Monday, January 08, 2007

UnWrapped Short Row Technique - Flat Knitting

I had a request for a detailed tutorial on how to do short rows while flat knitting. You can follow the original UnWrapped Short Row tutorial for the right side rows, then use these instructions for the purl (wrong) side fo the fabric. It's very easy to do - don't be put off by the large number of pictures. They're here to help you visualize each stage of the process. I've also included photos of incorrectly knitted wraps, so you can easily tell whether or not you've got it down.

Click the photos to enlarge. I did not resize them, so you can get a really detailed view if you like, but they're still a managable size for those of you who have a dial-up connection.

These instructions assume that you have happily knit through the inital wrap on the right side, and have purled to the wrap on the wrong side. (If you don't know how to knit in the first wrap on the right side, see my first UnWrapped Short Row Tutorial. Just knit through the first wrap, and then come back here.)

Here's what a wrapped stitch looks like on the purl side. See the double bumps around the stitch? The extra is from wrapping the stitch:

Unwrap second stitch (purl stitch) by inserting your right needle from top to bottom through the wrap only, slip the original stitch off the needle, and pull the wrap off.

Right needle inserted top to bottom through the wrap:

If you do this correctly, the wrap should be on your right needle, with the original stitch free. Here the wrapped stitch is on the right needle and the original stitch is hanging loose to the front of the fabric:

Now slip the wrap stitch (Purlwise - don't twist it) onto the left needle, and put the original stitch back on the left needle just behind the wrap stitch. Here is the wrap stitch on the left needle, and I've parked the original stitch on my right needle, so I don't accidentally unravel it.

When you slip the original stitch back onto the left needle, make sure it passes behind the wrap stitch, as the work faces you. In other words, by slipping the original stitch on the side of the right side of the work, you create a stitch that meshes seamlessly with the current fabric rather than allowing the wrap stitch to show on the right side. You'll know if you've done this incorrectly because you'll have funky looking stitches on the right side of your fabric.

Then purl the wrap stitch and the original stitch together (p2 together). Here are both stiches freshly purled together and on the right needle:

Right and Wrong Stitches
For clarification purposes here are some photos of what the wraps should and should not look like once you've knit them into the fabric.

Right: Here is a close up of the purl side wrap from the wrong side of the work. It looks like a C with a long tail:

Now both the first and second wrap. First, right side wrap on the left and the second, purl side wrap on the left. See how they are mirror images of each other? That's what you want to see. The right side wrap is mirrored or backwards.

Wrong: Both of these wraps are wrong, because the stitches have been twisted or placed on out of order. The right side wrap is really easy to spot, because it doesn't have the long tail C look. But look closely at the right side wrap. It's twisted on the front side, but it still looks like a mirrored C. There is a slight difference, you can see two "layers" on the incorrectly wrapped stitch. It's a good idea to check both sides of the fabric before continuing on. The good news is that since you formed that right side wrap on the right side of the fabric, you will be able to see if you've got the stitches out of order or twisted!

The correct stitches are circled in blue, the wrong stitches are circled in pink. Again from the wrong side of the work:

See how the top of this swatch is starting to round gently? That's because of the two short rows that I put in. Isn't that cool? This last photo is the same, but I've traced the out line of both the right and wrong stitches so you can see the stitch path more clearly:

There you have it. A simple, easy, no gap method for short row wrapping. You've got tutorials for both circular and flat knitting. Go shape something. It's easy!

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