Learn Something New: Wrapped Stitches

Wrapped stitch  Spacer 10x10 pixels
Wrapped stitch  
Faux cable Spacer 10x10 pixels
 Faux cable

I’ve heard this many times: “There are only two stitches used in every piece of knitting—the knit stitch and the purl stitch.”


I guess that’s true, but what about the yarnover? It isn’t really a stitch, I suppose, but it’s used so often that I think of it as one.


There are so many uses for the yarnover—there's lace knitting, of course, which is lousy with yarnovers, but there are also stitch patterns such as wrapped stitches and faux cables.


The stitch shown above left is a wrapped stitch, and the wrap is actually a yarnover. This stitch pattern is worked as such:


Row 1: K3, yarnover, k3, pass yarnover over all three stitches, k3, yarnover, k3, pass yarnover over all three stitches, and so on across row.
Row 2: Purl across row.


I’m not sure I’d incorporate the wrapped stitch into a garment because the yarnover wraps would catch on things and snag. I think it would be neat for an afghan, though, and I wonder what it would look like felted? I’ll bet it would be really cool for a knitted handbag, or even a felted rug!


The stitch shown at left is a faux cable that uses a yarnover to separate the stitches and achieve the cable look. Work the faux cable as such:

Row 1 (WS): *K2, p2, rep from *
Row 2: *K1, yo, k1, p2, rep from *. Note that there is NO decrease in this row and each YO will add one to the stitch count.
Row 3: *K2, p3, rep from *
Row 4: *Sl1, k2, psso, p2, rep from * (stitch count should be back to be the same as in Row 1)
Rep these 4 rows to form faux cable pattern

The faux cable stitch would be really nice to add texture to a garment; how about using it instead of straight ribbing on cuffs or collars? I think the texture would be great.


Spacer 10x10 pixels Smock stitch
  Smocking stitch. Waist detail from Gossamer Cardigan by Shelley Gerber (Spring 2011 Interweave Knits)

The photo at right shows a really neat wrapped stitch that doesn’t use a traditional yarnover, but a loop of yarn pulled through the knitting that gathers the stitches together to make a smocked look. You can do this with a needle and thread, too, but it’s really fun to do it on the needles!


On Knitting Daily TV episode 704, in her “Getting Started” segment, Eunny Jang demonstrates the smocking stitch pattern, as well as the wrapped stitch and faux cable I talk about above.

Here's a clip from that episode:

I hope you’ll try one of these stitches in your own knitting. If you like the smocked tank shown in the clip, it’s the Gossamer Smocked Tunic by Shelley Gerber, featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Interweave Knits.


There are so many fun things—like these stitch patterns—in every episode of Knitting Daily TV. The DVD sets are on sale, too, so get yourself over to the Knitting Daily Store and pick some up!

Kathleen Cubley

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