In short

Knitting can be a little square. Working rows and rows one above the other tends to give you a two-dimensional fabric, and sometimes it would be nice to have a bit of a curve. That’s where short rows come in.

Short rowing is what makes the lovely curve on Carol Feller’s Maenad shawl in the picture above. It means that your knitting can be curved or three dimensional, and it’s a technique that’s useful in so many places.

The reason we’re thinking about short rows is that Carol is coming to give us a workshop on them on February 2nd, and we can’t wait. She’s bringing a brand new mini cardigan pattern for the class, so here’s a chance to learn a cool skill with a new pattern from an internationally renowned designer. As well as Maenad, you can see the magic she works with short rows in Ravi – such clever and interesting shaping.

So where else does short rowing come in useful? In short row heel and toe socks, for one, or when you want to add bust shaping to a jumper, or raise the neckline of a cardigan a touch at the nape of the neck…. Once you start putting them in, you’ll be using them everywhere.

Here’s a couple of examples: the terrifically popular Color Affection shawl uses them to give beautiful swoops of colour and texture – we’ve been making quite a few of these recently (we’ll talk about them in an upcoming post) but here’s a quick preview of Lisa’s. The rows meet each other at unexpected and delightful angles, as you can see:

And where you want to get a smoother fitting cardigan or shrug, reach for the short rows. Lisa did in her Winterberry Shrug, where the lower back curves around the ribcage in the most flattering way:

You’ll find the booking page for Carol’s class at this link. It could be the best thing you do for your knitting this year.