Short Row Wrap and Turn

  • 01 of 03

    Wrap and Turn on Knit Side

    Wrap and Turn on the Knit Side
    The knit stitch is wrapped and ready to place back on the left-hand needle. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    Knitting instructions sometimes will tell you to "wrap and turn" in the middle or 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.

    This instruction is commonly seen in sock knitting patterns, for example, because short rows are often used to shape the heel cup and turn what's been a straight piece of knitting into something sock-shaped.

    The wrap and turn are...MORE necessary to help prevent holes at the sides of your heel (or any other piece of knitting) 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

    Wrap and Turn a Purl Stitch
    The purl stitch has been returned to the left-hand needle and is all wrapped up. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    Since sock heels are typically worked in 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.

    First, 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...MORE 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

    Working the Wrapped Stitches

    Picking up and Working the Stitch Wrap
    Knitting the wrap together with the wrapped stitch on the knit side of a short row project. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    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.

    You could just work these stitches like normal stitches, but those bumps of yarn that wrapped the stitches will still be there, visible in your work and potentially bumpy on your feet if you're working a sock heel.

    The good news is, it's really easy to deal with these wrapped stitches. As you come to them -- and you...MORE should be able to spot them pretty easily because of the fine wrapping job you did -- simply work the wrap together with the stitch that was wrapped.

    In the case of a wrapped knit stitch, pick the wrap up and work it with the knit stitch, just like you were making a knit 2 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.

    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. Just remember to pick up those wraps and work them with the wrapped stitches as you come back to them!