Stornoway Throw: Border Wrap and Turn


If you are making the Stornoway Throw by Anita Grahn, you are in for a real treat. The body is easy to memorize and the cables are fairly intuitive (with the exception of the Left and Right cable corners, which I explain on my Ravelry project page). The tricky bits are the blanket corners–at least the first time round–because the instructions do not tell you much about working wraps and turns, which can be worked a number of ways.  See, for example Carol Feller’s book Short Row Knits or her Craftsy classes.

This post is for anyone else who is working the Stornoway Throw OR working wraps on a cable piece that takes a turn. It took me a few long nights and some knitting 911 calls to figure this one out . . . and so, here’s hoping someone else can learn from my many many hours of mistakes 🙂 What follows is my method for making things work . . . I’m sure there are multiple ways to turn this border!

Video Tutorial can be found here.

Step 1: Learn the basics about wraps and turns–there is a free Crafsty class available here.

Step 2: Find the right tools. For me, that means gathering my reclosable safety pin stitch markers–you’ll see why in a moment.

Step 3: Read the pattern instructions; mark up your chart well; and if you print out pattern charts, double check your printed pattern against the digital version (I failed to print the corner chart on a printer that had enough ink to show the grey “no stitch” areas, and this messed me up to no end!)

Step 4: Get in the ring! Try and fail! Rip out stitches and rows, if you must! The good news is that you may learn more by failing than by succeeding on your first go.

Let’s get specific: for this blanket, the cables need to turn 90 degrees while maintaining their crosses, which means the entire border needs to take a 90 degree turn. The yellow line below indicates where the wraps and turns are created, picked up, and stitched together ALL WHILE THE CABLE PATTERN CONTINUES ON THE RS OF THE BLANKET.


To achieve this, you work two triangles. In #1 (below), you are knitting in the direction indicated by the arrows; once you get down to two stitches (in the top corner) you then need to begin picking up your wraps along the edge of the triangle so that the border will begin to turn.


For section #1, you simply follow the chart and knit across the RS of your work until you see the wrap symbol. Then, you slip a stitch from left to right (purlwise), turn your work, move the working yarn to the back, and slip the stitch back onto (what is now) the right hand needle. Follow the chart back across the WS of your work. Do this until the final stitches. Work those final stitches per the chart, creating 3-4 more wraps around the final stitch. I collect my wraps on those reclosable stitch markers so that I can find them later.


Once you reach Row 50, it’s time to pick up your wraps so that you can create the blanket corner’s other half (section #2 in the photo above). The pattern does not specify when or how to do this; but I emailed Anita and she suggested that row 49 is the last row before picking up the wraps. Row 50, where the party really starts, is a WS row–all wraps will be picked up on the WS (at least this is how I managed the pattern).

The first wrap pick up requires that you grab 3 wraps. When you turn your work to the WS (you’ll see the wraps lurking below), slip the first stitch as if to knit from left to right and then put it back on the left hand needle (this prevents a hole). Then, pull the wraps up from below and onto the left hand needle. Knit all of the stitches together through the back loop (tbl).

Work your RS row as normal, remembering that when you get to the wrap and turn symbol, you still need to create a wrap to turn your work–but when working on section #2, you do not need to mark these wraps–I found that they just faded into the background.

Now, back on the WS of your work: your first stitch will be the pick-up (again, you’ll see the wraps lurking below), slip the stitch as if to knit from left to right and then put it back on the left hand needle (this prevents a hole). Then, pull the wrap up from below and onto the left hand needle. Knit the two stitches together through the back loop (TBL). Here are the same instructions in pictorial form:


Slip the stitch knitwise from left to right


Place the twisted stitch back onto the left hand needle (the twist prevents a hole); my thumb is covering the orange stitch marker–sorry!


Pull the wrap up onto the left hand needle


Knit the twisted stitch and the wrap together through the back loop (TBL)

You will do this for each of the wraps you have marked with the reclosable stitch markers. Here is what my corner looked like from the WS when I was about half-way finished:


And here is the finished corner from the RS. It’s not perfect (it was the first border corner), but the cables continue on in pattern and the wraps are invisibly hidden on the back. I would love to hear about other folks’ experiences with these wraps and turns! Any advice is welcome! I’d love to hear your experiences!




This entry was posted in blanket, cables, community, help!, instruction, knitting, Stornoway Throw, technique, wrap and turn. Bookmark the permalink.

