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Adding Short Rows to your Sweater

Hi, Knitters,

As promised, here is a recipe for adding short rows to your sweater!

Short Rows

Adding Short Rows to the Lower Back of a Sweater

A General Recipe for You

You know how a sweater can ride up in the back sometimes and it needs a constant tug to keep it down? By adding a few short rows into the backside of the sweater and just above the bottom edging you can remedy this issue. Adding short rows can be done on a top-down or bottom-up sweater. And this same technique can be used at the back of the neck, as well.

I am not using any specific numbers but instead just giving a general recipe that could be used on any sweater pattern. This is exactly how I added the short rows to the lower back of my Branches & Buds sweater (shown in the photos), designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge. Branches & Buds is worked from the top-down.

I added the short rows just before the bottom ribbing started. You can see in the photo how the sweater swoops down slightly on the lower back. I worked down to the start of the rib and began the short rows. If you add short rows to a bottom-up sweater you would begin the short rows right after the bottom ribbing is finished. 

I added 6 short rows into my sweater which turns out to be about an inch of added length. You can add fewer or more rows depending on how much length you want to add to the backside.

Steps for Lower Back Short Rows:

  1. Place stitch markers at each side to mark the front and the back of the sweater.
  2. Begin the first short row by working across the back of the sweater to the stitch marker. Knit 10 stitches past the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn (or do any short row method of your choice).
  3. Purl across the back to the stitch marker. Purl 10 stitches past the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn (or use method of choice).
  4. Knit across the back to the stitch marker. Knit 5 stitches past the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn (or use method of choice).
  5. Purl across the back to the stitch marker. Purl 5 stitches past the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn (or use method of choice).
  6. Knit across the back to the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn (or use method of choice).
  7. Purl across the back to the stitch marker. Wrap & Turn (or use method of choice). 

Work one more round in knit and tidy up all wraps as you come to them. 

Then begin the lower edging for the sweater. In the Branches & Buds I continued on with the ribbing. 

If you need help with how to do the actual wrap & turn, or how to tidy up the wraps, or if you want to check out some different short row techniques here are some good links for you:

Carol Feller’s Free Craftsy Class on Short Rows:

https://www.craftsy.com/knitting/classes/short-rows/35255

Eunny Jang showing 4 Ways to Wrap Short Rows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiyz8aClRWU

Carol Sunday’s Sunday Short Rows (I like this technique a lot!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xchFAYH0c_8

German Short Rows

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GM4guKpUJs

I hope this helps! I really like the finished look of the sweater with the added length on the lower back. 

Best,

Susan

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2 comments


  • This is great information. Love the sewater

    Karen Lambert on

  • Thanks for putting so much good information in one spot!

    Heather on

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