How To Knit Shadow Wrap Short Rows

While exploring short rows for her blog, Alice of Socktopus fame came up with this version of short row shaping that she calls the shadow wrap. I think it is the best method I’ve come across. So tidy and easy to work – I am a convert, I think you will be too!

Right Side

Step 1

On the RS: knit to where you want to turn your short row.

Step 2

Work a KRL or “lifted increase” into the next st on your left needle;

  1. lift the right arm of the stitch directly below the one on your needle
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Right Side – Step 2A
  2. Place it up on the left needle
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Right Side – Step 2B
  3. and knit it
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Right Side – Step 2C
  4. You will have a new st on your right needle, immediately pass that new stitch back to the left needle so it sits next to its “shadow”
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Right Side – Step 2D

Step 3

Turn your work and purl back. As you do, you’ll see the twin “shadow” sts sitting right next to each other. You can’t miss them.

Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Right Side – Step 3

Step 4

When you work back to the shadow wrap on the RS and need to close your short row, all you do is knit the two shadow sts together.

Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Right Side – Step 4

That’s it, easy, clean and neat.

Wrong Side

Step 1

On the WS: purl to where you want to turn your short row.

Step 2

  1. slip the next st from left to right needle
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Wrong Side – Step 2A
  2. insert left needle up through the head of that purl st
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Wrong Side – Step 2B
  3. and purl it. See how you’ve made two little shadow sts that sit together?
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Wrong Side – Step 2C
  4. slide them together back to the left needle.
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Wrong Side – Step 2D

Step 3

  1. Turn and knit back.
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Wrong Side – Step 3A
  2. As you do, you’ll see the twin “shadow” sts sitting right next to each other. You can’t miss them.
    Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Wrong Side – Step 3B

Step 4

When you work back to the shadow wrap on the WS and need to close your short row all you do is purl the two shadow sts together.

Shadow Wrap Short Rows // Wrong Side – Step 4

That’s it. Easy, clean and neat.

27 Comments

  1. Beth Ann Adams

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Finally! I can do short rows!! I am not particularly dim, but I just couldn’t figure out short rows, wrap and turn makes no sense to me, I’ve looked at several different methods and finally came across this tutorial! This makes sense to me and is easy to execute, the fabric is perfect! No holes, no ridges, just the knitted material, I’ve even been asked to teach a class! Holy cow batman!

  2. Jane Shoop

    I am confused is the shadow wrap short row the same as bias bind off technique?? Thank u

    • No, they are completely different. You’d use short-row shaping when your pattern calls for it (usually for 3-d effect or extra drape). Bias BO is for Binding off. They are not related in any way.

  3. Carol Sierze

    Oh Julie… You don’t know how long I’ve waited for an easy, straight forward way to master short-rows! I’ve had 35+skeins of Noro Kureyon waiting to make the “Lizzard Ridge” blanket, but just couldn’t find those darn slanted stitches on the WS. It’s so easy to find the twin “shadow” stitch. I think I will finally have my beautiful blanket next winter. Thank You, Thank You!! I love all my Cokoknits patterns!

  4. Laura G

    Wow! Thank you so much for posting this easy to understand tutorial. I can do German short rows and the standard short rows used in cuff down, slip stitch heeled socks, but somehow wrap and turns still mystified me. Wonderful!

    Laura

  5. Jsomrak

    I’m intrigued by this method, but am having trouble with “the right arm of the stitch directly below the one on your needle”? Also- could I substitute this method for the short row method you put in your Veronika swoncho pattern? Thanks!

  6. LuluManship

    I think I love you….thankyou so much for this tip, it is ingenious.