167 Responses to Stornoway Throw: Border Wrap and Turn

  1. Thank you, all, for your help. I am still on my first corner, I’ve frogged it numerous times, as I’m having difficulty knowing when to pick up the wraps. I physically know how to pick them up, but when I got to row 49 I already had 4 wraps from 41, 43, 45 and 47. On row 49 it looks like I knit 4 sts then wrap and turn (thus going in further on the left hand needle stitches then the 2 stitched in rows 41, 43, 45, and 47) and then on row 50 I am to pick up wraps from 41, 43, 45 and 47, so when do I pick up the wrap from row 49? Would somebody please be willing to reply with detailed instructions, row by row, stitch by stitch, for rows 47 through 51? Thanks so much, this is doing my head in…..:)


    • Alison says:

      Hi Westmeadowfarm! I have done three corners and I’m on the final stretch. I didn’t pick up four wraps at once. Row 44 is the end of the first half, so starting row 46 is picking up wraps. This is what I did:
      Row 41: K2. Slip 1, turn
      Row 42: put yarn to the back, slip 1 (the yarn to the back, which is wrapped around this slipped stitch, is your wrap yarn that you later pick up) K2. Turn
      Row 43: K2, slip 1, turn
      Row 44: put yarn to the back, slip 1, K2, turn
      You are now half way (44 of 88 rows) so wrapped stitches from the first half will get picked up on odd rows now.
      Row 45: K2, slip 1, turn
      Row 46: put yarn to the back, slip one, place the wrapped yarn from row 44 on your left needle, Knit together that wrapped yarn plus one stitch, K1, turn
      Row 47: K2, slip 1, turn
      Row 48: this row is different because the slipped stitch gets knitted: put yarn to the back, K1, place the wrapped yarn from row 42 on your left needle, knit together that wrapped yarn and one stitch, K1, turn
      Row 49: K4, slip 1, turn
      Row 50: another bizarre row because you must purl the slipped stitch, usually you slip that slipped stitch back: P1, put the yarn to the back, place the wrapped stitch from row 40 on the left hand needle, knit together the wrapped stitch and one stitch, K3, turn
      Row 51: K6, slip 1, turn
      Row 52: put yarn to back, slip one, pick up wrapped stitch from row 38, bring yarn to front, purl together wrapped stitch and one stitch, purl 1, K4, turn

      Hopefully you get the idea now and there will be no more frogging! I just found rows 48 and 50 odd because the slipped stitch from 47 and 49 was not slipped back on rows 48 and 50, but was worked. Good luck, happy knitting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alison,
        THANK YOU!!!! You read my mind, as I was wondering why row 44 was not half way through the corner and therefore, the next row would be the pick up row. The way you did it makes total sense to me! I will give it a go and get back to you once I’ve turned the corner! Thanks so much, it is very sweet of you to take the time to write it all out, many blessing to you and our fellow knitters…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra G. Wood says:

        I’m working the corner chart. Starting to get near the first corner. I just finished row 41; but when I get to row 42 I only have two stitches to work with. I looked at Alison’s detailed instructions for rows 41 through 52; I’m lost. Have I done something wrong?


      • Alison says:

        Hi Sandra. By row 42 you should have just 2 stitches to work with. The next five rows (43-47) are just taking you around the corner before you start picking up the wrapped stitches from rows from the first half of the corner. I cannot really describe it better. Have you watched the video at the beginning of this blog, because that might make it clearer.


      • Dear Allison…. I am so frustrated with my first attempt at the corner. I just can’t understand the instructions…. now I have tried and am worse off, because I don’t know where I am ….. ready to give up! Betty


  2. Jen Williams says:

    I have the body of the blanket done, but as I am looking at starting the border, I don’t see how I can possibly get 5 repeats of the chart done on 143 stitches. My short edge has 143 stitches and the long edge has 197. Five repeats of the chart would need 216 stitches! Where am I going wrong?
    Thanks for any help here!!


    • Alison says:

      197 stitches up the long side is correct. Each chart has 54 rows, but as you pick up one border stitch every two rows, you will be picking up 27 stitches each 54 row chart. 27 stitches times 7 charts equals 189. The other 8 (197-189) stitches are for the corners charts (4 for each corner).
      Your shorter ends are 143 stitches. These shorter sides are two charts shorter, which means 54 (27 x 2) fewer stitches than the longer sides.
      It works, trust me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alison says:

      Also, you will find the border easier if you put a stitch marker on your needle every 27 stitches, and at the corners marking 4 stitches each side of the corner. the border starts four stitches in on the short side (those four stitches are for the last corner).
      Place stitch markers after 27 stitches 5 times, then after 4 stitches twice, then after 27 stitches 7 times, after 4 stitches twice, and repeat.


