Short rows

Posted 19 Nov 2014 by JC

Short rows! At long last, you can now draw stitch maps containing short-row turns. This makes it possible to map short-row doilies like Zig-zag Doily:

Zig-zag doily

With two vertical repeats on display, you can see how the patterning flows from one “wedge” of the doily to the next. And you can see how, with enough wedges, you could seam the cast-on edge to the bind-off edge to create a circle.

When knitting, stitch maps with short rows are easier to follow if you enable row guides, or – better yet – if you have a subscription and you enable current row highlighting:

Zig-zag doily

Truthfully? I get a kick out of viewing these short-rowed stitch maps with just column guides enabled, no symbols. No, you can't knit from 'em, but they are kind of fascinating, aren’t they?

Zig-zag doily

Of course, doilies aren’t the only bit of knitting to make use of short rows. No doubt y’all will think of other short-rowed pieces that you’ll want to map. But before you get started mapping short rows, you’ll want to read the new Short rows section of the knitspeak guide. Really! I mean it! Go read it now. I’ll wait.

Following the ground rules given in the knitspeak guide ought to give you a readable stitch map, though sometimes the symbols may get a little squished together. This is probably unavoidable. Consider this stitch map for a heel turn:

sample heel turn

The stitch map is flat. But an actual heel turn would ”pooch out,” creating a three-dimensional pocket for the wearer’s heel. Is it any wonder that flattening the heel turn into two dimensions results in a slightly wonky stitch map, with its symbols butting up against each other?

That said, if you get any seriously funky results when mapping short rows, please let me know! I’ve done what seems like a ton of testing, but as with any piece of software, that’s no guarantee that everything’s okay.

Have fun with this! I look forward to seeing what y’all come up with.

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