  7. Liz

    Hi and thank you for all the yummy things you have designed. I have bought three of them and am currently working on the largest size of your Leonie design.
    After looking through the comments on Ravelry and not finding an answer there I am writing with questions about the short rows on the back of this sweater. Actually I think I understand the short rowing. I knit or purl over to the last multiple of 4, do the SHSR and turn. A question here: I am counting the stitch and the “shadow” as two stitches when counting those multiples of four stitches from the edge. Am I right? On my needles there are groupings of shadow stitch pairs with two stitches between each pair.
    Second question: After completing all the necessary short rowing the pattern says “Work across all sts knitting or purling the shadow wraps together. Break yarn, place all sts on hold.” As I see it, after working all of the short rows, I should be facing the wrong side and be 40 stitches (counting the stitches with their shadows as 2 stitches) from the edge of the back and I am not sure how to proceed using those directions. I can stop there, break the yarn and place all the stitches on hold – which is what I think I should do. Or I can purl over to the edge working the stitches with their shadows (and thus leaving me with fewer than 40 stitches on that shoulder) Or I can purl over to the edge, turn and knit across the entire row to the other side working the stitches/shadows of the other shoulder together making both shoulders match.
    It seems to me that what I need to do is to break the yarn there, at the edge of the neck opening, and put the stitches on hold waiting to finish up the front, after which I can proceed to join one shoulder, BO across the back neck stitches and join the other shoulder. During the joining of shoulders I will do the knitting or purling of shoulder wraps with an equal number of stitches on each front shoulder. Except, by working the stitches together with their shadows that means I will have fewer than 40 stitches to work and the instructions on joining shoulders is saying to join 40 stitches.
    All of this seems to boil down to (please correct me if I am wrong): Although the pairs of SWSR stitches are counted as 2 when short rows are being worked, they are really counted as one stitch when joining shoulders. Right? So 40 stitches in each shoulder is actually 30.
    I hope my questions are clear enough to answer. Thanks for any help that’s coming! Liz

  8. Liz

    A change to what I said before is I just found that there should be 3 stitches between short row shadow stitches not 2. Still needing advice on the pattern wording after completion of short rows on back of sweater where I am ending up at the neck edge rather than the shoulder seam. Thanks!

  9. Christine

    Fantastic technique and tutorial. Have never been happy with the appearance of my short rows, and these looked perfect.

  10. jen

    omg that is BRILLIANT!!!! thank you!!

  11. Dsynr

    Will this method work when turning corners such as in the “10-St Afghan”?

    • I am not familiar with the 10-stitch afghan but it should work wherever short-rows are called for!

  12. Jen

    I do like this method, but I am wondering (as Liz asked more specifocally, I am asking more generally) about stitch count. In various short row methods, they caution that the stitch count may be slightly different by method (i.e. simple wrap and turn vs German short row vs Cat Bordhi method). Maybe in the end it doesn’t matter and one looks at the double stitches as 1 stitch???

    • Correct, you don’t count the shadow stitch. It’s pretty easy to see, it will simply be knit or purled together with its shadow in the next row so don’t count it as a separate stitch.

  13. Karen

    Wow – thanks so much for sharing this, it is easy to follow and easy to do and nice results. I just ripped back quite a bit of my Lightwave shawl due to the short rows looking wonky. This will be perfect.

  14. Dee

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I am actually about to knit a bottom up shawl similar to Annis that does no wrap short rows – there is turning but uses ssk, etc. I dont like the small jogs that happened when I used this for Annis. Can I follow the designers instructions and use this method instead?

  15. Arlene Agree

    I am knitting Veronika and want to use the shadow wrap technique rather than the yo method you originally included with the pattern. I get how to do the shadow wraps. My question is how do you know when to do them? In the pattern you do the yo wraps adding two sts each pass and then when you have worked a certain amount of sts you add only one st each pass. Is is the same with the shadow wrap? Thank you.

    • Hi,
      You work a shadow wrap where the instructions tell you to “turn…” First, you would do the “wrap” on the next stitch, THEN turn, and work back. When you come to that shadow stitch (the stitch nestled together with it’s twin) knit (on RS) or purl (on WS) them tog – this is STITCH ONE of your additional sts. So if you are to add two stitches, that would be stitch one, you would also knit or purl the following stitch, then work the next SWSR. Does that help?
      Julie

    • Arlene agree

      Yes. Thanks so much.

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