How to Knit Smocked or Wrapped Stitches

How to Knit Smocked or Wrapped Stitches

Vera Sweater

Vera Sweater. Photo courtesy of Love of Knitting magazine.

In the Winter 2013 issue of Love of Knitting magazine, you will find my Vera Sweater. Although the foundation of this garment is basic stockinette stitch, strategic placement of “smocked” or wrapped stitches accentuate the bodice and the cuffs. Smocking adds a great deal of texture and visual interest to any knitted piece,  and you won’t believe how very easy it is. In this post, I’ll show you one technique for adding smocked stitches to your next knitting project.

Step One: Work in pattern as directed until you arrive at the stitches which will be involved in the wrap. Then work those stitches as normal.

CN step 1

Step 1: Work the stitches to be wrapped.


Step Two: Slip the stitches which need to be wrapped from the right hand needle onto the cable needle.

Step 2: Slip stitches to cable needle.


Step Three: Wrap the working yarn around the stitches on the cable needle. The pattern will specify how many wraps are required. In this case, I’ve wrapped the stitches twice.

CN step 3

Step 3: Wrap stitches with working yarn.


Step Four: Return the wrapped stitches to the right hand needle (taking care not to twist) and give the working yarn a little tug to ensure the wraps are snug. The wraps will relax a bit once their stitches have been worked on the wrong side, so now is your chance to make sure they are nice and tight.

Step 4: Return wrapped stitches to right hand needle.


Step Five: Continue across the row repeating the procedure as directed by your pattern. Then work the wrong side row as normal. Since this sample is in stockinette, all wrong side stitches are purled.

Step 5: Continue in established pattern.


Shirley Paden Design Along: Stage 1 (And Stage 1 Again)

Lacy Butterflies Pattern swatch featuring smocked stitches.

Smocked stitches can be worked over stockinette, ribbing, or even complex stitch patterns, like the Lacy Butterflies Stitch I used in  my Madame Butterfly Cardigan.  The procedure is the same either way. Just be sure to pay close attention to stitch and row counts so the smocked stitches are placed in the correct location.