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Mastering Short-Rows

Oct 19, 2012

How many of you have the exact measurements of a knitted garment? Probably not many of us. That's why short-rows are a crucial knitting technique to master.

    
A wrapped stitch is the first step in working a short-row.

They help a pattern fit over those not-so-perfect areas of your body, making it skim over your belly or behind instead of clinging unattractively. I use short-rows in almost every sweater I knit, adding a couple of inches at the bust so the front of the sweater hangs evenly with the back. Those of you with large-busts can relate, right? Short-rows are also helpful in the same way if you have a pot-belly. If you want your sweater to hang low enough in the front and not ride up, short-rows are the answer.

The wrap-and-turn technique is really easy to learn; the challenge for me was picking up the wrapped stitches so that they didn't show on the right side of the work. I got the knit side right, but the purl side had me stumped and I have a couple of sweaters that have rogue bumps showing here and there.

Below are directions for wrapping and turning and then picking up the wraps correctly:

  Knit side facing: Knit the required number of stitches to the turning point, slip the next stitch purlwise to the right needle (Figure 1), bring the yarn to the front between the needles, return the slipped stitch to the left needle (Figure 2), bring the working yarn to the back between the needles, and turn the work so that the purl side is facing—one stitch has been wrapped and the yarn is correctly positioned to purl the next stitch. To hide the wrap on a subsequent knit row, : knit to the wrapped stitch, insert the tip of the right needle into both wrap and the wrapped stitch (Figure 3), and knit them together. This forces the turning yarn (the "wrap") to the back (wrong-side) of the fabric.    Purl side facing: Purl to the turning point, slip the next stitch purlwise to the right needle, bring the yarn to the back of the work (Figure 1), return the slipped stitch to the left needle, bring the yarn to
the front between the needles (Figure 2), then turn the work so that the knit side is facing-one
stitch has been wrapped and the yarn is correctly positioned to knit the next stitch. To hide the wrap on a subsequent purl row,
work to the wrapped stitch, use the tip of the right needle to pick up the turning yarn from the back, place it on the left needle (Figure 3), then purl it together with the wrapped stitch.
 

Out new Knitting Daily Workshop: Short Row Knitting with Nancie Wiseman will help you master short-rows and use them expertly in many situations. Here's Nancie to tell you more:

Download the video now (or pre-order the DVD!) and get started with short-rows now. You'll love being able to easily alter your knitwear for a perfect fit.

Cheers,

P.S. Have you used short-rows? Share your experience with us below in the comments!


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Knitting Daily Workshop: Short Row Knitting with Nancie Wiseman (Video Download)

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Join?Nancie Wiseman in her new knitting workshop video and learn how to knit short-rows for shaping, colorwork, patterning, and much more!

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Knitting Daily Workshop: Short Row Knitting with Nancie Wiseman

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Comments

aluap6 wrote
on May 20, 2013 1:09 PM

I purchased this dvd and am still trying to get an answer as to where the two free patterns advertised on the cover are.   This is my third attempt to get a response.  You were sure quick to answer when I wanted to purchase this.

PLEASE ANSWER ME!

Thank you

aluap6 wrote
on May 20, 2013 1:09 PM

I purchased this dvd and am still trying to get an answer as to where the two free patterns advertised on the cover are.   This is my third attempt to get a response.  You were sure quick to answer when I wanted to purchase this.

PLEASE ANSWER ME!

Thank you

SallyP@4 wrote
on Dec 25, 2012 6:10 AM

I have the video and love it. Can I get any of the patterns featured on the DVD?

chezmoi321 wrote
on Oct 22, 2012 9:05 AM

All the instructions on short-rows I have found online assume you are knitting and purling rows.  I have a pattern with just knitting all rows.  Are there instructions for short-rows with all rows knitting?

Ilehlia wrote
on Oct 21, 2012 11:55 AM

Thanks, Denise!  That's a good start.  I'll give it a try.

DeniseW wrote
on Oct 20, 2012 9:05 PM

Which way your short rows should slant depends on what shape you're trying to create. For a neckline worked from the top down, you are working from a narrower part to a wider one, so your wraps would start closer to the center and work out wider.

To determine how many short rows to add, figure out how much length you want to add to the back neckline and how many rows it takes to get that length -- that's the number of short rows you need to add. As for the placement of the wraps, I usually work a sample to decide what looks right. Someone else might have a formula, though.

Ilehlia wrote
on Oct 20, 2012 7:35 AM

I can do short rows in a practice swatch, and get the wraps and turns right, but I don't know how to work them into an existing pattern.  There's a particular top-down cardigan pattern I'd like to work them into.  The sweater is raglan style, knit in rows on a circular needle.  The back neckline sits too low, because it is even with the front neckline, being started at the same time.  I would like to figure out how to add some short rows to the back, after the neckline ribbing, to raise it an inch or two.  How do I incorporate short rows?  Is there a formula I can calculate, or should I just do a mini-version as a practice piece, and then expand it into the full-size cardigan?  And when you're doing a series of short rows, do you do each subsequent wrap-and-turn inside the previous ones, or outside?  As in, which way should they slant?  Any suggestions would be most welcome!

JoJo@20 wrote
on Oct 20, 2012 7:30 AM

I am wondering if the pattern to the purple shawl is available? thank you

CharlotteH@5 wrote
on Oct 19, 2012 2:04 PM

I haven't done short rows yet but I am looking foreward to trying.

That being said.  I am a large person and would like to know if

there is a good source for enlarging patterns?

C. Hellmann

SheilaZ@3 wrote
on Oct 19, 2012 11:54 AM

The problem I have with short rows happens when knitting on the round.  The "purl" side wraps aren't picked up on purl rows.  They are picked up and knit as "knit" rows when you are going around the garment.  This leaves big, weird holes and is really messy.  Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong with this?

kbosler wrote
on Oct 19, 2012 9:48 AM

I learned short rows with worsted weight yarn but with little sock yarn I split it and distroyed it trying to keep the tension right and knit the stitches.