Short rows confounded me for years. I found the process very daunting and avoided any pattern that used short rows. I couldn’t find a good tutorial to help me demystify this very easy process. Hopefully, you will find left handed short rows easy and straight forward with this picture tutorial.
So what are left handed short rows? Short rows are a process of adding a pocket or wedge of fabric to your piece without adding length. On the first two rows you knit to two stitches before the end of the row and then complete the left handed short row. On all subsequent rows you knit to the stitch before the previous short row thus each row becomes shorter and shorter. When all short rows are completed then you knit across picking up all of the wraps and knitting them with the stitch they were wrapped around.
These short rows are most often used in heels of socks. I like to use them when I make mini sock ornaments and add a little more to my heel in the famous Churchmouse Yarns pattern Turkish Bed socks. Now that I finally figured out how to complete left handed short rows I find them rather fun.
Part I Making the wraps
Step 1 of the Left Hand Short Rows-Knit to the stitch to be wrapped
In the above picture I am going to wrap the third stitch from the end. I have already wrapped the second stitch from the end.
Step 2: Bring the Yarn to the Front
Step 3-Slip the Stitch Purlwise
It is important that you slip the stitch purlwise. This changes the mount of the stitch which is necessary to keep the wrap behind the stitch for later when the wrap and stitch are knitted together.
Step 4-Bring the Working Yarn to the Back
Bring the yarn to the back of your work. You will now see the yarn that is in front of the slipped stitch.
Step 4: Put the Slip Stitch Back on the Right Needle
Put the slipped stitch back on the right needle. Do not knit it.
Step 5: Turn Work
Turn your work. You have now completed your first wrapped stitch! Purl across to the first stitch you need to wrap on this side.
Step 6: Put Yarn in Back
The process of wrapping a stitch on the purl side is the same as on the knit side, except you don’t have to change the mount when you slip the stitch.
Here, in the above photo, you put the yarn to the back of the work.
Step 7: Slip the Stitch
Slip the stitch to the left needle.
Step 8: Move Yarn to Front
Put the yarn back in the front of the work as if to purl.
Step 9: Put the Slip Stitch Back on the Right Needle
Move the stitch back to the right needle. Do not knit it.
Step 10: Turn Work
You have now completed a short row on both the knit and purl side. Continue following these 10 steps for as many wraps as your pattern calls for.
Part II Picking up the Wraps
Step 1- Slip the Wrapped Stitch
knit to the first wrapped stitch and slip it to the left hand needle. This gives you access to the wrap so you can manipulate the wrap to set it up to knit it together with the stitch.
Step 2-Pick up the Wrap
Using the tip of your right needle, pick up the wrap and put it on your left hand needle so that it sits to the left of the stitch that it wrapped.
Step 3: Transfer the wrap and stitch
Slip both the wrap and the stitch back to the right needle.
Step 4: Knit the Wrap and Stitch
Knit the wrap and stitch together through the back loop. This ensures that the stitch is laying on top of the wrap hiding it.
Continue picking up the wraps and knitting them with their stitches until you get to the end of the row. Turn and purl back.
Step 5: Purl to First Wrapped Stitch
The process again for picking up the wraps in the left handed short rows on the purl side are the same as on the knit side.
Step 6: Slip the Wrapped Stitch
Slip the wrapped stitch to the left needle. This gives you access to the wrap so you can move it into the right place.
Step 6: Pick up the Wrap
Pick up the wrap with the right needle and put it on the left needle so that it sits to the left of the stitch
Transfer the wrap and the stitch to the right needle.
Purl the wrap and stitch together. The stitch will hide the wrap. Yay!
Continue picking up and purling the wraps and stitches together until the end of the row.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on left handed short rows. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below.
If you have any requests for any future posts, please let me know.