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Knitting Fundamentals: How to Knit Short Rows

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Short rows are a popular way to add shaping smoothly and seamlessly. Perfect for everything from sock heels to sleeve caps, short rows are a useful technique for knitting perfectly fitting projects.


  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles

1. W&T

When you’re supposed to work short rows, a knitting pattern will typically indicated this with the abbreviation W&T. This stands for wrap and turn, and it’s exactly what you’re going to do!

Work partially across a row as instructed, when you reach the W&T instruction, slip the next stitch to your right needle, bring the yarn to the front if you’re on a knit row or to the back if you’re on a purl row, and then slip the stitch back to the left needle, capturing the yarn.This is the “wrap” step of a wrap and turn.

Next, turn your knitting and keep working. When you come back to your wraps, you can pick them up and knit them together with the stitch they’re around, or you can leave them as they are to add texture. Take a look at this video to learn more about short rows and how to work W&T.

What's Your Preference?

After practicing short rows where you pick up the wraps and some where you don’t, you’ll see how what you do with the wraps changes the overall look of your knitting. Many patterns won’t specify what to do with the wraps, so it’s up to you to figure out what you like best!


Now you’re ready to work seamless set-in sleeves, short row sock heels, and custom bust shaping! Why not try your new skills knitting a gorgeous cropped sweater?

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