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!
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:
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!