Short rows: Japanese Wraps

Picked up Cookie and Anne from the airport yesterday morning – lucky that they arrived when they did as the next flights out of NYC were canceled due to bad weather.  Deuce immediately decided he was in love with Cookie and snuggled up to her for a snooze.  Hopefully heading to Borough Market for a spot of lunch today.  Weather a bit crap, but according to BBC it’ll be sunny in Cornwall this weekend for the retreat. Yay!

Newly dyed Sokkusu-O yarn in Granooey

I got a box full of my Sokkusu-O yarn (*** happy dance ***) and dyed some up.  In green of course. I really love green.  And I started knitting with it – and am in love. I know I’m fickle when it comes to yarn… something pretty and new is always likely to turn my head… but I think I found my yarnie soulmate.  This is truly awesome stuff.  A proper fingering weight (16wpi), 3 ply tightly twisted yarn.  But not so tightly twisted that it loses its ‘ooomph’.  It’s still super bouncy and sproingy and squishy!  When I get back from Cornwall I’ll dye more up. I think some more contests are in order!

Back to my Short Row Study.

Method #3: Japanese Wraps

In Japanese short rows the work is done mostly on the return rows – that is when setting up the short rows all you do is turn. You knit to the turning point, then turn the work. On my sample, I knit to the turning point, turned the work, slipped the first stitch and purled to the end. Next knit row I knit to one stitch before the gap, and turned again. The finicky bit is picking up the wraps to work them. Well, the most finicky bit. To help with this, you can use safety pins to aid in picking up these wraps. I’ll explain.  In the photo below I’ve knit to my turning point (this is where the gap will be).

Knit and turn

Turn the work. On the purl side, slip the first stitch.  That’s the stitch in the photo below with the working yarn coming out of it.

Slip first stitch on purl side

Here’s a Blue Peter moment – I threaded some safety pins to the yarn beforehand. Moving the first safety pin across to the base of the slipped stitch this sets me up to create my first Japanese wrap.

Adding the safety pin

Purl as normal, keeping the safety pin put. See the pin below? It catches the bar between the fist slipped stitch and its neighbour.  One Japanese wrap created.

First safety pin

If you are doing a number of wraps, the back of your work would look something like this. Remember – I’m only doing wraps on one side of the work. Both sides would double the number of safety pins.

Four Japanese wraps with safety pins

When you are ready to work those wraps, knit to the first gap.   The first safety pin should be two rows down, between the first two st columns on the right needle (closest to the tip).

Getting reading to pick up Japanese wrap

Now you’ll see why the safety pin comes in handy. Grab the first safety pin and place the loop created onto the left needle.  That’s the Japanese wrap, one one side of the gap, and the next stitch on the other. Work those two together (k2tog) and it closes the gap.  Repeat until all the Japanese wraps have been picked up and worked. Without those ickle safety pins, those bars would be a pain in the bum to find.

Picking up the first wrap

Worked Japanese wraps

Back of worked Japanese wraps

For thicker gauge yarns I think this would be a little easier to work without the safety pins, as it would be easier to see and pick up the wrap.  But for thinner yarns like sock or sport, it’s fiddly without the safety pins to help. But then the pins themselves are pretty fiddly too.  I’m not one to use stitch markers much – I don’t like having stuff hanging off my work.  It’s one of the reasons I don’t like using DPNs – too many things to keep track of.  So, not surprisingly, this is one of my least favourite methods.  But there you go – knowledge is power and it could be that you’ll love this method.  But those safety pins…..  argh.  Too much!

Next up… Double stitches

4 thoughts on “Short rows: Japanese Wraps

  1. Oh thank goodness Anne and Cookie arrived safely! When I read the Yarn Harlot’s blog last night I was really worried they would be delayed too.

    The Sokkusu-O looks lovely and I’m enjoying your short-row series (although I don’t know where you’re finding the time to blog as well as everything else!)

    See you tomorrow on the plane!!!!

  2. I like the technique for getting the safety pins in place. By taking the wrap that far below, does it create a sharper angle/gradient than regular wrap/turn techniques? I’ve not seen this before so curious where it’s most commonly used. A narrower heel/ toe perhaps or turning corners?

  3. So glad that Cookie and Anne arrived safely. Have just been reading Anne’s blog. Have a wonderful time down in Cornwall. Make sure that your guests sample a proper Cornish cream tea!

  4. Pingback: Short Rows: Shadow Wraps

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