Short rows are a simple technique that every knitter should learn.
Inserting short rows can add ?depth? to create a more shapely item, and it is a technique that is also used to create soft angles mostly on straight-edged, flat-paneled items.
Using short rows, you can eliminate the step effect you get when you bind off shoulders and make sock heels elegantly curved. This is also an ideal technique for maternity wear to add those ?few extra curves? where it is needed most.
Not many knitters are aware of this technique, but inserting short rows and creating curves is a simple and must learn technique.
To accomplish this, an existing row is partially knitted to a pre-determined stitch count, then turning the work and working back to the same (or another) count, and turning again.
To explain further, if you are looking to create a maternity sweater using an existing pattern to ensure the front of your sweater does not ride up, you could add short rows to the bust line and the belly areas, allowing for the extra shaping of your body.
You knit the instructions as per your pattern for the back of your sweater, however to shape the front of your sweater you can add short rows to make allowances for the additional ?girth? that is natural during pregnancy.
Your pattern might direct you to cast on 100 stitches for the front of your sweater, then work out the length you want your sweater to come down to on your hips and follow your pattern until you reach the area where your stomach starts to ?protrude.? To accommodate this additional girth you can then insert short rows.
Here is how the shaping is done. You knit up to a certain point of your item ? it might be the last 20 stitches – then turn and knit back to the last 20, then turn again, work these stitches until satisfied that you have the ?curve? you need. Started with 100 stitches ? knitted the first 80 stitches and turned, then knitted the next 60 stitches, this is your first short row, your next row you might only need 40 stitches, all 100 stitches stay on your needles as eventually you will knit straight across but as you have inserted these extra rows you will see the shaping.
A little ?curve? created into your garment might just be the difference between gaping armholes or an un-intended ride-up by your belly button, and it is ideal for knitting maternity wear where you need those extra curves, or even just to make a size larger that fits your chest but doesn?t sag on your hips and shoulders. When inserting short rows, you can customized the pattern to suit your shape.
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