Behind the Scenes: Knitting Short Rows

Do you know how long it takes to create a book? And not just any book, but a technique-based project book for knitters. A long time! I’ve had the pleasure of working with knitwear designer Jennifer Dassau since July 18, 2014, when I first asked if she’d ever thought about writing a book. Our email exchange, beginning more than two and a half years ago, led to Jennifer’s new bestselling title Knitting Short Rows: Techniques for Great Shapes & Angles.

If you haven’t seen Knitting Short Rows yet, the book really is a must-have for this essential technique. As Jennifer wrote in her original proposal, “Whether used for shaping sleeve caps and hems, to make stripes intersect in unexpected ways, or in combination with sideways construction, short-rows open up exciting possibilities for finished knitwear.” In the book, she walks you step by step through five different short-row techniques, not only explaining how to work the technique on your needles (on the right and wrong side of rows), but also the why behind choosing one method over another.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing lots more with you from Knitting Short Rows. For today, enjoy a peek at some of the original sketches and concepts underlying Jennifer’s designs. You see, after you’ve learned each short-row technique, she provides projects specifically designed to show that particular technique off to its best advantage. As she and I developed those projects, we wanted to be sure the finished pieces were ones you’d be eager to make and wear.
Buttonside Sweater, using the German Method of knitting short-rows, and Welts Apart Cowl, using the Japanese Method, were two projects I instantly loved as sketches and was excited to see come to life on models. Buttonside was originally proposed as “Side-Button Dolman Tee; a boxy updated sweatshirt shape, with scooped neck and curved shirt-tail hems.” And Welts Apart was pitched as an “oversized scrunchy cowl.” Who doesn’t love an oversized scrunchy cowl?! Each features unique construction techniques as a result of the short-rows, which keeps your needles entertained through the entire project.
Stay tuned to our blog this January; I’ll be taking over our WIP Wednesday posts. I’ll be stitching up Buttonside (as picked by our Facebook audience!) and showing you the process along the way. Let’s hope it doesn’t take me as long to knit as it took to create Knitting Short Rows.


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