Thursday, June 23, 2005

Hole-Free Short Rows: A Little Tutorial

So if you've been here for a while, or if you've plowed through the archives, you might know that I used to have a big problem with holes in my short row toes and heels. Big holes. Gaping, ugly holes.

But no more!

Several people have emailed or commented and asked how I got over the hole problem, and I emailed them back, but realized that it might be easier to see what I'm talking about with pictures, so I made Marc take 186 pictures of me knitting and threw together a little tutorial.

First, three disclaimers.

a) I have no idea if what I'm doing here is "right"-but it works for me. Your mileage may vary.

b) This may be old news to many of you, in which case roll your eyes and go about your business--but I'm still such a newbie knitter, even after 4 years or so, that I need little tips and techniques like this, and I hope it's helpful to other people like me.

c) This is not a tutorial on wrapped short-rowing in general. For that, see Nona's excellent tutorial, Wendy's toe-up sock pattern, and many, many other sources. I'm just going to tell you what I do when I get to the wraps. Which is this.

1. Knit until you hit the wrapped stitch you want to work:
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2. Slip the wrapped stitch to the right needle:
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3. Use the LEFT needle to enter the two wraps from the LEFT:
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4. Slip the wraps onto the right needle. All three stitches--the original stitch and two wraps--are now on the right needle:
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5. Use the tip of the left needle to tease the original stitch out from under the wraps:
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6. Replace the two wraps on the left needle: the three stitches should now be stitting separately:
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7. Knit the three stitches together through their BACK loops:
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8. Admire your neat decrease:
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For the purl side, same deal, but purl normally, through the front loops.

This looks like a lot of annoying steps (Marc: "How do you remember all of that?" Me: "Because I'm a GENIUS, honey, that's how."), but it's really quite fluid once you get going. It does take a bit more time than just picking up the wraps with the right needle and K3-ing, but I think the finished effect is worth a little extra time. Because, you know--no holes.

Questions? Suggestions? Inprovements? Lay it on me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I get it--the trick is to knit through the BACK of the loops...

Thanks for the tips!

6/23/2005 5:01 PM  
Blogger Cyndi said...

Wow - thanks for the great pictures! I always try to knit all three stitches through the back loop *without* doing the stitch transfer to the right needle. It works, but it is super painful to get the right needle through the stitch and two wraps and be able to knit them through the back. I like your way MUCH better, and will try it next time! :)

6/23/2005 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know where I first came across it, but I read something very early in my knitting career that instructed me to twist my stitches when I increased. It was one of those "aha" moments that made all the difference in my knitting. There's something very satisfying about those moments.

6/23/2005 11:55 PM  
Blogger jodi said...

a, you have lovely fingernails.

owen and i would like you to come help us figure out how to fix our living room, which is in hopeless need of some kind of design help. paint? reorganization? we both knew you were the right one to help. you being the crafty one and all.

dang it, once again a comment that does not relate to knitting. i suck.

6/24/2005 2:17 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Great tutorial! I don't knit socks so I have no clue if it's "right", but the pictures and description are fab!

6/24/2005 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is one *very* neat decrease. I will have to try it -- once I master the basic idea of short rows, that is...

6/24/2005 12:42 PM  
Blogger KnittenKnots said...

Great tutorial...I have no doubt that it will come in real handy for me someday. :-) The pictures of Arden are just too her little hat. Awwww...

6/24/2005 2:15 PM  
Blogger Dani said...

Oh my gosh! A genius you are!Thanks for the wonderful pictures too!

6/24/2005 3:40 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

OH wonderful! i just was having trouble with holes! thank you thank you thank you!!!!
that pink sock yarn looks sooooo soft and wonderful to knit with!
thank you again for the tutorial! you rock!

7/19/2005 7:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm supposed to be picking up BOTH wraps? Well, that clears up a lot. Back of the loops, too, huh?

I'll give that a shot. Thanks.

8/25/2005 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that I discovered your technique yesterday and it works like a dream! I can't believe how much better my toe-up socks are coming out than they were before. Thank you so much for the clear tutorial!

3/22/2006 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was ready to give up on short-row socks!!!! I thank you for taking the time and effort to produce the wonderful photos and clear instructions. Onward to beautiful socks!!

5/08/2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger gray la gran said...

please thank marc for taking all those photos! the pictures are priceless, especially when trying to explain something so technical :) i'm going to give this a try on my current socks. i'm ready to start the heel now !

5/22/2006 8:44 AM  
Blogger Bridget said...

thanks for the tips, I used them and got hole free short row heels!
Great pictures.

7/08/2006 3:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Thank you. I've been struggling with short rows and holes, and this was a great tutorial. Worked like a charm.

9/26/2006 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My short row heels are now neat and hole-free, thanks to you!

10/24/2006 10:18 AM  

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