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Easy no wrap short rows

courtney spainhower

So, I've used these short rows for years.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I stumbled upon them when I was researching techniques for Family-Friendly Knits and yet, the exact technique doesn't seem to exist on this here internet.  It is possible I borrowed techniques from other methods and poured them together to create this - I just honestly don't know.  What I do know is that I use this method every time I design short rows and since there doesn't seem to be a tutorial anywhere (a little tid-bit I found out when a sample knitter had some questions and asked if I had a link to a tutorial.  Oh yes, sure, I have a link... let me just google that and.... SIGH) ... so, ta-da!

First things first, I'm going to show how the stitches are executed over Stockinette st for both RS and WS rows.  When I write the instructions into a pattern, they read something like this example: 
"Short row 1: K6, turn, Sl1 P-wise, P11, turn. 
Short row 2: Sl1 P-wise, knit to one stitch before gap, close gap (See Special Instructions), K6, turn. 
Short row 3: Sl1 P-wise, purl to one stitch before gap, close gap, P6, turn. 
Rep Short rows 2 and 3 two more times.
Next row: Sl1 P-wise, knit to end of rnd.
Knit 1 rnd closing gaps as you come to them. "

And then of course, there are the "Special Instructions" that read something like this:

Closing Short Row Gaps

RS facing: Work to stitch before gap on left needle.  The slipped stitch is the next stitch on the left needle.  Pick up the stitch around the slipped stitch with right needle and transfer onto left needle, then knit the two stitches together.

WS facing: Work to stitch before gap on left needle.  The slipped stitch is the next stitch on the left needle.  Pick up the stitch around slipped stitch with the right needle and transfer onto left needle, then knit the two stitches together TBL.

And now to the good stuff.

I've knit to where I'm ready to turn the work.

I've knit to where I'm ready to turn the work.

After turning, I've slipped the first stitch p-wise with the yarn to the front.

After turning, I've slipped the first stitch p-wise with the yarn to the front.

I've purled to where my next turn is going to be placed

I've purled to where my next turn is going to be placed

After turning, I've slipped the first stitch p-wise with the yarn to the back.

After turning, I've slipped the first stitch p-wise with the yarn to the back.

I'm now ready to close the gap on a RS facing row.  I've knit to one stitch before the gap.

I'm now ready to close the gap on a RS facing row.  I've knit to one stitch before the gap.

Here is that slipped stitch - the arrow points to the stitch I'm picking up and placing on the needle.

Here is that slipped stitch - the arrow points to the stitch I'm picking up and placing on the needle.

Now I've transferred that stitch onto the left needle.

Now I've transferred that stitch onto the left needle.

Finally, I'm knitting the slipped stitch together with the picked up stitch on the left needle.

Finally, I'm knitting the slipped stitch together with the picked up stitch on the left needle.

Moving on to the WS rows, here I've purled to one stitch before the gap.

Moving on to the WS rows, here I've purled to one stitch before the gap.

Again, we see thatstitch from the previous WS row positioned around the slipped stitch on the needle.

Again, we see thatstitch from the previous WS row positioned around the slipped stitch on the needle.

I've transfered the picked up stitch onto the left needle.

I've transfered the picked up stitch onto the left needle.

And of course, I can now purl the slipped stitch together with the picked up stitch on the needle through the back.

And of course, I can now purl the slipped stitch together with the picked up stitch on the needle through the back.

The finished short rows with the RS of the fabric facing.  Look Ma, no gaps!

The finished short rows with the RS of the fabric facing.  Look Ma, no gaps!

As you can see, once you know what you're looking for, it's a breeze to work up - and as I mentioned previously, it's the only short row method I've used in my designs for years.  After blocking, the stitches lay out even more evenly creating a fabric with almost no sign of short row shaping at all. 

I hope this has been informative, and if you know if I made this up or if it actually exists elsewhere, please let me know!  Ever since I started looking for it this morning, it's been driving me crazy.

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Breaking news

courtney spainhower

I have a lot of knitting needles.

Like, 3 sets of interchangeable points, sort of 2 sets of double points in a mismatched way, a set of mini double points, and just about any size circular and straight needle you could imagine.  And so, today when I broke my size US4 wooden interchangeable points while working on a new design, I figured I could just grab a set of my metal points and go about my day.  I grabbed the last thing I was certain I had used my US4 needles to fiddle with and ... those are US5.  What about this one?  US6.  And the great needle search commenced.

I would like to say that at no point during this search did I have any sort of melt down.  I would like to say that I didn't cry because that would be ridiculous.  I would like to say I didn't get pissed at my husband, pissed at my laundry, pissed at my *always* dirty floors... but I did.  I did all of those things.  I also cleaned, organized, sorted, wound, stacked, stashed, and cleared out every box, bag, basket, and bin I have any knitting related items in.  I found every single missing set of interchangeable points except my US4.

On Spring

courtney spainhower

The thing is, as far as seasons go, spring is the sweet and sour season.  I do a bit of "spring cleaning" but really, autumn seems like a more appropriate time for those sorts of things - the great purging before holidays and searing cold set in, making it emotionally impossible to do things like carry boxes to the car for donation or clear out cobwebs and dust because, for heaven's sake, they might be providing insulation at that point!  And I do like a tidy house.  Which, I would like to add, is damn near impossible around here.  Which again, brings me to spring and the fact that it's been raining daily for what seems like a month (though it's probably more like a week? Two?  Has it been a month!?  Good lord!).  Which means every living creature that can, will track in as much dirt, mud, and rainwater as physically possible.  Fortunately, we have tile and wood throughout the house save the lowest level which currently houses glorified spill collection material (also known as carpet).

