What is Short Row Knitting? It’s All in the Wraps

HomeTechniquesWhat is Short Row Knitting? It's All in the Wraps

Short row knitting is a technique used to create shaping and curves in a knitted project. It involves partially knitting a row and turning the work before reaching the end, which creates extra rows in certain sections of the fabric. Short rows can be used to create darts, bust shaping, and other design elements in projects like sweaters, shawls, and hats.

Knitting is a wonderful craft that can help you make beautiful garments, accessories, and home decor. If you’re looking to take your knitting skills to the next level, then short row knitting is something you should consider.

This technique involves partially knitting a row and turning your work before reaching the end, giving you the ability to create shape and curves. It’s like adding icing on the cake for knitters!

With this article, we’ll dive into what short row knitting is, its benefits, types of short rows, how to knit them correctly as well as some common patterns and tips for successful short row knitting. So let’s get started!

What is Short Row Knitting?

You might be wondering what short row knitting is all about – it’s a great way to add a bit of interest and shape to your projects!

Short row knitting is a type of technique where you partially knit in one direction and then turn the work before finishing the entire row. This creates curves and shapes that can give your project an interesting look. Different short row variations can also create unique textures, depending on which stitches you use when knitting them.

There are many different types of short rows, such as wrap & turn, German Short Rows, Japanese Short Rows, Shadow Wraps, Eyelet Short Rows and more. Each variation produces a slightly different effect so experiment with the different options to get the desired result for your project.

When working with short rows there are certain tips that will help make sure you achieve success. Be careful not to tug too tightly on your yarn when turning or else your stitches may become distorted. Also remember that some patterns require specific techniques so be sure to read through instructions thoroughly before beginning any project.

Additionally, if you’re just starting out it’s probably best to practice using simple stockinette stitch before trying something more complicated like lace or cables. Practicing basic knitting techniques first will allow you to feel more confident in tackling more difficult patterns later on down the line.

In addition to their visual appeal, short rows also have practical uses as well! For example they can be used strategically to create curved hems or collars without having to increase or decrease stitches throughout the pattern. They can also be used for sleeve shaping and even waistband shaping in garments like skirts or dresses – giving these pieces a professional finished look with minimal effort required from the knitter!

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It’s amazing how much difference this small technique can make when creating garments or other items from scratch; definitely something worth exploring further if you’re looking for ways to elevate your projects beyond beginner level workmanship! Creating intricate designs with short rows doesn’t have to be intimidating either; there are plenty of resources available online for beginners who want learn how these techniques work including tutorials and video guides which provide step-by-step guidance throughout each process.

With enough practice even novice knitters will soon find themselves able take advantage of all that this versatile technique has offer! Moving forward into benefits of short row knitting is certainly worthwhile if you want explore all its possibilities further – let’s dive right in!

Benefits of Short Row Knitting

Short row techniques can offer a range of advantages for your knitting projects, from adding contours to creating texture. With short rows, you can achieve more accurate stitch counts, avoid gaps in the work, and create curves or increase fabric width.

Here are 4 great benefits of short row knitting:

  1. Increasing accuracy – By breaking up the project into shorter rows with turns, you can count stitches more accurately. This is especially useful when following complex patterns or when creating shapes such as circles for garments like hats.
  2. Avoiding gaps – When knitting long rows, it can be difficult to keep an even tension throughout, and this can lead to gaps appearing in the final piece. Using short rows helps you maintain a consistent tension by making sure each section is knit evenly and securely.
  3. Creating curves – Short rows help create shapes that aren’t possible with regular knitting techniques, such as curved hems on sweaters or shawls that are shaped like half-moons. You can even use them to make projects look 3-dimensional by adding depth and dimension to pieces like socks or mittens!
  4. Adding fabric width – Adding extra width at certain points in a project is easy with short rows since they allow you to do so without having to add extra yarn or stitches, which would take longer than usual knit time-wise. This makes them ideal for projects like cowls where you may want more fabric around the neckline area but don’t have enough yarn left over from other sections of the pattern!

Overall, short row knitting offers many benefits that make it an invaluable tool for any knitter looking to expand their skillset and create unique projects! The ability to break up long rows into smaller ones gives more control over how much fabric is used, along with providing increased accuracy when counting stitches or creating details such as curves or gathered areas on garments like dresses and skirts.

Types of Short Rows

Although short row knitting may seem intimidating at first, it’s actually a great way to add interesting shaping and curves to your projects without having to buy any extra materials. There are two main types of short rows: double wrapping and wrapless turning.

