How to knit short rows part 1: wrap and turn method

by Ewelina Murach on March 13, 2013

One of my favourite knitting techniques, which I use it in most of my patterns, are short rows. They are used to add extra fabric where you need it, for example:

  • to raise the back of the neck in a garment with a round yoke (short rows are represented by the blue dashed lines):Short rows used to raise the back of the neck
  • to add extra length at the front of a sweater creating bust darts: bust darts
  • or to shape sleeve caps in seamless set-in sleeves: Short rows used to shape sleeve cap.

There are different ways of working short rows. In this post, I will describe the wrap and turn method.

WRAP AND TURN METHOD OF WORKING SHORT ROWS

When you work short rows using the wrap and turn method, you knit only part of a row/ round, as instructed in the pattern, then stop, wrap the next stitch on your left hand needle to prevent a hole that would appear otherwise, turn work and purl another partial row, wrapping a stitch again before you turn. The photo tutorial below shows all steps needed to complete short rows. If you would like to download 2-page printable version of the tutorial, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Abbreviations used: st(s) = stitch(es), LH = left hand, RH = right hand.

Wrapping a stitch on a knit row

STEP 1: Knit to the position of the wrap – the st to be wrapped is on LH needle and is circled. Short rows pic1

STEP 2: Slip the st onto RH needle as if to purl, with yarn in front. Short rows pic2

STEP 3: Bring yarn to the back, and slip the st back onto LH needle.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 3

STEP 4: Turn work and purl the first st on LH needle loosely so that the wrap (circled) around st remains loose, approx. the size of a regular st. Work remaining sts as instructed in the pattern.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 4

When you get to the end of this short row, you will need to wrap a stitch again, here’s how you do it:

Wrapping a stitch on a purl row

STEP 1: Purl to the position of the wrap – the st to be wrapped is on LH needle and is circled. Short rows photo tutorial pic 5

STEP 2: Slip the st onto RH needle, as if to purl, with yarn in back.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 6 STEP 3: Bring yarn to the front, and slip the st back onto LH needle. Short rows photo tutorial pic 7

STEP 4: Turn work. The wrapped st is on your RH needle (circled), yarn at back. Knit first st on LH needle loosely so that the wrap around st remains loose, approx. the size of a regular st. Work remaining sts as instructed in the pattern.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 8

At some point, depending on the pattern, you will need to hide the wraps by either knitting or purling them together with their stitches. This is how you knit a wrap with its stitch:

Knitting a st together with its wrap

STEP 1: Knit to the position of the wrapped st.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 9

STEP 2: With yarn in back, pick up the wrap inserting RH needle under wrap, as if to knit, in front of its st.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 10

STEP 3: Knit the wrap and its st together.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 11STEP 4: The wrap should not be visible from RS: it is hidden behind the st (circled). Continue working remaining sts on LH needle as instructed in the pattern.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 12

Purling a st together with its wrap

STEP 1: Purl to the position of the wrapped st (circled). Short rows photo tutorial pic 13.

STEP 2: With yarn in front, pick up the wrap inserting RH needle under the back of wrap, behind its st. Then insert RH needle into the st, as if to purl, slip both back onto LH needle, and purl them together.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 14

STEP 3: St shown after it has been purled tog with wrap. The wrap can be seen from WS, it should not be visible from RS. Continue working remaining sts on LH needle as instructed in the pattern.  Short rows photo tutorial pic 15

Other resources:

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