How to do Short Rows – draft one.

A short row is a row that you don’t knit all the stitches on. Hopefully, you are doing this on purpose, knitting something like Calorimetry, or a garment that uses short rows for shaping. The purpose of short rows is to shape the knitted fabric — either for shape (like the oval shaping on Calorimetry) or to provide fullness in the fabric, such as an appropriately shapely bust on a close fitting sweater.

Here is a simple short row swatch to knit if you want to practice this technique – it really is easier to do then to explain. If you need a nifty hattish headband kind of thingie, try Calorimetry next — it’s an excellent piece for practicing this technique.

Cast on 10 stitches.
Row 1 — Knit 10.
Short Rows - K10

Row 2 – Knit 8, and turn the work as if you had finished the row, leaving two stitches unknit. Move the yarn behind your knitting.
Short Rows - K8Short Rows - Put yarn behind

Row 3 — onto the the needle with the two un-knit stitches, slip one stitch, then knit 5 stitches — this leaves two stitches un-knit. Turn the work again.
Short Rows - Turn work, Slip 1Short Rows - K5

Row 4 — Slip one stitch, then knit to the end of the row.
Short Rows - K to end.

Row 5 — Knit 10.

Short Rows - K  to end again.

Cast off:
Short Row Swatch

Further Resources:

Calorimetry: This is a quick and useful project by

La Bonne Tricoteuse: Also on Knitty – a column about using short row shaping for busts, including a detailed deconstruction of a garment using the short row technique. Good photos.

Lagniappe: The short row swatch also has a simple and whimsical real world application, allowing you to avoid wasting the time, effort and yarn it costs you, while subtly showing the world around you your love of knitting.

HairStickKnitHairStickKnit2

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4 thoughts on “How to do Short Rows – draft one.

  1. Thank you! I just tried this out and it was so easy to follow. I’m a complete newbie (as in, had to refresh myself on how to cast off) and I could do this no prob. It was particularly useful because I’d just discovered and decided to do Calorimetry. Thanks again!!

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