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.
Row 5 — Knit 10.
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.