Stornoway Throw: Border Wrap and Turn

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Slip the stitch knitwise from left to right

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

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Pull the wrap up onto the left hand needle

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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:

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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!

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

147 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…..:)

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    • 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.

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      • 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…..

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  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!!

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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  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

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  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?

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  5. Sandra G. Wood says:

    I figured this part out. Thanks anyway.

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  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.

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    • 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.

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  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?

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    • 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.

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      • 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!

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      • 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!

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