Short Rows - pattern recommends it but doesn't show how!

I’m going to be making the sigma tank from knitty next and I’m so excited about it. It STRONGLY suggests for women with a C cup or bigger to add short row darts for bust shaping but I don’t know how to do it! I’m not there yet (haven’t even started the project) but I need to know if there’s someone who can help me when the time comes!!! :pray:

There’s a really good tutorial on short row shaping linked on that page. It’s linked where it suggests doing the short row shaping. :wink:
Here it is.

Have fun!! :thumbsup:

Thanks Silver, you’d think I’d be able to find that link myself…it was RIGHT THERE!! :doh:

Anyways, I think I can figure out that short row thing but have a few questions…

  1. The instructions look like they’re only given for working on straight needles. I will be working in the round on a circular and the thought of figuring out where/when to do the short rows while in the round - and what to do with the back half of stitches while I’m doing the short rows - is enough to put me straight into an insane assylum. :shifty:

  2. Is the whole process of doing these short rows technically done on ONE row of actual knitting?? :??

Thanks knitting gurus!! :XX:

1)When you cast on, slip a stich marker on the needle on both sides between the front and the back. Slip them each round to keep them between those two stitches. That will help you see where the front ends and the back begins. When you get to the short row shaping, follow the directions between the stitch markers on the front side only.

  1. Technically, it’s NOT one row. It’s many rows, each row shorter than the other from start to middle, then each row longer than the one before from middle to end. However, the edge stitches will denote ONE row when it comes to shaping the arm holes. Try to visualize what you’re accomplishing while working the short rows. You’ll actually be ADDING rows to the pattern to accomodate your bustline, but at the sides (under the arms), you’ll need the same number of rows as the original pattern.

Does this help? Let me know. :slight_smile:

Yes, Silver, thanks! The picture is becoming a bit clearer although I will need to actually experiment with it to SEE what it is that actually happens.

The other thing I wonder is this. Since I’m working in the round, up to this point I’m only doing my stitches on the outside of the work, just knitting round and round and round. Yet when you do short rows there are directions to go to a certain point and then turn. Do I actually turn and knit on the INSIDE of the work then? And if so, am I knitting or purling to maintain the stockinette stitch??

Also, just so I’m clear, once I’ve completed my short rows and am back to the end of that initial “row”, do I just keep on knitting around to the back of the garment again and keep going in the round from there??



When you turn your work on the short rows, you’ll purl on the inside, knit on the outside.

And I also believe you’ll actually knit the entire bust area, ALL short row shaping, at one time, then when finished, continue in the round again. I’m not 100% positive on this though… let’s see if someone else will verify for us. :wink:

I verify! Not that I know what I’M talking about!!! :roflhard:
The short rows add length to only part of the garment; if you are “voluptuous” and you knit this with out the short rows, it will be shorter in the front, because the fabric will ride up to cover your chest.

Silver, have you done this for bust shaping? I haven’t: how would you suggest estimating how many short rows to add? Is it okay to check the row-per-inch gauge, and then guess? the pattern doesn’t say how many short rows to add, and I’d be nervous that whatever I do might not be enough or too many :?? Advice? (I avoided another project for the same reason; being voluptuous myself, I’m into things that fit, and didn’t want to start a looooong project and end up making a booboo, forcing myself to :frog: :-))

Well I don’t know if this is a rule per se, but the print-out I have which came from the link that Silver posted way back in this thread says this:

"For a C-cup you would short row until 6 stitches on each side of front have been wrapped.

For a D-cup you would short row until 12 stitches on each side of front have been wrapped.

For a B-cup with ease, you could short row until 3 stitches on each side of front have been wrapped, which would solve the armhole gaping problem many of us have."

Hope that helps.

I haven’t done it… I’m just interpreting the pattern and directions. I would guess you could measure yourself… drape a measuring tape over your bust (wearing a bra and top) and estimate how many inches you need. It’d be better to guess on the small side than the large side, because you wouldn’t want the top to sag!!! :wink: Take the measurement and compare it to your gauge to estimate how many rows to add.

Just my 2¢, but short rows add length just like a full row would. A C cup is generally a 3" difference between bust and rib cage. Each full cup size up is about another inch difference. Since knitting stretches, you don’t generally need to add the full difference, you just want to add enough for a better fit.
In all cases, I think it’s easiest to think of knit stitches like a bunch of legos of the same size stacked up on top of each other.

The legos are rectangular, generally not square, but their size is consistent. When you use short rows, you are building up a small area of the garment and leave the rest along.

So regular knitting looks like:



When you have short rows, you are building up areas like this (red represents stitches worked, yellow; stitches not worked):



I’m sorry if the representation is a little off, but hopefully you get the idea.
Once you have gradually built up to the extra length you like, you then simply start knitting all the stitches as before. The same number of stitches still exist, it’s just that some areas are built up higher than others.

I don’t know if that is more or less helpful, but it’s how I visualize short rows.

Wow Marnie, thanks! That was a great visual! :thumbsup:

I experimented with the short rows last night just on scrap yarn and 30 stitches. I started out by knitting to the last 3 stitches, then doing a wrap, purling back to last 3 stitches, doing a wrap, then knitting back to last 4 stitches (is that right???, and if so, is the 4th stitch including the one I just wrapped??), etc. It worked, I think, but I had troubles with this instruction from the link that Silver provided in her first post on this thread.

“On the final two rows, when you knit or purl across, insert needle into wrap first, then knit/purl as appropriate together with the wrapped stitch.”

I understand that you have to include the wrap stitches and to do the wrap first then the regular stitch, and it did work on the knit side but on the purl side, the wraps were definitely not invisible on the right side of my work. What did I do wrong?? Also, am I knitting and purling ALL the way across the row, or just up to and including the ones that I have wrapped???

And also, since I’m working in the round, when do I start going “around” again? Once I finish the wraps, do I just start going in the round again and THEN pick up the wraps and knit them or do I pick up the wraps BEFORE I go back to going in the round. This part has me so confused. :thinking:

I’ve been experimenting a bit more and I think I got it! Excuse my blabber in the above post - I’m sure some of it didn’t make sense, it was just me thinking aloud!