On the third Monday of the month a group of enthusiastic knitters meet in the Resource Room at the Duxbury Free Library. From 6:00 - 8:00 you can find knitters of various skill levels with yarn between their fingers. We would love you to join us. If you can't, follow us here!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Broad Shoulders? Short Rows to the Rescue!

I decided to be a good wife and for my next project I would knit my husband the sweater he wants . . . just a plain boring pullover in stockinette stitch. Well, I thought it would be boring. But I must admit it's really working up quickly and it's relaxing to work on. The yarn is a combination of wool, alpaca and has a little cashmere thrown in - so it feels nice between my fingers!

My husband is like a lot of other guys . . . he's broad shouldered so sometimes sweaters will ride up in the back. (He's also like a lot of other guys since he loves sports and can't be trusted to separate the colors if he does the laundry. But he always helps with the dishes and warms up my car when it's cold.) To keep the sweater from riding up in the back, I'm going to place a couple of short rows in the upper back area. It will provide a little extra length/ease for him without making the armholes too big.

There are a few different ways to do short rows. My favorite is the Japanese method. I think it's the easiest and smoothest. (Just my opinion!!). I'll show you how to do one and then I bet you'll agree with me.

I just started last week, so it really is working up quick!! 
(I'm not sure why the picture is this shade of green!)

I have worked the back to about 5 inches after the armhole bindoffs.

I'll put my first short row here.  

The locking markers are the easiest to use. 
They won't slide out when you pull the yarn up tight.

I knitted across the back until I had 20 stitches remaining on my left-hand needle. (I randomly decided to leave 20 stitches on each side of my short row). 

I turned my work so that the wrong side was facing me, placed a marker on the working yarn  . . .

. . . and pulled the yarn as snug to the needle as I could and purled the stitch with the marker there. 

Have you noticed my purple nail polish yet?

Here's what it looks like after I purled a few stitches across . . .

. . . . see the gap?

It will close up like magic pretty soon!

I purled across the row until I had 20 stitches remaining on my left-hand needle. (again, I am leaving 20 stitches on each side of my short row). 

I turned my work so that the right side was now facing me . . .
and placed another marker on my yarn . . . 

Are you nervous that I will
have  holes in my knitting?

. . . I pulled it up tight  and worked a few stitches . . .
and there is another gap.

Use the tips of your needles for the K2tog.
That will keep the new 'stitch' as small as possible. 

I knit across the row until I came to the place where I placed the first marker.

Here comes the magic part.

I gently pulled the marker until I had enough length to place the 'stitch' on my left-hand needle.

Next, I knit two together, using the new 'stitch' and the next stitch.

Wasn't that like magic?

Then finish knitting completely across the row.

Turn and purl across the row until you come to the second marker.

Okay, get ready to do magic again!

Gently lift the marker and place the yarn on the left-hand needle.

Purl the new 'stitch' together with the next stitch, through the back loops.

Finish purling across the row completely.

Tell the truth, Can you even tell
where the short row was done?

Here it is after I knit a few more rows.
No holes!

What do you think? Pretty easy, huh? 

Another useful place for short rows is the bust area of a woman's sweater. . . or, to make a handkerchief hem. 

What is your favorite way to do short rows and where else have you used them?

Short rows . . . an easy technique to keep in your bag of tricks . . . and a great way to customize the fit of a sweater.

Until next time, keep your nose in a book or your fingers in fiber.

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