It probably isn’t much of a surprise to anyone that I love short rows! (See the end of the post for some discount codes for short row patterns and classes). I’ve now done 2 Craftsy classes on Short Rows, written Short Row Knits and used them in many, many patterns. However I still remember learning about short rows for the first time.
The first introduction I had to them was through Barbara Walker’s book ‘Knitting From The Top’. In this book they’re used primarily to shape the neck and shoulder areas for a lot of the different construction techniques that she demonstrates. When I started practicing the basic wrap & turn method for short rows I found online I wasn’t 100% happy with the result. The actual wrapping was fine but when I came to pick up the wraps, especially from the right side it often left a visibly slated stitch that didn’t look the same as the other stitches. I kept experimenting until I created the ‘unwrapping’ method that I original used for short rows.
However that was just the starting point, as I began teaching short rows I looked more deeply into the various method that were out there (and are constantly being re-invented!). Most methods use the same idea of creating a ‘loop’ of yarn that you hold in some way and then knit together with the next stitch when you join the gap. German short rows are interesting as you are effectively ‘pulling up’ the stitch from the row below when you turn to remove the gap between the rows. Shadow wraps appeared in the last few years and with them you’re pulling the wrap from the next stitch on the row below to close the gap.
Short Row Tutorials
While my Craftsy class goes in depth into short rows I’ve also just redone a few smaller video clips showing short row methods that I use frequently in my patterns. That way if you just want a short overview of the technique you can find it quickly. This week I’ve redone videos for German Short Rows in Garter Stitch, Finishing German Short Rows in the Round and Japanese short rows. I’ve previously recorded a few these videos but the quality of the recording was very poor so a redo was in order! Over the next month or so I’m working in the background doing a huge overhaul of my tutorial section and moving it eventually onto the new Stolen Stitches shop.
Ideas for Using Short Rows
It’s important to remember though that knitting techniques are only useful if you use them! Once you put it into practice within a pattern it will stick with you. So what kind of things can you do with short rows?
Try out some short row shaping in shawls such as Penrose Tile.
Or how about shawl collar shaping in the Sugarcane Cardigan KAL starting next week.
Maybe even some yoke shaping in Ravi Nua?
This week I’ve put together a pattern collection that uses Short Rows. Until the 10th of May use code SHORTROWLOVE to get 20% off the patterns in the collection.
A couple of years ago I did a class for Craftsy called Essential Short Row Techniques that details some of the more complex short rows ideas; how to work short rows in the round, how to use short rows for heels, working short rows into a lace or cable pattern and how to create complex shapes with short rows. Get 33% off this class using this link.
Have you used Short Rows in a pattern before? What do you think they are most useful for?