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Wednesday, 12 August 2015



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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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!

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