Do you know how to pick up wraps on the purl side of short-row projects?
It’s not as hard as it sounds.
What if the trick you used to do so were so rare that none of your friends had even heard of it?
Undoubtedly that would be even cooler.
On my last short-row project, I discovered a new way to pick up and hide purl-side wraps that makes each wrap completely invisible – a heretofore very elusive skill!
This is the very trick you need in order to pick up wraps on the purl side of your short rows.
The Problem: Short-Row Patterns Create Wraps That Must Be Disguised
A short-row pattern, by its definition, requires you to knit or purl almost all the way across a row, and then turn around.
That’s why its rows are called “short” – you stop short of the end.
Each time you get to the end of the row, the pattern will tell you to wrap the working yarn around the next stitch and then turn and go back the way you came.
If you keep doing this on each row, you’ll get a shaped piece of knitting which is taller in the middle than it is on the ends, like this:
You can see here that every other stitch has a “wrap” pulling it close to the stitch next to it.
When you’re done with the short rows, it’s time to hide the wraps and keep knitting.
But Regular Instructions for Hiding Wraps Look Awful on the Purl Side
To pick up wraps on the knit side, you bring the wrap up and over the wrapped stitch, and then knit both stitches together.
Extrapolating logically, to hide a wrap on the purl side you would lift it onto the needle next to its wrapped stitch and then do a purl 2 together.
The problem is, that looks awful, as you can see by looking at the pink-tinted loops in the photo below.
The problem with the “intuitive” way of picking up purl wraps is that it places the wrap in front of the stitch.
The challenge is to find an easy way to get that wrap in the back, which is exactly what our trick does.
Ready To Learn How To Pick Up Short-Row Purl Wraps The Invisible Way?
Before we start- if you need to brush up, please review Short Rows: Learn To Wrap-and-Turn. It will refresh your ability to follow the pattern below.
Make a swatch and follow along:
CO 20 sts.
Row 1: K 18, W&T (wrap and turn).
Row 2: P 16, W&T.
Row 3: K to 2 sts before next wrapped st, W&T.
Row 4: P to 2 sts before next wrapped st, W&T.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have 4 wrapped stitches along each needle. K2, W&T.
Here is the part of the pattern that comes next, where you will use our new trick:
Next row: P across, pick up and purl wraps as you come to them.
Now, join me for the elegant way to make this happen.
By the way, this technique comes from the pattern instructions of the Cedar-Leaf Shawlette (who knew? It’s actually a good idea to read pattern instructions).
Video: How to Invisibly Pick Up Wraps on the Purl Side
To sum up:
- Knit to the wrapped purl stitch.
- Using the right-hand needle, pick up the wrap from the right side of the work.
- Place the wrap on the left-hand needle over and behind the stitch it was wrapping.
- Purl those two stitches together.
You can use this technique on any pattern that calls for short rows.
See What It Looks Like On A Real Project
Below are the short rows on my own Cedar Leaf Shawlette – after the purl wraps have been picked up and knitted.
I’ve put arrows pointing to the stitches that were wrapped, because without them it’s hard to tell!
So that’s it! Thanks to Never Not Knitting for sharing this great trick. Be sure to show the knitters in your group how to do it – I think they will be amazed.
So, Liat… What Were You Doing In Israel?
Glad you asked! I love sharing my summer adventures with you.
I went to Tel Aviv, Israel, for the last three weeks in March (the perfect time of year to visit).
My grandma, dad, aunts and uncles, cousins, and childhood friends all live there, and I managed to visit almost all of them!
I stayed with my grandma, and she was overjoyed.
Like a good Jewish grandma, she expressed her joy by filling the house with cookies and baking almost continuously.
Good thing for me, there was…
…every day. If anything, it kept me out of the house for two hours a day – two hours during which I could not eat cookies!
Now, my grandma may look all sweet and innocent, as if she just wants to feed me meatballs all day long…
…but she’s got a secret. She’s a ninja with a ping-pong racket! We got the whole family playing the night they came over to celebrate Shavuot.
Switching themes, here’s a gratuitous photo that just serves to propagate a stereotype that all Israelis are young and buff, and that they sell electronics and have an affinity for gym bags.
It just might be true!
And, lastly, I made sure my grandma was fully stocked with yarn for many months to come.
Love you, Safta. See you next year!
In KnitFreedom news, the whole month of June I’ve been in California with my mom, working hard on a complete website re-do and a real book contract (yes you read that right). Exciting!
And, coming next week: free mitten patterns for Magic Loop!
- Short Row Tutorial: How To Wrap and Turn
- Advanced Technique: How to Pick Up and Knit Stitches 2 Ways
If you liked this tutorial on picking up wrapped stitches on the purl side, please add a link to this post on your blog, tell people about it on your favorite knitting forum, leave me a comment.