Short Rows in Stockinette Stitch

When most knitters think of short rows, they think of this. It’s a short row heel (or a round heel) in a hand knitted sock. It sharply changes the direction of the knitting and leaves behind a row of small bumps where the turns were made.  It’s a common and classic use of short row shaping.

Most of my Natty Knits patterns use short row shaping somewhere in the construction and up till now those short rows have mostly been made in garter stitch fabric. I’m working on a pattern for a Mouse at the moment, he has a short row stockinette stitch nose. It has a more gradual shaping and it doesn’t have those bumps. It looks like this:

And here’s how it’s done.

Wrap the Stitch

When you make a short row heel, you simply turn the work around before the end of the row. The hole which would normally be made by the turn is closed by knitting two stitches together on either side of where the turn was made.

If you don’t want to keep knitting stitches together, you’ll need to “wrap and turn” and there are a few ways to do it. I think the following way is the cleanest and the one I prefer to use.

(In a knit row) slip 1 purlwise, yarn forward, turn the work, slip 1 purlwise, yarn forward and purl

(In a purl row) slip 1 purlwise, yarn backward, turn the work, slip 1 purlwise, yarn back and knit

When you’ve wrapped the stitch, turned and worked all the stitches to the end of the row it looks like this. There’s a very obvious bar over the stitch on the right side of the work.

Below is the same thing on the wrong side of the work, the bar is harder to see, but if you look carefully you can see a small gap after the wrapped stitch which gives you another clue.

Pick Up the Loop

In a short row heel on a sock, the loop around the stitch is not picked up, which leaves the little bar across the stockinette V. To avoid this, you need to pick up the loop made by a wrap and turn as you work the next row.

In a knit row, pick up the loop from bottom to top on the side facing you, then knit it together with the stitch above it, as shown below.

In a purl row pick up the loop from bottom to top on the side facing away from you, then purl it together with the stitch above it, as shown below.

And that’s it.

If you came to this blog confused about short row shaping, I hope this helped. If you still have any questions about short rows or any of my patterns, feel free to contact me through the NattyKnits Etsy.

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3 Comments

Filed under Knitting Technique

3 responses to “Short Rows in Stockinette Stitch

  1. That’s a mighty little tease of a moose nose! Nice instructions.

  2. Pingback: Purling a Short Row |

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