However, the cloudy skies seems less oppressive in spring than they do in Autumn - a real benefit to the psyche.  Clouds above but dandelions and lilacs and tulips and daffodils below nestled in clumps against nearly neon green grass, freshly revived and fully alive.  And a stray turkey.  

(Wait, what?)

After I dropped the kids off at school this morning, I came into the neighborhood through the small back street that probably has a name, but isn't the main entrance so I couldn't tell you much more about it......... but I saw this giant bird standing in a yard and I stopped because we like to look out for giant birds that might slaughter our chickens, right?  And then I realized it was a turkey.  A lady turkey and she was all by herself just sort of standing there, blinking.  She took a few steps toward the van and stopped, then slowly rounded the front to the driver's side and just stood there.  Blink.  Looking right at me.  I rolled down the window and was like, "Hey turkey, what-cha doin' out here all by yourself?"  She made a bubbly little lady turkey sound and took a few more steps - now planted squarely in the middle of the road and ... blink...  I shooed her off the road and called my mom because her nearby friend raises turkey folk and maybe she just, you know, escaped.

Later, on my way to get spring things like mulch and tree stakes, I saw the lady turkey just standing in someone's yard like a lawn ornament... but then, on my way home, there she was in someone's driveway, perched on top of their pickup truck.  Weird ass lady turkey.  

> As I was typing this, I got a text.  A video from the husband?  What could it be?  Him in his truck dropping off a load and... what's that?  A turkey!  Ha! <

Speaking of poultry, Blind Melon is probably my favorite girl right now.  She started laying at about 7 months old and gifts us perfectly peach little pee-wee sized eggs nearly 5 days a week.  And she's the lady Johnny Cash of chickens.  Ruby (our Welsummer) is Mae's favorite by a mile.  She came into my bedroom yesterday with Ruby under one arm and Blind Melon under the other declaring, "I have chickens!"  Yup, I see that.  Sigh.  But normally, it's just Ruby that she totes around the house.  We integrated our 2 month old babes to the flock a few weeks ago and all is harmonious in the hen house even though we were off to a rough start with the orpingtons who weren't keen on new house mates.... and we have two little week-olds to cuddle.  We source our chicks locally and different breeds are only available at certain times so we've been forced into staggering out the flock quite a bit.  May is our last round of chicks and we're done!  At that point we'll have Welsummer, Silkie, Orpington, EE, OE, Wyandotte, Black Copper Marans, Rhode Island Red, and Ameraucana hens.  The steady flow of fluffin-butted chicken nuggets is totally worth it.

We're also rounding out our trees and other various fruit-bearing plants, adding grapes, elderberry, blueberry, and apricot to the apple, raspberry, and plum we already had started in the fall.  I would still like to get some pear mixed in there though... ya? And I bought rose bushes.  White roses for my papa who I lost too many years ago to even think about.  I'm really gonna try to keep them alive and well.  I feel like I'm off to a good start though since they already have a lot of new growth (high five, me!)... oh, and it's been so great planting all this stuff in the rain.  But, it's raining all - the - freaking - time - so, those daily waterings have been a breeze! (she said sarcastically).

But in all honesty, I love that I don't have to keep watering all these things, that we have the sweetest little Silkie eggs to dye for easter, and that this year, our little chunk of earth will be another step closer to what we used to sit around and sort of try not to dream about too hard because it seems borderline impossible at the time.  I used to think I wanted it all - the sheep and the horses and the chickens and the trees and the gardens - but as my health continues on in the steady progression of Lupus, I'm really settling into what is really manageable.  Asking myself, what is my truth?  Truth. About as woven into the inner workings of my life right now as that lady turkey.  It just keeps rising up and saying, "Isn't it nice here?  Settle in and have a cup of tea."  Hubs is taking me in for another biopsy tomorrow and I am pretty much just over the whole thing.  Let it be Stage 1 and let it be a hysterectomy so that I can check it off my list of concerns.  We have uterine and cervical cancer in the blood line and I'd just as well say goodbye to it.

And believe it or not, I am actually working - the knitting flow has been steady enough and I'm in that between projects place with edits on one side and proposals on the other.  It's my least favorite place in the cycle.  And you know, being a designer isn't like being a knitter.  I can't just post knitting pics every day because the things I'm knitting?  They're secret and bound by contracts.  That's probably the only real crapy thing about what I do.  My editor is asking about a second book, too.  The kids screamed NO and my husband just sort of blinked at me like the lady turkey.  The first book was stressful, and a ton of work, and I was pretty much the worst version of myself afterward.  Have I learned enough and grown enough to jump back into those dark waters?  Maybe.  Not now but keep churning?  I have sketches and swatches and concepts galore.  I'll let them marinate a while longer.  I told her I needed to have a very crisp and tidy direction for not just the book but for each piece and that's the truth.  Until every single design has been fully visualized, I will wait.  There's no race.  There's no one running up at my heels.