Tag Archives: tutorial

Wrapping and Turning

5 Jul

This tutorial is an add-on for my pattern for this guy. Hello, little monster!

Most knitters I know have at least a marginal knowledge or experience with wrapping and turning.  I find that the idea of adding a wrap to a stitch is rather east and nearly self explanatory.  Where I think this process gets daunting (and some tutorials glaze over without much thought) is the picking up of the wraps.   This topic came up at a knit night a few weeks back and our poor knitter friend who was looking for help didn’t seem to be able to get a concrete answer from any of us.  It’s a hard one to try to explain, so I whipped out the camera today in hopes of adding some visuals to this technique.  I know there are plenty of sites out there that have these sort of tutorials but whenever I need to learn a technique I end up browsing about 4 or 5 sites until I find the one that explains it best in the way that I learn.  Hopefully I can add something here to help someone out there!

Say you have some stitches.

Wrapping on the knit side

You want to knit up to the point where your next stitch is the one to be wrapped.  Don’t knit it…

… but slip it purl-wise onto the right hand needle.

Move your yarn counter-clockwise around this stitch, moving it to the front of your work.

Now slip that stitch back onto the left-hand needle.  Move your yarn to the back of the work.

Turn the whole thing so the purl side is facing you.  Now continue the other direction with the purl side!

Easy peasy.

Wrapping on the purl side

Purl to the stitch you want to wrap.

Slip that stitch to the right needle purl-wise and wrap the yarn clockwise to the knit side of the work.

Return the stitch to the left-hand needle.

Turn the work to the knit side.

Swing the yarn clockwise to the back of the work.  Continue knitting on this side.

Now where things often get a little shaky is when you are knitting or purling and come across these wrapped stitches.  I believe there are a couple of ways to approach this but I’ll show you how I do it.

Knitting a wrap (knit side)

The next stitch to knit here has a wrap around it.

I like to slip the stitch purl-wise onto the right needle.

Insert the left needle through the bottom of the wrap, then through the stitch as if to knit.

Remove the right needle so both the wrap and the stitch are on the left needle.

Knit the wrap and the stitch together.

There.  Not so hard, eh?

Knitting a wrap (purl side)

Here, same thing, the next stitch has a wrap.

Slip the stitch purl-wise to the right needle.

Insert the left needle through the bottom of the wrap and through the left side of the stitch.

Now slip the stitch back onto the left needle.  Here you can see the wrap on the left, the stitch on the right.  Purl the two together.

There is one more version of knitting a wrap that I think is handy to know.  This is the one that I always had a problem with myself up until I started writing patterns that involved short rows and I forced myself to figure it out better.

Knitting a wrap (knit side, version II)

This type of wrap you come across if you wrapped on the purl side then began working in the round again.  In many patterns this will come up on the first knit round after a short row set.

You can see that wrap on the right side of the next stitch.

Stick the right-hand needle through the bottom of the wrap and through the left side of the stitch.  For some reason I always seem to make this wrap tight and it takes a little wiggle to get the needle in.

Leaving the wrap on the needle, knit the stitch….

… then with the left needle pull the wrap up and over the stitch (like you’re binding off a stitch, same general motion).

Done!

Thrumming

16 Feb

Thrumming was something that was on my knitting to-learn list for a long time.  It seemed complicated to me so I shied away from it, but once I dove in and did it I realized it was not.  The actual act of knitting with these fluffy bits of roving was easy.  The harder part, in my opinion, is making the thrums.  There are a wide variety of opinions and instructions out there.  Some say make them small and thin, others saying the thicker the better.  Also there are various methods preferred on how to work the thrums.  I have fudged my own method and wanted to share it, hoping that I could add to the mix and help someone who maybe needs a little extra input/photos/explanation.

The first thing to start with is a good chunk of roving.  Most mitten and slipper patterns will call for around two ounces but always over buy just to be sure.  Nothing ruins that almost-to-the-end excitement of a WIP like running out of material.  This ball here is probably about five ounces of wonderfully soft merino.  I bought lots since I wanted enough for two projects and I thought this pale color could be dyed if need be.

I start by splitting the roving into three strands…

… then six.  You can see that the roving is still pretty tight together but you can start to see through it.

Start breaking off segments from the strands, each approximately six inches long.  You don’t have to rip forcefully, just tug slightly and it will slowly give way.

Gently pull and stretch this piece, thinning it out until it’s about 8 or 8 1/2 inches long.  Fold it over in a sort of squashed oval to be about four inches.

Now give the whole thing a little twirl to keep the ends together.

Here I have to stop and give a shout out to my trusty flexible stainless steel ruler, who has been with me through thick and thin of crafting adventures for over 16 years.  How far we’ve come from the days making leather jewelry for cigarette money!

Okay, so there are your thrums.  Uniformity isn’t a big deal here; it’s okay to have slight variation among the thrums.  The bigger worry would be if your thrums changed thickness over the course of your project, leaving you with uneven mittens, slippers or whatever item you are working on.  To avoid this I like to make a big batch of thrums before starting a project.  Give that pile a good toss and you’ll get a good balance.

Here is the thickness of my thrum (with a good twist to it) compared to my working yarn which is Lambs Pride bulky.

Here is how I like to place the thrums in my project.  On the stitch where you’d like a place the thrum, knit normally but don’t slip the left-hand loop over the working stitch yet.

Take one of your thrums, fold it in half and wrap it around the right-hand needle the same way you do the yarn.

Pull the loop on the left-handle needle over the thrum and the working stitch.  On the right hand needle, the thrum should sit to the left of the stitch just worked.

On the next round when you come to one of the thrummed stitches, work the stitch as a normal knit stitch, inserting the right-hand needle into both the thrum and its respective stitch.

And now the thrum will be in front of its stitch.  After I finish this round I like to give all the thrums a little tug, making sure that they’re tightly in there and to make sure they aren’t too puffy on the right side.

If you’re working an item flat and will be purling this second row work it just like a purl stitch, inserting the right needle into the thrum and then its stitch.

Oooo, and look at that squishy result.  I really wish I could share with you just how luxurious this feels.

Today’s not really a day to be thinking about thrums around here, though. It’s about 60 degrees and sunny.  A good porch-sitting day.  I’m off to go join Esther the cat out here in the sunshine.