Double wrapping is the most common technique used in short row knitting. It involves “wrapping” the yarn around the next stitch on the needle twice before turning and working back in the opposite direction. This creates a small gap, which is what gives short rows their unique shape.

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Wrapless turning, on the other hand, does not use a wrap when creating a turn. Instead, it relies on slipping stitches from one needle to another to create a smooth transition between directions. The result is an even smoother curve than with double wrapping because there are no gaps created by wraps.

Both techniques can be used interchangeably depending on your project needs; however, double wrapping is generally easier for beginners as it requires fewer steps and less counting of stitches. By learning how to properly execute these two different types of short rows you can quickly create beautiful designs that will elevate your knitwear!

How to Knit Short Rows

Mastering short rows can help you take your knitting to the next level, and it’s easy to get started with a few simple steps!

To begin, practice gauge swatching so that you know your tension when working with yarn. This is an important step for ensuring that the finished product matches the desired measurements.

Next, cast on the number of stitches per row as stated in the pattern, or use a multiple of four if no specific number is given. You will then need to knit until reaching the turning point indicated by your pattern.

Before completing the row, wrap and turn (W&T) your work by bringing yarn to the front of the needle while slipping one stitch onto the right-hand needle from the left-hand needle. Leave remaining stitches unworked before taking yarn back behind work and continuing knitting across the row.

Repeat this process until all short rows are completed. With some patience and practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful fabric with ease!

Common Short Row Patterns

With a few simple techniques, short rows can open up a world of possibilities for your knitting – from adding texture to creating gentle curves!

The two most common short row patterns are the two color short rows and the wrap and turn technique. Both methods involve partially knitting a row and then turning the work before reaching the end.

Here’s a breakdown of how each pattern works:

  1. Two Color Short Rows – This involves using two colors of yarn to create visual interest in your knitted fabric. You start by knitting with one color until you reach the desired point, then switch to another color, knit until you get to the same point as before, then switch back to your original color, and continue on with this pattern until your desired shape is achieved.
  2. Wrap & Turn Technique – With this method, instead of switching colors mid-row, you wrap the yarn around the next stitch and turn your work without finishing that stitch. This helps create sharp edges or points in whichever direction you choose to turn it in when working in garter or stockinette stitch patterns.

The third option for creating short rows is simply knitting every other row twice (or more) rather than repeating an entire row multiple times; this creates an angled shape which can be used for shaping shoulders or curved hemlines in garments and accessories alike.

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All three techniques will help add dimensionality to any project while providing structure at the same time!

Tips for Successful Short Row Knitting

Short rows can be an intimidating technique for even experienced knitters, but with the right tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create beautiful and unique shapes in no time!

Before you begin your project, make sure to do a gauge swatch. This will help you determine the correct stitch tension that’s needed for your project. Maintaining this stitch tension throughout your project is important when working with short rows – it will ensure that all of the pieces line up properly.

Additionally, if you’re using several different colors or yarns when knitting short rows, make sure to pay attention to which color is used on each row. Keeping track of which color was used on each row will help you avoid any mistakes later on when assembling your project.

When it comes time to turn your work during a short row knitting pattern, there are a few techniques that can help keep things neat and tidy. For example, wrapping the yarn around the stitch before turning helps maintain even tension across all of the stitches. Additionally, slipping stitches purlwise as opposed to knitwise before turning can also provide a more uniform look across all of the stitches.

Finally, using markers at each turning point can also help ensure that everything lines up correctly once you finish knitting your piece.

But perhaps most importantly: practice makes perfect! Don’t be afraid to experiment while working on short rows – try out different techniques and see what works best for you and your style of knitting. You might find yourself creating some truly one-of-a-kind pieces with just a little bit of patience and practice!

With these tips in mind, there’s nothing stopping you from crafting stunning projects every single time!


You’ve learned that short row knitting is a great way to add shaping and structure to your work. It can be used in a variety of patterns, from simple stripes to complex shapes.

With practice, you’ll be able to master the technique and make beautiful pieces. Now that you know what it is and how it works, why not give short row knitting a try? You won’t regret it!

Plus, it’s a great way to challenge yourself as a knitter and create something unique and special for yourself or someone else. So go ahead – dive into the wonderful world of short rows!

Katherine Pearce
Katherine Pearcehttps://knittingpassion.com
Katherine Pearce is a knitting enthusiast and the founder of KnittingPassion.com. With a deep passion for the craft, Katherine aims to make knitting accessible to everyone, regardless of their skill level. Through KnittingPassion.com, she provides online tutorials and resources to help others discover the joys of knitting and develop their skills.

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