Short Rows

A short row is a technique for adding shaping to a knitted item. It is used in a variety of ways: turning the heel of a sock, shaping the toe of a sock, adding fullness to the bustline of a top, creating curved edges in shoulders or hems, creating a bobble. A short row is accomplished by not knitting all of the stitches of a row, stopping short of the end of a row and turning. When the desired shaping is completed, all the stitches on the needle are worked once more.

When knitting across the stitches at either side of the turn for a short row, a gap may be formed in the knitted fabric. There are several ways to deal with this.

Variations

Wrap and Turn

With this method, a little preparation is needed when turning at the end of a short row. Before turning, the next stitch is slipped to the right needle and the working yarn is wrapped around it. After turning, this stitch is slipped back again. Later on, when this stitch is finally to be worked again, the wrapped yarn is picked up and worked with it, closing up the gap.

Yarn Over

With this method, the working yarn is wrapped around the needle after the turn, before continuing. When working back across the gap, the yarn over is worked together with the following stitch, closing up the gap.

Japanese Short Rows

With this method, no preparation is needed when turning. When the gap is encountered again, the strand of yarn at the base of the turned stitch is picked up and worked with the stitch on the far side of the gap. This strand can be difficult to see, so a safety pin can be employed to identify it and manipulate it back onto the needle (see “pin trick” below).

Encroachments

With this method, no preparation is needed when turning. When the gap is encountered again, slip the last stitch below it, and work it together with the stitch below the next stitch on the left needle.

Other Websites of Interest

Short Rows explained with pictures: Knitty.com
Wrap and Turn examination: nonaKnits
Yarn Over examination: nonaKnits
Japanese Short Row examination: nonaKnits (pin trick)
Encroachments: Hipknitism.com
Sherman Sock Method with Encroachments: Cabezalana

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