Thursday, October 07, 2004

Knitting Technique - Short Rows

With the recent use of short rows on the sleeves of Thaddeus' sweater, I thought some might enjoy a little primer.

Short Row Tips
Short rows simply means not waiting till you get to the end of a row before turning and going back the other way.

The technique is used for shaping, most typically on sock heels and for putting a downward slope on shoulders.

How To Do a Short Row
Here is a typical instruction for doing a short row (assuming that Stockinette Stitch is being used throughout):

From RS, K up to the last 10 sts, Slip the next st, bring the yarn forward and then slip the stitch back to the left-hand needle (effectively wrapping the stitch). Turn your work and P back...


After finishing all of your short rows, typically there is some instructions such as:
On the next RS row, K across. When you come to a wrapped stitch, knit both the stitch and the wrap together.


If you've ever used this technique, it falls short in two ways:
1. It creates little holes or less-than-attractive stitches at the wrapped stitch.
2. If you're short-rowing on both sides of a piece of fabric, as with shoulder shaping on the back of a sweater, it doesn't describe what to do with wrapped stitches on the purl row.


Short Row Tips
To make the little gaps less noticeable on short rows, I follow instructions on a pattern by Danny Ouellette. After wrapping the stitch and turning your work, slip the first stitch instead of working it as a Purl or Knit stitch. This has the effect of putting a more gradual step between the unworked portion of the row and the short row.

For working wrapped stitches on the purl side, it's a little tricky to pick up both the stitch and the wrap before purling them together. I typically drop the wrapped stitch, allowing it to become unwrapped, and then pick up both loops and purl them together.

Short Row Swatch Exercise
If you want to try this technique, follow these instructions, which simulates shoulder shaping on the back of a stockinette sweater (graph courtesy of Marilyn's helpful tutorial):



Cast on 25 sts and work stockinette stitch for about an inch ending with a WS row.

On the next row, K20 sts, sl1, bring the yarn forward and then slip the slipped stitch back to the left-hand needle. Turn your work, SL1, P14, Sl1, bring yarn forward and then slip the slipped stitch back to the left-hand needle, turn work.

Next row, SL1, K9 sts, sl1, bring the yarn forward and then slip the slipped stitch back to the left-hand needle. Turn your work, SL1, P4, Sl1, bring yarn forward and then slip the slipped stitch back to the left-hand needle, turn work.

Next row, SL1, K to the endo of the row, and whenever you come to a wrapped stitch, knit the stitch and the wrap together.

Next row, Purl to the end, and whenever you come to a wrapped stitch, purl the stitch and the wrap together (using the drop-stitch technique described above).


Knitting
I did make some progress on the sleeve, but the painful ennui of showing a picture won't allow me to today. As I head home this evening, I should be able to finish up this sweater and hopefully get a picture of my dear partner to model it for the admiring masses.

New Knitting Books
I just ordered my "hot-off-the-press" copies of Simply Knit III and the latest Simply Shetland books. While I've seen proofs, and know most of the designs already, I still wanted to maintain a full collection of these beautifully published books.

I ordered mine at Nadine's store, Woolplay, by phone at 856-428-0110.

They are already waiting for me when I get home.

PayPal Update
A number of folks wrote to PayPal to discuss their concerns about possible GLBT discrimination.

The most recent reply from PayPal indicates that they are trying to completely extricate themselves from any adult materials sales.

This decision annoys me in two ways:

First, it seems incredibly judgmental and self-righteous. Sounds way too conservative for my tastes.

Second, it appears that they definitely targeted GLBT site first in their purge of these sites. I'm still not convinced that Belhue Press had any adult materials on their site at all, so it will be interesting to see if PayPal is consistent in their approach to closing accounts.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Mary F. asks if I will ever tell about the secret project.

It's being kept secret, since it's a gift. As soon as the recipient has received it, I will show pictures.

Stephanie asks if I had ever seen the article on the World's opinion on the U.S. president.

I had heard these global poll results before, and it should come as no surprise that the rebumblican incumbent has alienated the rest of the planet. I'm looking forward to meeting the Yarn Harlot in person at Rhinebeck.

0 comments: