Have You Stopped Short of Knitting Short-Rows?

We talk a lot about knitting short-rows at Interweave. We also knit a lot of them. In fact, lately it’s been difficult to find a pattern we’re working on that doesn’t include short-rows, be it a sock, shawl, or sweater.


Shaping, texture, color: short-rows in action

Never worked a short-row before? Short-rows are exactly what they sound like: partially knit rows that shape an otherwise flat piece of knitting. They can shape a sock heel or neckline, give you a curvy hem, or just make really cool-looking colorwork. How do you work short-rows? It all depends on what you want to do. Jennifer Dassau’s course Short-Rows 5 Ways looks at 5 kinds of short-rows and weighs the pros and cons of each.

The wrap and turn method is often the first type of short-row people learn (although I have no idea why). It’s perfect for the multitude of crescent-shaped garter-stitch shawl patterns out there, as both sides look the same. In the opposite corner are German short-rows, which are almost invisible in stockinette but look an unholy mess in garter stitch.


And speaking of holes, did you realize you could work short-rows with yarnovers? Jennifer uses this version in her Hemisect Mitts, where they look like intarsia, but without the bobbins or angst. Japanese short-rows entail doing weird things with stitch markers at the turn point and require concentration the first few times you try them. That said, they are remarkably tidy and invisible in just about any stitch, so they’re totally worth the markers you will inevitably drop. And finally, there is the mysterious twin stitch. Worked in the row below, it’s even easier than German short-rows. Plus, no one has heard of twin stitch, so you’ll get major points for Obscure Knitting Knowledge.


Rarely seen in the wild, the mysterious Twin Stitch

Still not sure about trying short-rows? With Jennifer’s course you also get a free PDF of her book Knitting Short-Rows, which includes 17 patterns, so you can sample every version.

Jennifer’s course is just one of the many available in Interweave’s Yarn & Fiber Workshops. For $9.99 a month, you get unlimited access to all our courses, with new ones added every month. Want to learn colorwork, take a stab at steeking, or brush up on brioche? Maybe you want to alter knitting patterns or start writing your own. Or perhaps you want to learn a new craft, like crochet or spinning. We’ve got you covered on all fronts. In addition to top-notch teachers, you get assignments and practice exercises, downloadable patterns and worksheets, quizzes, and the chance to interact with fellow students.

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