Always learning!

28th June 2018

I’ve been knitting a fair few years, but I know that there are still so many things to learn. Let me share a new (to me) discovery with you. This is all about working short rows in knitting.

I don’t know about you, but I have always avoided short rows when ever I can. They feel awkward to me, and keeping track of wrapped stitches so that I can pick up the wrap on the next row is not easy – especially with dark yarn in poor lighting! But if, like me, you love knitting socks, then short rows are pretty much unavoidable.

So this week I was doing some preparation for an upcoming ‘sock knitting’ workshop (details of the workshops that I teach can be found here, if you were wondering). I wanted a short row technique that was easy to explain, had some great tutorials out there on t’internet, and did not require the addition of umpty million stitch markers to keep track of wrapped stitches. (Aside: I have been known to raid the paperclip supply when working short rows and need LOTS of stitch markers!)

Without further ado – let me introduce you to:

Shadow Wrap Short Rows

You might be shouting at your screen right now “well, duh!”, but this is a new one to me. And what a delight they are to work and keep track of!

There are links below to some excellent tutorials, but the essence is that when you work Shadow Wrap Short Rows (also known as Mother Daughter Short Rows), you work the equivalent of a ‘lifted increase’ on the stitch that you need to ‘wrap’. This creates a ‘twin stitch’, which is simply knitted as one stitch when you encounter it on a return row. No more fiddly wrapping and picking up the wraps. And no unsightly gaps.

Working Shadow Wrap Short Rows

I have used this technique on sample socks for my workshop in aran, DK and 4-ply weight yarn, and I have to say that the results looks good. No gaps, the ‘wrapped’ stitches look neat, and it is dead easy to distinguish the ‘twin stitches’ from the normal stitches, so I can put those paperclips back in the stationery cupboard!

Short Row Heel sock in aran weight yarn

Shadow Wrap Short Rows – video tutorials

Here are a couple of video tutorials from Miriam Felton, starting with one about how to work Shadow Wrap Short Rows, then one about how to work a Shadow Wrap Short Row Heel.

Shadow Wrap Short Rows – photo tutorials

If you prefer words and photos, then this tutorial about how to knit Shadow Wrap Short Rows from Cocoknits (Julie Weisenberger) is very clear, as is this one from Alice Yu of Socktopus fame, who originally ‘unvented’ this method. And I’m glad she did!

What’s your favourite technique for working short rows in knitting? Have you used Shadow Wrap Short Rows? Let me know in the comments, or join in the conversation over on my Facebook Page.

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