Knitting Blog

Wrap and Turn In Tutorial, Enjoy!

If you’re the kind of knitter who has explored patterns beyond basic scarves or hats, you’ve likely started to encounter a lot of new kinds of pattern instructions. In fact, every new project you work on at this stage will likely include some knitting terminology or technique that you have not encountered before. This means that you’re becoming a better knitter and in the process, absorbing new information!

Knitting Basket with Yarn and Knitted Project

One of the techniques that you’ll likely start to run into is the short row – you’ll know that you’re working a short row when the pattern instructions tell you to “turn” the work at a point before you’ve finished the entire length of a normal row.

You will then work back in the other direction, on the other side and “turn” again at a point before the end of that row as well, creating a pair of shorter rows. What you have done here is add a small amount more of knitted fabric to the item, in a way that does not add length overall – in other words, the length of the item at the sides is still the same, but the extra fabric starts to make a curve or pair of wedges.

You will also likely encounter an instruction to “wrap and turn.” This means that before you turn the work to start on the short row in the opposite direction, you move the yarn around the last stitch of the row. Here is an example of a “wrap and turn” with the right side of the work facing:

First you will bring the yarn forward to the front of the work (as if to purl).

Then, slip the 2nd stitch from the left needle to the right.

Next, bring the yarn to the back of the work.

What you have just done is “wrapped” the stitch that completes the short row. The wrap helps prevent an obvious hole in the fabric that might be left behind if you simply turned the work and started working back in the other direction, without the wrap.

Why would we use short rows and the wrap and turn? There are many places you’ll find this instruction! Short row heels are common in socks, as they create a symmetrical heel that does not interrupt the pattern on the foot or leg of the sock. Short row “shaping” is also commonly done on parts of sweaters, to add horizontal length across the bust line, back of shoulders, or across the hips – in other words in any part of the sweater that hugs a curve!

Overall this is a great technique and I hope you’ll explore short rows enthusiastically in your knitting projects to come!


Nancy Noel

excellent tutorial.

Sandi Pratt

Wow, thanks for this info. I’ve tried to figure this out before, now I understand !!


I have read other instructions for the wrap stitch where you slip the stitch first and then bring the yarn forward, place the slipped stitch back on the left needle, turn and continue. Doe it matter? Basically the wrapping would be going the opposite direction.


Betty Yates

Knitting soft letters and doing the corner on the J going crazy trying to figure out W&T on the short rows? HELP

Jane Kessler

Best explanation I have yet seen for a wrapped stitch. I didn’t feel the least bit
intimidated. Thanks so much. I will save this!


I did not find this explanation complete or clear. Now what at the last picture? Do I purl that left-hand stitch or slip it and purl the next one? And what would I do at the other end for a comparable wrap and turn?

Kai Ellis

Great pictures but most the W&T instructions I see have the W&T stitch move back to the left needle so it isn’t the first stitch worked going back. The W&T stitch usually doesn’t get worked until you come back and add it in the next right side (or wrong side as the case may be) short row.


Thank you. Great explanation!


I like to try it

Carol Cockerton

Thanks for teaching the wrap around.


this is very easy after all this help … go for it

Diana Salmon

Do you always wrap when a pattern says to turn and you know it is a short row? Does a turn always require a wrap if done in the middle of the row?

Linda Graham

Many W&T instructions tell you to hide the wraps on the next row after the short row. They say to knit the wrap and wrapped st tog. I have tried this and it looks bad. It doesn’t hide it at all. Perhaps i am doing it wrong. Depending on the yarn i am using, it is completely unnecessary. What is your take on this?


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