How to Knit Shadow Wrap Short Rows

Short-row shaping is literally knitting a “short,” or partial, row before turning and working back in the other direction. It allows you to knit three-dimensional shapes or curved edges. I use it in these patterns to shape necklines and hemlines. There are many methods of knitting short rows, but the Shadow Wrap is by far my favorite. It is not only virtually invisible, but also quite easy to work, once you memorize the steps.

    SWSR on RS

    1

    Step 1

    On the right side: Knit to where you are instructed to turn a short row.

    2

    Step 2

    A

    Before you turn, work a KRL into the next stitch on your left needle by lifting the right arm of the stitch directly below the one on your needle.

    B

    Place this new loop on the left needle.

    C

    Knit the new loop so it becomes a stitch.

    D

    Immediately pass that new stitch back to the left needle so it sits next to its "shadow".

    3

    Step 3

    You'll see the twin shadow stitches sitting right next to each other. You can't miss them. Now turn your work and purl back.

    4

    Step 4

    When you work back to the shadow wrap on the right side and need to close your short row, all you do is knit the 2 shadow stitches together.

    SWSR on WS

    1

    Step 1

    On wrong side, purl as instructed in pattern to prepare to turn a short row.

    2

    Step 2

    A

    Before you turn, work a modified PLL into the next stitch on your left needle: Slip the next stitch from the left to the right needle.

    B

    Insert the left needle from the bottom up through the head of the purl stitch just below the needle. (This is similar to a PLL, but you are working directly under the needle rather than 2 stitches below.) 

    C

    Purl the head of the stitch that you just picked up. You’ve made 2 little “shadow” stitches that sit together.

    D

    Slide the “shadow” stitches together back to the left needle.

    3

    Step 3

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

    4

    Step 4

    When you work back to the shadow wrap on the wrong side and need to close your short row, simply purl the 2 “shadow” stitches together.

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