Advanced Short Row Shaping – How to Close the Holes

If you’re a knitter and you know my Natty Knits toys you’ll know that they’re all made using a technique called Short Row Shaping. This involves turning the knitting around before you’ve knitted to the end of the row, so making the knitted fabric 3 dimensional. However, when you turn the knitting, you leave a small hole. This blog post demonstrates how to close these holes to get a smoother finish on your knitting.

All my original patterns can be knitted without using this technique, if you don’t close the holes the knitting will look like this:IMG_3557

It’s a small hole and I’m actually stretching the fabric in this photo to make it look bigger. If you’re knitting in a natural fibre and intend to felt the finished item, then these holes won’t even show up.

But there is a way to close the holes so that it looks like this:

IMG_3561

Can you see where the two knitted rows merge into one? There’s no hole there now.

This is how you close those holes.

Every time you turn the work mid row to make a short row, you make a yarn forward and it makes a little loop under the stitch. Essentially what you will do is knit into this loop as well as the stitch above it.

When you knit back towards a short row end from a previous row it will look like this:

IMG_3622

There’s a very noticeable gap after the stitch with the loop under it. (It’s so noticeable in fact that I’ve knitted short rows by candlelight.) When you get to that last stitch before the gap you’ll need to find the loop under the stitch, use the right needle to pick up the loop from right to left and front to back, like this:

IMG_3623

Then with the loop still on your right needle, knit into the stitch above as normal, it’s almost like knitting two stitches together, like this:

IMG_3624

And that’s how you do it. Easy. This is obviously only the way to pick up the loop on a knit row, if you’re working in stockinette stitch it’s a different matter (I’m working on a second blog post about short rows in stockinette stitch)

So now you know how to make un-holey short row shaping, check out the patterns in the Natty Knits shop, they’re great to practice this method on.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Advanced Short Row Shaping – How to Close the Holes

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  11. Valerie

    I think I may be a little confused…. do I knit the stitch in front of the gap then pick up the loop and next stitch and knit through those 2, or do I pick up the loop and the stitch in front of the gap and knit through those 2? The football is so adorable and I would love to make it for my nephew, just need to figure out the whole YFWD thing….

    • nattyknitter

      Hello Valerie!

      Thanks for your comment, you’re right first time, you knit the stitch before the gap, then pick up the loop and the next stitch and knit them together. I hope that helps.

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