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March 20, 2005

Joys of Short Rows

nona loves short rows -- short rows to shape shoulders, short rows to shape necklines, short rows to shape a sleeve cap from the top down, and today, short rows to compensate for different row gauges.  Excuse me nona dear, why are you spouting on about short rows?  Well, my friend, perhaps the  story of my day will help clarify things...

nona woke this morning to the sound of raindrops, happy at the prospect of staying inside all day watching NCAA basketball -- 'Ray Bucknell -- and knitting my Elena cardigan for nona-niece-the-hip.    After working about 20 rows of the left front -- which includes a 5 stitch garter stitch border -- I was horrified to see the garter stitch border pulling up.   Another knitter might have panicked, but not nona who knows the Number 1 Rule in knitting is "Don't Panic".  Instead, I had a nice little conversation with myself:

nona: Why-Oh-Why is this happening? 

myself: The garter stitch border is pulling up because the garter stitch has a different row gauge from the p3yo3 pattern stitch -- it takes more garter stitch rows then p3yo3 pattern rows to fill the same length.

nona:  Okay, that makes sense, but how the heck can I fix it? 

myself:  Easy, just work a few extra short rows of the garter stitch border every now and again -- every 12 rows as it turned out.

So just like that, a few short rows of the garter stitch border straightened the front out and kept nona's day happy -- happy that is until Bucknell lost to Wisconsin.

March 20, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink


Good fix for the border - don't you think someone would have noticed that when they made up the sample sweater? Or maybe the person who knit the sample just fixed the problem and didn't say anything to the pattern writer? Or maybe she (he?) did say something and the pattern editor just ignored it? Who know how these things get into print anyway. At least you figured it out. No "blind follower" are you.

Posted by: KarenK | Mar 21, 2005 1:23:43 AM

oh i can't wait to get short rows down. for some reason i can do shoulders (with a chart), but don't know how to convert necklines and such. must read more on subject.

Posted by: froggy | Mar 21, 2005 2:40:54 AM

I am saving a special hug for the day when I meet the "inventor" of short rows. Being larger-than-most, I suffered for years with that awful curve at the hem, on the front of every sweater. Now, by adding short rows just before I do the armhole shaping, I am level at the hem, every time.

Posted by: Judith | Mar 21, 2005 7:00:29 AM

Nona - you are one smart, cool-headed lady...I enjoy reading posts like this cause it may save me a huge headache someday. Thanks for sharing... :-)

Posted by: Vicki | Mar 21, 2005 11:27:46 AM

Hey Nona - discovered your blog today and haven't stopped reading it since. Great info with some good laughs too.

Short rows and garter stitch borders. Can I ask you to explain a short row within say a garter stitch button band? If more length is needed on the garter stitch button band to match say a stocking stitch cardigan front, how would using short rows "grow" the band? My thinking is that after picking up the stitches on the front garment ready to knit the garter stitch band isn't the length of the band then "set in concrete"? I'm unsure how short rows would extend the button band when short rows don't change the edge length of knitting. I'm still getting a handle on short rows.

I have just yesterday for the first time trialled short rows in a sweater I am knitting for my menopausal tummy bump, which I think is what is lifting my knits at the front when wearing because I am not that generous in the chest department. I introduced two lots of 2 row short rows, two rows apart, across the tummy area hoping this will work. I notice you said to use them just before armhole shaping. Would doing this suffice to add length for either tummy or bust? And when you use them in this manner how many stitches at either side of the garment do you not involve in the short row process?

I will hope you have the time to answer my questions and thanks.


Posted by: Julie | Jun 15, 2008 7:33:52 PM

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