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Short rows are a clever way to add shaping and curves to your knitting, and Heidi Kirrmaier takes them to the max in her Vitamin D cardigan, our current knitalong project!  If you’ve never tried short rows before, we’re here to help you out.

First, let’s clarify what a short row is.  It’s essentially an incomplete row of knitting — in the process of a regular row you’ve stopped, turned the work, and headed back in the opposite direction.  Part of your knitting is now going to have more fabric, and the part left unworked has been “shorted.”  If you do this over and over again, you’ll create a wedge shape.  It’s the wedge idea that creates the beautiful drape in the Vitamin D cardigan!  However, we have to add one little thing in order to avoid big, gaping holes in our work: wrapped stitches.

Let’s take a look at the process of creating a short row using wrapped stitches, beginning on the right side (click on the photos to enlarge):
Knit to the specified turning point.  Now, keep your yarn in the back, and slip the next stitch as if to purl,

bring working yarn to the front of the work,
and slip the same stitch, without twisting, back to the left needle:
Turn your work to the WS, then prepare to purl by bringing your working yarn to the purl side between the needles.  Done!

Now for the wrong side:
Purl to the specified turning point, move working yarn to the back, and slip the next stitch as if to purl,
bring working yarn to the front of the work,
and slip the same stitch, without twisting, back to the left needle:

Turn your work to the RS and begin knitting.  The working yarn should be at the back for you and ready to use.

Now let’s look at how to work those wraps in!  When you come to a wrapped stitch on the right side, it should look like this:
Pick it up with your right needle and then insert needle into the stitch that was wrapped.  Knit them together and move on!
When you come to a wrapped stitch on the wrong side, it won’t be as obvious as on the right side — but look for the space it leaves between it and the second stitch on the left needle.  It should look like this:
Use your right hand needle to lift the wrap up from the back and onto the left needle.
Now purl it together with the stitch that was wrapped.
Not so bad, right?  We hope these images have been helpful.  For a little extra support, check out our first-ever video tutorials over on our new youtube channel!

Right side short rows

Wrong side short rows

 

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