How to: work short row shaping with wrap and turn (w&t)
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Short row knitting is a way of adding extra rows into a partial section of knitting, which is one way to make the heel ‘pouch’ in a sock (also called turning the heel) and other gentle shaping. This method of ‘wrap and turn’ is abbreviated to w&t in a pattern.
It’s a straightforward technique – as its name suggests – and the principle applies to knit and purl stitches, just slightly differently owing to the usual yarn position. Wrapping a stitch leaves a short bar under each stitch that is most visible on the knit side and can be part of the design, or worked over later to remove it. Don’t be concerned if the stitches look a bit gappy on the needles, or that your needles end up at more of a diagonal angle to each other while increasing the short rows, this is all part of the technique of how the gentle bulge is created in a section of the knitted fabric. Work up to the point of the w&t. On a knit row, bring the yarn to the front between the needles, then slip the next the stitch purlwise from the left to the right needle. Next, take the yarn back between the needles – this wraps the slipped stitch – and slip the stitch back to the left needle. Turn the knitting and work back along the row, following the pattern. On a purl row, take the yarn to the back between the needles, then slip the next stitch purlwise from the left to the right needle. Then, bring the yarn forward between the needles to wrap the slipped stitch, and slip the stitch back to the left needle. Turn and follow the pattern. TIP To identify a wrap and turn stitch, look for the bar at the base of the stitch on the knit side. In a sock pattern, a series of wrap and turns will create a diagonal line when worked into a sock and can be an attractive design feature. Having said that, it is also possible to work over each w&t to remove this while keeping the shaping, depending on the pattern. Here is one way, but follow any guidance in the pattern: To hide the bar on a purl row, purl up to the wrapped stitch, then insert the right-hand needle into the back of the loop of the wrap bar. Place the loop on the left needle and purl the wrap loop together with the next stitch, then turn. To hide the bar on a knit row, knit up to the wrapped stitch, then insert the right-hand needle under the bar and through the stitch on needle knitwise. Knit the wrap bar together with the next stitch, then turn.