  3. Barbara Fairfield says:

    I have just done a practice corner with spare yarn. It came out very well, considering the fact that it was my first try. I had to think of the symmetry of the pattern, and at no time did I pick up more than one wrap at a time. It worked to keep picturing the edges coming together in a balanced fashion with no bunching up. My goal is to finish this by Christmas…this year!😁. Thank you for the beautiful pattern!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to hear, Barbara! And good luck! But just so you know, I’m not the designer of the pattern 🙂 I just set up this space for support after my own experience with the blanket. Happy knitting! ~Melissa


  4. Sandra G. Wood says:

    When we cast on the 37 stitches on the left hand circular needle and knitted row one then turned yarn to purl row two our working yarn is on left end instead of right, what are we doing wrong?


  5. Sandra G. Wood says:

    I figured this part out. Thanks anyway.


  6. Jacqui says:

    I feel this is a silly question but looking at the pattern has been making my head hurting I have worked myself into a tiz. When the 37 stitches have been cast on, how do I know when I should be doing the corner or the edge.


    • Alison says:

      You start doing the edge, along the shorter edge. And you pick up one stitch from the body every other row. Once you complete five edge charts, then you start the corner chart and knit the corner. You will be picking up four stitches from the body on the first eight rows of the corner chart, then work the corner, then pick up four stitches from the long edge of the body in the last eight rows of the corner chart. Then seven edge charts, one corner chart, five edge charts, one corner chart, seven edge charts. Once there, you have four remaining stitches from the long edge of the body, and four stitches remain from the first short edge of the body. Those eight edge stitches are used for the final corner. And then you are done knitting. Just a seam to stitch to complete. Some of us cast on the 37 stitches provisionally, so we could use three needle bind off to avoid the seam.


  7. Syd says:

    Pre-start Question: I have not started the blanket yet as I am still gathering everything I need and deciding yarn. My question is, based on how this is constructed, can you (or anyone) see why this cannot be done in two colors – specifically, one color for center and one color for border?


    • Alison says:

      What a fabulous idea! that would work well. the pattern has you knit the centre. Once the centre is complete, you pick up and knit stitches around all four sides, then turn your work and purl back along all those picked up stitches. Once back, you turn your work, you knit four stitches, and then you begin the border. Those four stitches are used for the fourth corner of your border. Now you begin picking up one of those edge stitches every other row of your border (which attaches the border to the centre). So, you could change to the second colour when you begin picking up the stitches on the four sides, or, you could change colour when begining the border, and have the two rows of knitting around the centre in the main colour.


      • Alison says:

        By the way, this is what I wrote after completing the body of the throw: March 2 – finished the body of the throw. It measures 49 inches by 31 inches it should be 50 by 34. My gauge is tight. I have altered the cable border slightly to accomodate my tighter gauge over thelength of the throw, otherwise the border would be tighter than the body.
        I estimate I am about a 45% done, as I have knit 550 grams and the pattern calls for 1200 grams.
        That should help you in determing how much of each colour yarn to purchase!


      • Syd says:

        Thank you so much for the feedback and additional insight! Excited to get started and really appreciate having this blog to turn to for further clarification. Have a great weekend!


  8. Sharlene says:

    Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for this. I’m about to start on the cable part of the throw and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to figure it out easily. This is so helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dizzyhouse says:

    Your blog is so informative – thank you so much! I am stuck on the initial 197 stitches to pick up! My piece measures 50″ – I have done 12.5 repeats of the 24 rows of the main section – I slip stitched the beginning of each row. I can’t seem to see how I can possibly get 197 stitches picked up from the slipped edge stitches. I must be looking at this incorrectly. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alison says:

      Here is my math for you: 24 rows times 12.5 repeats equals 300 rows. Now you have slipped a stitch on every other row, so you will have 150 stitches on the edge (I am going to call these “slipped stitches”), and you have to create 197 stitches. Can you make four stitches out of every three slipped edge stitches? That would let you pick up 200, so randomly leave off three stitches along the edge. I would pick up two slipped edge stitches and then make two stitches out of the next slipped edge stitch: four new stitches out of three slipped stitches. I think the pattern did not expect you to slip your edge staitches at the beginning of each row, so normally you would pick up two stitches for every three edge stitches. But you have only half the edge stitches due to the slipped stitches. So you have to make four out of three. Does that make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

      • dizzyhouse says:

        Yes! Yes! Thank you Alison! I knew this was something that I just wasn’t thinking of and that I needed another logical thinking person to see this. I do see now that I was NOT supposed to slip a stitch at the beginning of every row. Deep breath. I’ll pick this up this afternoon and carry on. Thank you so much!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Irene Rohman says:

        I am knitting through the sl1 stitches in the side. How do I made the extra stitch? I am missing something?


