Ava always tries hard to do the same as her sister but, being two years younger, her attention span is much shorter so we have to find other things to interest her. As a very large box of yarn had appeared since her last visit, she was interested to know what it was for. I told her it's for my next book and that the first thing I have to do is wind some wool to knit swatches, so of course she immediately wanted to help with this. P also loves winding wool - its a man thing, don't ask - so the two of them set about the job.
|My lovely little swift|
OK then, down to business. You may have noticed that from time to time I revisit my column, Ask Jean. Today is one of those days and I'm focusing on Japanese short rows, which I believe give the very best result if you want the finish to be as near to invisible as possible.
According to the guru of knit technique, the late, great Montse Stanley, in her excellent book The Knitter’s Handbook, (which I find just as comprehensive, much more accessible and easier to handle than The Principles of Knitting, which does my back in every time I pick it up!) there are three ways of avoiding holes in short rows:
1 over - the loosest, requiring the making of an extra stitch (over), then on the long row across all stitches, the over is worked together with next stitch
2 tie - easy and quite neat, the one we know as wrapping a stitch, usually used in short-row shaping
3 catch – neatest, and one and the same as Japanese Short Rows.
Japanese short rows can be used in any situation where you might use conventional short-row shaping, such as darts, shoulders, mitred corners, ruffles, curves or medallions.
Here’s how using stocking stitch:
On the RS row
1 knit to the turning point in the row
2 turn to WS and slip the next stitch purlwise
3 attach a pin to the working yarn (this is a helpful little trick added by Lucy Neatby) - the pin should go around the yarn, not through it
4 purl the short row back, ignoring the pin, it won't be used until the gap is closed
|Knit turning point|
Closing the gap
With the Japanese technique the gap is quite noticeable.
1 knit until you reach the gap, where you’ll see the pin is attached to a loop on the WS below the right needle
2 from the knit side, pull the pin and place the pin's loop up onto the left needle. The loop should be correctly mounted with its right leg in front
3 knit the pin's loop together with the next stitch.
4 remove the pin
|Knit Gap Closing|
On WS row
1 purl to the turning point in the row
2 turn to RS and slip the next stitch purlwise
3 attach a pin to the working yarn as above
4 knit the short row back -- the pin is attached to a loop on the WS
1 purl until you reach the gap -- the pin will be attached to a loop under the right needle.
2 slip the first stitch on the left needle purlwise onto the right needle
3 pull the pin and pop the pin's loop up onto the left needle. The loop should be correctly mounted with its right leg in front.
4 slip the first stitch on the right needle back to the left needle (this slipping of the first stitch is necessary to reverse the order of the stitch and the pin's loop)
5 purl the next stitch together with the pin's loop.
6 remove the pin
|Purl Gap Closing|
So there you have it, virtually invisible short rows, don’t you wish you’d always known about them!