What is “short row” knitting?

I’m still a newbie knitter, never having made socks or anything more detailed, so I’m not sure I would understand a definition without having knitted things like this that call for “short row” knitting, but I’d really like to know what that means. I guess what I’m really concerned about it is when I see this terminology in a pattern, I wonder if it’s something I will be able to do?

Of course it’s something you’ll be able to do! It’s not hard, I promise, just a little tricky.

Short rows are a way of inserting shorter rows into a longer row of knitting. They are used for adding length or shaping without altering the number of stitches on your needle. They’re very handy for women who have a large bust and need to create a little bit of a “cup” in their garments to prevent them from riding up. There are many other ways to use short rows, such as in the creation of a sock heel and also if you wanted to knit a hat on straight needles. Elizabeth Zimmerman used short rows to add length to the backs of her sweaters because she preferred to knit in the round. She did it because it helped to raise the neck of the sweater to cover the back of the neck and keep you warmer.

This woman has done a little testing of three types of short rows, wrapped stitch, Japanese, and yarn over. She prefers the Japanese and says that the wrapped stitch (The most common technique!) is the most difficult to execute. You can read more about each type of short row from the links on that page, and she gives very clear explanations. But, of course, if you need more help you can always come here and somebody will have the answer you need!

There’s a video of it under the “Advanced Techniques” tab…