Short rows on a seamless sweater - when and where?

purlyman's picture

I've done a dozen or so baby sweaters without short rows, no problem. I did Jared Flood's Cobblestone a couple years ago and it turned out great. He includes short rows to lengthen the back and his are done in the yoke (after the body and sleeves are attached) and the wraps are done in the front near the upper left and upper right shoulders. I've been reading EZ's books and she suggests adding in short rows to lengthen the back - everything I've seen from her suggests putting them in while working on the body, before joining the sleeves (she may mention adding them in with the yoke but I haven't seen that yet). She also suggests wrapping and turning a few stitches before the "under-arm seam stitch", which is really not a seam stitch obviously. So although both Jared Flood and EZ are adding the short rows in the back, his are relatively long, come around to the front and are in the yoke, hers are relatively short, don't come around to the front, and are in the body before the sleeves join.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?




Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Short rows are

Short rows are say the least. I just finished a design where I used them along the back of a neckline to build up a shawl collar. Well, I may have overdone it. But I think it will still be okay to wear. I plan to ask a local LYS if I can drape it onto a child-size mannequin to see. The next one will not have such a large amount of shaping. [Besides, I cringe at having to totally reknit the collar and buttonband to fix it.] -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

New York Built's picture

Two experiments I tried this

Two experiments I tried this summer may help you.

I modified Barbara G. Walker's instructions to create a seamless top down sweater by casting on provisionally (any method) across the back, dividing the cast-on row into thirds (left, neck, right). I made short rows across the back at this point, increasing the rows by four stitches, starting at the markers for left, then right, and onward until the rows completed across the back. This left me with seven short rows of increasing size across the back, but only one row at the edge. Why did I do this?

I created a triangle at the back of the neck to increase the rise at the neck, and to fit my upper traps and deltoids.

Next, I started short rows on the left side of the provisional cast on, at the neck to the top of the armhole, increasing four stitches each time. This completed the opening for the neck almost in its entirety, but left me with only one row at the top of the armhole. I did the same on the right.

By doing this, I now had a seamless shoulder matching my shoulders. I joined the two front sides with a steek (this was to be a cardigan, and proceeded to knit the rest of the shoulders, so I could then create steeks for the armholes. I used a bit of magic-loopiness to make the tight turn at the top of the armhole...deep breathing and slow, careful work at the top of the armholes produced exactly what I was looking for.

You can use larger numbers of stitches at the short row increases to make less of an incline at the shoulder. But the result was magical...the shoulders were one continuous flow of fabric, top of armhole to top of armhole, and flows over the shoulders like it was poured on.

I also have made pullover sweaters for guys with a "paunch", and used short rows to open up the fabric to accommodate their girth. Almost (but not quite) makes them look svelte...LOL

Techknitter's blogs are outstanding, by the way.

"If I have a little extra money, I buy yarn, fiber books, and knitting supplies. I get food with what's left over."

Jerry Moore's picture

Mark, it's not clear to me

Mark, it's not clear to me why you ever would want to swath your torso in a sweater. Or slip into a shirt. Or pull over a Polo. Or otherwise wrap your upper body. I musta missed something . . .

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Sounds great, Mark. Have

Sounds great, Mark. Have you posted a photo of the sweater? If not, I would really enjoy seeing it. I think I get what you did but the visual will help me clinch it. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

New York Built's picture

I need to get access to a

I need to get access to a camera or just get one for myself. I will post something.

If I have a little extra money, I buy yarn, fiber books, and knitting supplies. I get food with what's left over.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Know what you mean about the

Know what you mean about the camera thing. I had to borrow one from my sister for vacation last year. Buying one for myself is not high on the list...too many other things I want instead. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

gardenguy42's picture

Frank, if you think about

Frank, if you think about the purpose of a short row you may be able to answer your own question. Think about what short rows do: they add fullness to accommodate curved parts of the body. Even when knitting in the round you are essentially creating a cylinder that is an elongated flat surface. The short rows allow that flat surface to curve over the shoulder area so that the back of the sweater won't ride up or the collar won't bunch at the neck.

EZ generally seemed to add her short rows evenly spaced throughout the back and at the neck. If you were knitting a women's garment you would also use short rows to shape the bust and hip area. I'm knitting her changing pad (in double knitting from Knitter's Almanac) out of Sheepsdown right now and she suggests adding in a short row every 7 or so rows in the stockinette center to keep the garter stitch border from being pulled in toward the center.

I've also knit a hat completely out of short rows sideways. They are amazing things! blog has an article up right now about Short Row Theory. You may want to check that out. It seems that short rows would be used wherever you want to add a little fullness or roundedness to the shape of the garment. Good luck!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi