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


Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

20 thoughts on “Learn Something New: Wrapped Stitches

  1. Dear Kathleen,
    Thanks for sharing the faux cable pattern, which looks really lovely. Am wondering if I can adapt this to make a scarf. To make a repeat of 5, as shown in the picture above, how many stitches do I have to cast on? And where does the repeat stitches start from for row 1? Row 1: K1, yarnover, SSK, P2, K1, yarnover, SSK, P2, across row.
    Much obliged if you can explain how to go about knitting, say a 6″ wide scarf using this stitch pattern.
    Thanks a heap in advance!
    email: ingoo@sph.com.sg

  2. The rebel in me wants to try this wrapped stitch tecnnique on a garment but as you say it might snag! My brain is still working this challenge over though.

  3. Thanks for sharing this great technique. I’m a book taught knitter, and having these videos and newsletters is like a mini-class. I think I’m going to try out the knitted smocking on my next afghan project!

  4. Hm, I really have a big problem now regarding the faux cable:
    following both instructions from video and written don’t work out to look like photo
    1) row 2 says: purl across row –> this would mean that the columns that we can clearly see as ‘purls only’ on the photo would look like garter stitch
    2) when I knit row 2 as ‘ work each stitch as it appears’ (to receive the ‘purls only’ columns) I still get a completely different picture for the cable part – stitch 1 of every cable column is knit every time, thus travels untwisted from bottom to top. the only twist that is created is between the 2nd and 3rd stitch of the cable – this looks like a zig zag ladder/trellis pattern.
    There seems to be row 3 and 4 missing, with row 3 certainly doing sth to stitch 1.
    any help?

  5. Thanks for these simple little tips.
    But for this little foreigner, the more complicated abbriviations are a bit tiresome as they mean lots of research.
    or SSK ?????
    Would it be a nuisance for everybody else to give the long version as well, in these short patterns?

  6. I agree with amberschiwi on the faux cable, I don’t see how “Purl across row” on Row 2 will make the fabric we see. Please demonstrate or check the instructions! Thank you!

  7. If you modify row 2 to say “purl the faux cable stitches (ssk from previous row, yo from previous row and k1 from previous row), k2″ repeat across row…that will work. On the back you should basically be doing p3, k2 ribbing so it appears as k3p2 on the front.
    Then the following row you do the faux cable on the k3 stitch group.

    Hope this helps! I’ve done the RT and LT type of baby cables but this type of faux cable with YOs is new and cool.

  8. The faux cable absolutely looks NOTHING like the picture. As written, it just doesn’t do it. And, reading other comments, I see it’s not just me (thought I was losing my mind with this). No replies from the original poster, however, so I guess we’re on our own.

  9. Correction for the Faux Cable Pattern:

    Row 2: Knit the knit stitches as you come to them and purl the purl stitches as you come to them.

    Basically, you want to knit row 2 as if you’re knitting ribbing, so: purl 3, knit 2 across the row.

    In order to work this into a scarf, you need to do a swatch using the yarn and needles you want to use to create the scarf. Cast on 20 or so stitches, which should give you a good idea of how many you need to cast on to get the width you want to end up with.

  10. dear JoC@17, Carrie@41 and all others who had problems with the faux cable: I got in touch with knittingdaily via their contact form and so they were able to re-assess the pattern; they have corrected it now

  11. Here are the correct directions for the faux cable stitch pattern:

    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.

  12. Thanks for these really pretty patterns.

    How many stitches should be cast on for the faux cable? (Eg, multiple of x, or multiple of x + y, etc.)

    I’ve noticed that this question has been asked below, but has not been answered yet. Someone please answer!