The second sleeve cap went much faster now that I understand how to work the short rows effectively. The wrapped stitches turned out much neater since the additional stitches helped minimize gaps. I still snugged up the picked up stitches once the cap was done.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, to create these sleeve caps I worked around the armhole in clockwise fashion picking up stitches starting at the top left side of the armhole (just after the shoulder strip), then placing the stitches from the underarm waste yarn onto the needle and finally picking up the stitches along the right edge of the armhole.
The "short" rows are started after working the patterned stitches on the shoulder strip plus knitting five stitches. At this point I wrapped the next stitch, turned to the purl side and worked across until five stitches after the strip and did another wrapped stitch. Rows are increased in this fashion until all but the underarm stitches are worked. I started working the sleeve in the round when the last stitches on the left and right were wrapped. I hid these last two wrapped stitches on the first row that was worked in the round.
It's odd to call these wrapped "short" rows because in this instance the rows begin short and get longer as the picked up stitches are worked.
Why wrap the stitches? All the books I read said that wraps help keep the stitches tight otherwise gaps will form.
Want to see how to wrap stitches?
Knit to the turning point. For my sweater the first turning point is five stitches past the shoulder strap. Slip the next stitch on the left needle to the right needle.
Bring the working yarn between the needles to the knit side. Slip the stitch on the right needle back to the left needle.
Take the working yarn between the needles back to the purl side. Now turn the garment to the purl side. Purl the next stitch on the left needle remembering to keep the working yarn tight (note that the wrapped stitch is on the right needle). Purl to the next turning point.
At the turning point, slip the stitch on the left needle to the right needle.
Move the working yarn between the needles to the knit side. Slip the stitch on the right needle back to the left needle.
Bring the working yarn between the needles to the purl side. The slipped stitch is now wrapped.
Turn the garment so that the knit side is facing. Knit the next stitch on the left needle pulling tightly on the working yarn (note that the slipped stitch is on the right needle).
Now knit to the next turning point. The last stitch will be a wrapped stitch.
Hide Wrap from Knit Side
I like to hide the wrap by knitting the wrap with the stitch it is wrapping. Put the tip of the needle under the wrap and then under the leg of the stitch.
Knit the wrap and the stitch together.
Now that the wrap is hidden proceed with wrapping the stitch on the left needle as described above. Once the stitch is wrapped turn the garment to the purl side and purl to the next turning point.
Hide Wrap from Purl Side
The last stitch on this purl row will be a wrapped stitch. To hide the wrap, put the tip of the needle under the wrap from the back and then pick up the stitch leg.
Purl the stitch and wrap together.