« Facts About Nona: Part 6 | Main | Wrapped Stitch Short Row »

April 04, 2005

Back to Short Rows

Back to the short row experiment -- neither blizzard, nor skiing, nor t-shirt knit along can keep nona from short rows.  When last we met, I was experimenting with 3 short row techniques.  But first a bit of background...

Short rows are a handy way to invisibly shape knit fabric.  Short rows are commonly used to shape shoulders, necklines, and sleeve caps, to accommodate varying rows gauges, to work darts, etc.  Frankly, the usefulness of short rows is only limited by your imagination.  Yes, perceptive reader, nona loves short rows.  Each short row has a turning point, where the knitting is turned without completing the row.  A gap is formed at each turning point, which is typically closed when the gap is next encountered.  The different short row techniques differ in two ways -- what happens at the turning point and how the gap is closed.   

For my experiment, I worked 3 swatches using 3 short row techniques -- the wrap stitch short row, the Japanese short row, and the yarn over short row.  Here are the results...

My least favorite technique was the wrapped stitch.  Wouldn't you know, this is the short row technique I typically use!  The wrapped stitch technique was both the hardest to execute and produced the bumpiest result.  I liked both the Japanese and the Yarn Over techniques, with a slight preference to the Japanese.

Over the next few day, I'll give details on each of these techniques so you can try the experiment for yourself.  Here is the swatch I used for each -- each technique differs in how the "turn" and the "closing gaps" are worked.  The swatch first works a series of knit side short rows in one color and then works a series of purl side short rows in a contrasting color.  Try the experiment for yourself -- which short row technique do you prefer?

With Color 1, Cast On 25 stitches (sts)
Work 2 rows in garter stitch
Work 4 rows in stockinette stitch (st st)
Knit (k) 20 sts, turn
Purl (p) all sts
k 15 sts, turn
p all sts
k 10 sts, turn
p all sts
k 5 sts, turn
p all sts
k 25 sts, closing gaps as each is encountered
Change to color 2
p one row
k one row
p 20 sts, turn
k all sts
p 15 sts, turn
k all sts
p 10 sts, turn
k all sts
p 5 sts, turn
k all sts
p 25 sts, closing gaps as each is encountered
Work 4 rows in st st
Work 2 rows in garter stitch
Bind Off all sts

April 4, 2005 in Tips and Techniques | Permalink


I'm VERY interested to hear how you've done the short rows so neatly! I'm familiar with the wrapped stitch technique, but it sure seems to be the poorest in results.

Posted by: DistantKnitter | Apr 4, 2005 10:42:58 AM

Wow, I'm surprised by this! I just did my own (very limited experiment) on short rows, and liked the wrapped technique much better than the YO, which gave me holes. I'll have to try the Japanese to see what I think. Or maybe I'll just have to get better at doing yarn overs....

Posted by: Ashley | Apr 4, 2005 11:03:27 AM

What a great idea! I just finished my first pair of socks, using a toe-up pattern with short row heels, and I'm frustrated by the holes in the heels. I can't wait to hear more about this experiment. I'm sure it'll help me a great deal. Thanks!

Posted by: The Feminist Mafia | Apr 4, 2005 11:13:37 AM

I am looking forward to the coming posts! Thanks.

Posted by: Agnes | Apr 4, 2005 12:12:51 PM

I used the japanese method unwittingly s few days ago on the shoulders of my sweater. I had forgotten how to execute the wrap and referred to a japanese book that I had with me. It used a pick-up on one side and a yarnover on the other (can't remember which is which though) and then I had to knit one row through all the stitches (k2 where the pick-up and yarnover was made) on the needle - I wonder whether I had done it correctly! But it didn't leave the holes that I had with the wrap method. Will wait for your explanation about the Japanese method to see if I had done mine properly.

Posted by: erin | Apr 4, 2005 8:14:22 PM

I'm getting fed up with holes round the heels. I need to figure out short rows properly, and I'd like to try them out for shoulders.

Posted by: anna | Apr 5, 2005 4:20:00 AM

I too, recently abandoned the wrap stitch way for the yo way, and I am interested to try out the Japanese method. You rock, Nona!

Posted by: Jenny | Apr 5, 2005 4:41:38 PM

Nona, how do u close the gaps when doing short rows? Thx, Brenda

Posted by: Brenda | May 8, 2005 7:05:43 PM

Thanks for posting the short row info...I was wondering, Do you pick up the gap thread differently when knitting in the round? I find that, following the directions, when knitting in the round, I always have a gap in the gap created on the purl side when picking it up on the knit side...advice?

Posted by: Heidi | May 17, 2005 10:01:05 PM

Can Japanese short rows work in doing a shaped

Posted by: Lois Bertha | Oct 17, 2005 3:37:51 PM

How do you use Japanese short rows in doing a shaped sleeve cap?

Posted by: Lois Bertha | Oct 17, 2005 3:41:59 PM

Hi, I am just learning short rows and so far your info has been the easiest to understand, thank you!
I am also wondering the same as a previous poster about knitting short rows in the round. I am having a problem with closing the gaps on the purl side also since you only go one way when knitting in the round. Is there a method for doing this that you know of?

Posted by: Lisa | Nov 24, 2005 7:47:24 PM

I am having trouble expanding a short row and I don't understand how to pick up the wraps on the short row.

Posted by: Nancy | Dec 30, 2007 11:40:57 AM

I am having a problem with working the "purl" side too when working in the round, I keep ending up with a hole. On the knit side, this method works great. I noticed a couple other posters had this problem too. Do you have any "fixes" for this?

Posted by: Sharon | Apr 8, 2008 8:20:18 PM

my pattern says knit up to 3 stitches prior tolast wrapped stitch i dont understand

Posted by: judy burke | Sep 18, 2009 12:33:55 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

All patterns, designs, content, and photographs Copyright 2004-2010 nonaKnits and Carolyn Quill Steele. All rights reserved. If you have any copyright questions or request, please ask -- nonaKnits at gmail dot com.