What is ‘Short-Row Colourwork’?

The response to the cover reveal for my new book has been incredible – thank you! Your pre-orders sent it shooting to the #1 spot in several categories. What a brilliant welcome for this book!

So what is short-row colorwork? Well, it’s colorwork created by short rows! But it’s so much more than that. Over the years that I’ve been developing this technique I’ve learnt a lot about placing the short rows and how they play together to create different effects.

Because that’s the key to my approach – rather than letting short rows be the guide, my method is a deliberate and intentional manipulation of the stitches.

When I started exploring short-row colorwork I found that existing methods didn’t suit my needs – namely sideways knit Hats with all the 3D shaping they need, especially at the crown. The methods I discovered were more organic in approach & worked beautifully for flat pieces, but they didn’t adapt well to 3D items.

When I design a Hat I start with the crown maths, regardless of which way I’m constructing it, as that determines the overall structure. If you start with the brim, or a stitch pattern, you tend to get stuck when incorporating the crown shaping into the pattern. Starting with the crown maths needs a different way of thinking, but it brings with it a fresh perspective and a more refined design. And it was no different when I started to explore short-row colorwork – to get a well fitting gorgeous Hat, I had to start by making the short rows work for both the crown shaping and the colorwork, and the technique grew from there.

Fabric integrity is key, and in the book I go into this in great length, with illustrated examples explaining how to ensure your project doesn’t distort. In a similar way to knitting lace, where you need the increases and decreases to balance each other, so it is with short-row colorwork. And just like lace, how you place those increases and decreases creates the pattern. A subtle shift in the placement of short shows can create an entirely different effect.

Short-row colourwork is a dynamic technique that creates beautiful fabric, full of movement and depth. I can’t wait to share more, I know you’ll love it!



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