      • Alison says:

        The problem here is that the edge stitches of the body of the the throw should not have been slipped. I’ve searched the web and cannot find how to pick up 4 stitches for every three edge stitches,; I’ve just found a note that if you are not told to slip the edge stitches, then do not slip them. But it’s too late for you now, you have to get four stitches out of three slipped edge stitches. I would try this: for picking up and knitting one stitch from an edge stitch, insert your needle under both “legs” of the slipped stitch, and when you have to pick up and knit two stitches from one slipped stitch, pick up and knit one stitch from one “leg” of the slipped stitch, and then pick up and knit one stitch from the other “leg” of the slipped stitch. Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. inkblot says:

    I’ve just finished a corner with minimal frogging thanks to all your help!
    Though now I’ve encountered a problem which makes me wonder if I have to undo all the border done so far 😦
    when the corner was finished and i began knitting on the new side, the little ssk line (the bit that connects the border to main piece) didn’t look right and realised there were 2 of them! (That is, 2 lines). Did I do something wrong earlier on before beginning the cabled border? I picked up and knitted the right amount of stitches on each side, then purled once around the entire piece… was the purl meant to be on the RS/WS??? Or is it something else entirely?
    Any help would really be appreciated.


  11. Nan says:

    Thank you SO much for this explanation and for the video. Preparing them was a lot of work which you did out of the goodness of your heart. I just finished my first corner and I must say it looks pretty good! Couldn’t have done it without you!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. ivorymaster says:

    Hello! I have a question, and I didn’t see that anyone had asked it before, so I apologize if it’s a repeat. I finished the body, but I’m really struggling to figure out the instructions on how to work the edging. (Page 3 from the PDF) It’s unclear to me which stitches belong on which needles. I did not have any circular needles long enough to hold 680 stitches at one time, so I split them up by corners. 143 on one, 197 on the next, and so on. The circular needles are secured on each end to keep the stitches from falling off. I picked up the stitches all the way around, and then purled a round per the instructions. So now I have 680 purled stitches, but I’m unsure how to proceed from here. The instructions on say to knit 4 before starting the chart for the edging. If I do that, then I have 4 stitches on the right side of the circular needle, with the yarn coming from the right side— so how can I cast on 37 stitches onto the left hand needle with the yarn still connected to the right needle where I just knitted four? Am I supposed to cut the yarn? Also, with 4 stitches on the right needle, that leaves 139 on the left, so am I supposed to add 37 stitches to the needle already holding 139, or do I cast those onto a straight needle? It would have been so helpful if the pattern had included a visual for this, because I just cannot picture it in my mind. The wording is so unclear. This is a Christmas present for my grandmother, and I don’t want to mess it up. I’m also expecting a baby in 3 weeks so I don’t have time to knit it all wrong, rip it all out and start over. I’m very very very confused. Please help! Thank you in advance!


    • Alison says:

      Hello. Congrats on everything! I think I can help: the four stitches should be knit onto the circular needle you have going up the side of the throw, so instead of 197 stitches, that circular will have 201 stitches.
      Those four stitches are picked up at the very end when you complete the last corner.
      In order to have the yarn ready to cast on the 37 stitches that form the border, you may have to knit them onto the side circular. In effect, knit them onto the side circular needle and then your yarn is at the correct spot to cast on the 37.l stitches for the border picking up your 93 (97 minus 4) stitches along the end of the body of the throw.
      By the way, as I recall the border took far longer than the body of the throw. I think it may have even taken more yarn. Up above I mentioned the ratio of yarn between border and body. Unless you are far more proficient a knitter than I am (which is entirely possible) finishing the throw within three weeks might not be doable. I wish you all the best.


  13. Jennifer says:

    I just started the edging chart, about 18 rows in. I’m thinking I did the first rows wrong. I used a backwards cast on, but I’m not liking the edge for joining that leaves. I saw a suggestion somewhere of using a provisional cast on but can’t picture it in my head how to get the yarn on the right end of the working needle. Or if you use a knitted cast on, how do you pick up the stitch from the body? Or do you work a few rounds and then start the edging chart?


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