Short Row Shaping AKA Partial Knitting
Quick! Set your machine to hold
Prevent Holes
Short Rows While Knitting in Pattern
Practical Short Rows
Just for fun
Quick Wins
LIVE Knit-Club | All about Short Rows

An essential skill

Short Row Shaping aka Partial knitting is an essential skill for all machine knitters.
Partial knitting is just as it sounds knit part of a row of knitting instead of the entire row. Instead of knitting just squares and rectangles, short row shaping is used to shape your knitting.

Here are a few uses
  • Shoulder Slopes
  • Bust Darts
  • Curved hems
  • Shaping heels and toes of socks
  • Mitered corners
  • Knitting Circles

NOTE: We use the terms Partial Knitting and Short Row Shaping interchangeably

"Place Needles in hold" Huhh???

When we're just getting started, a simple instruction like "Place needles in hold" can give us pause.

At one time machine knitting pattern were written for specific machines. The instruction would read "place needles L15 - L24 to "D" position".

These days, we are using a variety of machines and patterns that may or may not be written for machine knitting. The instructions may not be as specific.

Part of your learning curve is to UNDERSTAND the concepts
  • What button and levers to use
  • What is happening when we work short row shaping (partial knitting)
  • The purpose of using this technique in the first place.
Short Rows are worked using the hold setting on the machine.
Watch the video for an overview.

Master YOUR machine

No matter what machine you use, there are 2 steps for creating short rows.

Needle Position

What letter is hold position on your machine?
(The letter isn't as important as remembering that "hold" is positioning the needles all the way out )

Carriage Setting

Using your manual, what button or lever controls hold? (holding cam lever, Russel Lever)

Are there separate levers/buttons for right and left or is there one button?

Wrap for invisible short rows

No Holes
Because of the way short rows are worked, normally, we need to take steps so there are no holes when we work this technique.
In hand knitting you may see the term "wrap and turn".

Break the "rules"
You may choose to use the short row holes as a decorative accent. Don't wrap ... and you'll have instant eyelets!

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Partial knitting in pattern

Don't hesitate to use short row shaping when working in stitch pattern ... be mindful of what is happening so you don't leave holes or distort the stitch pattern.
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Our bodies are rounded and curvy

Shape your garments to accommodate our curves

Knitting patterns may not offer these techniques for improved fit.

Sock patterns may not be clear about how to shape toes and heels.

Add these practical tips to your bag of tricks and apply them to your knitting.
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Neckline Shaping

So many knitters struggle with necklines and neck bands. Try using short row shaping to shape the neck opening. No more "stairsteps" and easier band pick up.
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Your pattern may read:
Increase (decrease, cast on, bind off) 5 stitches every other row 5 times

If you work regular cast on or bind off methods over these 25 stitches you will end up with stairsteps that are UGLY (and more importantly, difficult to seam)

Short Row increases and decreases to the rescue!

Mitered Corner

Watch how short row shaping can be used to create mitered corners
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Vertical Buttonholes

Use partial knitting to create vertical buttonholes in any stitch pattern

Add fun touches to your knitting

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More Short Row Fun

Partial knitting can be used in so many ways!
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Intarsia with partial knitting

Add blocks of color by using partial knitting. This technique can be worked on any knitting machine - manual or automatic.

Bridging - Take Charge

Who's in charge? You or your machine?

Can you knit half the stitches in a row, then return the carriage back to the opposite side of the bed without dropping stitches, moving needle positions or removing the carriage from the bed?

Bridging puts partial knitting to work in a variety of ways.

Knitting in Circles

Use Short Row shaping to create circular shapes. Consider pillows, hats, skirts, blankets tree skirts, ruffles and more!

Short Row Flowers

Fast 'n Easy embellishments using short rows

Kaleidescope Shawl

Visual interest built right into the construction of this shawl.

Use short row shaping with no wraps. Use this as a canvas for your creativity!

Pinwheel Pillow

Add color and a little graphic interest to your next home-dec project.
Knit in one piece, this pillow cover only has one seam!

Spikey Scarf

With unusual construction this fun scarf is sure to impress!

If you've ever been intimidated with short rows (partial knitting) for socks, mittens or garment shaping, knitting this scarf will give you the confidence you need to use this technique everywhere!

Spikey Scarf a Knit-1 design

LIVE: Short row (Partial Knitting) Essentials

Short row shaping (partial knitting) is an essential skill for all knitters. Let's look at a few of the many ways that partial knitting is used to shape our garments.
  • Short Row increases and decreases
  • Shaping necklines and shoulders
  • Short Row ruffles and flowers