I don't get it (w&t and short rows)

Working on that squirrel still, but at least it's starting to look like I'm doing it right. I'm *almost* to the part where I have knit all the way up the back and will be doing the "turn top of head" section. I will have 19 sts. on my needle at that point, then it says I do Short Row starting with: k13, w&t, p7, w&t, k8, etc... I read the instructions for w&t on the pattern, and they make sense until the end:

"Slip the next stitch as if to pur, move the yarn between the needles (bring forward if last stitch was knit, move to back if last stitch was purled), return slipped stitch to left needle, turn work and move yarn into position to knit or purl as necessary for next row"

HUH??? So I'll still have six stitches on my one needle, but I'll turn it, then start purling even though I haven't finished? Is that right? It seems all janky sounding. I just made a diagram. Drew two needles and then drew lines underneath for stitches on each needle. Then I added/subtracted according to the patterns instructions, and it DOES seem to work out...but it just seems like the stitches at the end (that don't even get knitted until after the 10th w&t) would be waaaay lower than the others, which I guess is the point since it's a spherical-ish part.

This is the most complicated thing I've ever knitted. What do I hate doing the most? Picking up and knitting. It always look so sloppy when I do it, and I can't ever figure out which side to do it on to make the sticky-out seam-like part NOT be showing. Did that make sense?

I keep reading ahead to make sure that I'm not missing something important (like I did during my last - and now undone - attempt at this same project). It's so intimidating. When those short rows come up (and lots more of them show up), I think I'm going to have to make a copy of the pattern and mark them out as I do them so I don't get confused.

Time for bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


KilgoreTrout's picture

I assume w&t is referring to wrap and turn, which is just making short rows. Wrapping helps prevent holes in the work later from the short rows... You will be turning the work early and leaving some stitches behind... so you're right, keep working! For short row sections I always just turn the music or podcast off and focus on counting.... good luck!

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MMario's picture

yup - it makes sense once you do it. you've knit part of the row, you slip a stitch, move the yarn forward, slip the stitch back to the left needle, and move the yarn back. this has 'wrapped' the yarn around the stitch. Then you turn the work and knit the next (partial) row. yup - the work is going to get distorted because you will have a contoured piece of knitting on a straight needle... but if you slip it down onto the cable portion (if you are using circs) then you get some idea of the shaping - and once it is off the needles the short rows give shape to the fabric.
MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

rjcb3's picture

Wrap and Turn...

From the way you're describing, sounds like you're doing it right...

I can't wait to see it when you're done...


drmel94's picture

There's a video showing how to do it on the Knitting Help website that explains it fairly well. The fact that she talks you through it helps more than a still photo would, I think. Follow the link and scroll down towards the bottom.

There are a lot of different methods for working short rows, but the w&t method is the standard way to do it and a very good technique to have in your repertoire. The important thing is to make sure that the wrap ends up hidden when you work it later. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. The video covers it well for flat knitting. For circular knitting, the wraps that would otherwise be worked on the purl side (i.e., the wrap comes from the left of the stitch it wraps) need to be worked as an SSK - lift the wrap onto the needle, slip the actual stitch knitwise, slip the wrap knitwise, then slip them back to the left and knit together through the back loop).

The next most important thing to remember is not to make your wraps too tight, since you'll need to be able to get the needle into them later. Since I tend to knit fairly tightly, this is another thing I had to learn the hard way. I also find it easier to work the wraps if I lift them up onto the left needle first - also, I think, a function of how tightly I knit, but it helps keep me from splitting the yarn.

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YarnGuy716's picture

The instructions sound difficult, but once you do it, it will turn out right and you will look at it and think you are the smartest knitter on the planet. It's like turning a heel on a sock... the instructions sound crazy, like it will never work. But it does and you feel so smart when you are done. So keep at it and show it to us when you are done.