Unknitting Short Rows?!

It can’t be true, can it, that there is no way to successfully unknit short rows? I’m a fairly new knitter and working on my first project that has short rows. Picking up the knit short rows was easy, but picking up the purled ones went very awry. It was a mess-- I don’t really know why…

I’m making a shawl and the short rows start 6 rows into the pattern. Is my only option ripping out the whole thing to those first 6 rows? I’m going to cry… Actually, I already unknit the purl pickups and now I have big holes.

It’s just hard to believe no clever soul has thought of a way to do it, but Googling it didn’t result in any ideas.

As far as picking up the wrapped purls is concerned, I knit up a sample and tried it there and it looked much better–I made sure I had the purl stitches in order and not twisted when I purled them and that seemed to help…

Any ideas?

What I’ve been doing lately is German short rows. This is such an easy method and gives you nice smooth shaping with no holes. The poster did this backwards in my opinion. She started with teaching you the purl rows and went to the knitted row with her second video. It will probably make more sense to you to watch part 2 first and then part 1.

You may be able to knit to the column of sts that has the mistake or the short row turn and then undo that st down to the error. There’s a video on fixing mistakes this way on the Free Videos, Tips page. I’d try this on a bit of scrap knitting first before undoing even one st.

You shouldn’t have trouble unraveling this. You may have fuzzy or split yarn that seems to meld. Short rows are hard to do when you’re first learning this. German short rows don’t have the wrap and turn. There are no holes. It was a nice smooth heel with almost no visible lines. I was surprised when I first attempted this. My sample actually looked like the teacher’s in the video. But Salmonmack is right. Practice this on scrap yarn. Cast on maybe 20 stitches and do stockinette stitch for an inch or two. Then practice your short rows. If you want to do the traditional wrap and turn, this is the only video that I found that made sense to me. Liat is a wonderful teacher.

I wish I’d seen this video on German short rows before I did the wrap and turn short rows. My crystal ball tells me that I’ll be frogging…again…because I’m not happy with how the short rows turned out. Thanks for the link. The demonstration and explanation given in the video is OK, but somehow putting it all together was confusing. I agree that they are in reverse order.


Thanks for posting this link. Not only is it great for short rows , but her method of purling seems smoother and easier than the way I do them, although I hold my needles and yarn the same way. I’ll have to try it.

I was surprised when I first tried the German short rows. My work actually looked like the teacher’s in the video. That was a first! The heel turns are very professional looking and I think that’s the way I’ll be doing it from now on.