will need to know how to wrap and turn on the purl side or when a purl stitch is facing you. This requires a slightly different method to get the working yarn where you need it to be for the next knit row, but it's no more difficult.

    Work to the stitch that needs to be wrapped. Slip the stitch purlwise, then bring the yarn to the back of the work. Slip the stitch back to the left-hand needle, and bring the yarn back to the front of the work.

    Now the stitch is wrapped, and when you turn the work over, the yarn will be at the back of the work, ready to knit the next row.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Work the Wrapped Stitches

    Close up of Working the Stitch Wrap
    Sarah E. White

    At some point in your short row knitting, you will begin to work more stitches across the row again, which means you will come to the stitches that you initially wrapped.

    In the case of a wrapped knit stitch, pick the wrap up and work it with the knit stitch, just as if you were making a knit two together. When you get to a wrapped purl stitch, slip that wrap up onto the needle with the stitch it wrapped, and purl them together.

    Are you ready to try your hand at wrapping and turning in a basic sock pattern? The women's stockinette stitch sock does not specifically call for wrapping and turning on the short rows of the heel shaping, but all you have to do is read "wrap and turn" where the instructions say "turn," and you can make your heel turn a little sleeker without a lot of extra work.