Short Rows in Crochet

To help you celebrate National Crochet Month, I am sharing a technique to help advance your crochet skills, and including a free pattern. Today I am sharing how to work Short Rows, in both traditional and Tunisian Crochet.

First, I would like to thank Crochetville for including me in they blog tour for this month long celebration. Everyday you are introduced to a new designer, or hobbyist or teacher, to help inspire a new desire of crochet within you. Don’t miss a day, check out the participants here.

There are some terms that can be a bit intimidating the fiber arts, short rows can be one of them. However, they really are quite straight forward.

What Makes it Special

Learning how to work short rows in crochet will help expand crochet skills by adding subtle shaping in garments and the ability to create dramatic effects in just about any work you wish.

A short row is exactly as it sounds, you work your row short. Meaning you do not finish the row.

Sometimes this is worked by tapering the stitch height, by working shorter and shorter stitches until they are near a slip stitch. The work is turned, and possibly started by tapering the stich height upward, it is completed.

Working As A Dart

In the case of using short rows as is seen in sewing as if a dart, or a point in fabric, you work un-worked stitches. The next row works to the point where two rows below the row was worked short, then it continues to the remained of the stitches not worked three rows below.

Making A Wedge…

In the case of making a triangular shape, a multiple of short rows are worked, so that there are fewer stiches in each row. I often use this approach in creating shawls, essentially creating triangular wedges that I then build atop one another.

It is this last approach that I also use to create washcloths and potholders. I create “wedges” of triangles that work on one another to eventually create a circle.

Starting Your Circle

Using any yarn, with a comparable size hook, these patterns are great for scrap yarns. You can adjust the size by adjusting the number of beginning chains as the foundation. Just remember that this is only half the size of the finished product, and you will remove one stitch per row on the same edge of the fabric. It can be used utilizing either traditional crochet or Tunisian, and I share a quick pattern for both below.

Short Row Washcloth/Potholder

Short Row Crochet Washcloth/Potholder- Worked in Wedges

First Wedge

Row 1: Ch 16, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn. -15 sc

Row 2: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -14 sc

Row 3: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 12 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -13sc

Row 4: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -12 sc

You Should Start Seeing the “Stair Stepping”

Row 5: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 10 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -11sc

Row 6: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -10 sc

Don’t work the last stitch, and slip stitch in the first stitch of the next row…removing one stitch in each row on the same edge of the fabric.

Row 7: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 8 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -9sc

Row 8: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -8 sc

Over Halfway on the First Wedge….

Row 9: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 6 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -7sc

Row 10: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -6 sc

Row 11: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 4 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -5sc

Row 12: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -4 sc

Almost There…

Row 13: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 2 sts, leaving last st unworked, turn. -3sc

Row 14: Sl st in same st, sl st in next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -2 sc

Row 15: Ch 1, sc in same st, turn. -1 sc

Row 16: Sl st in same st, turn.

Second Wedge

Row 17: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in the edge stitch of Rows 15-1 (essentially either the stitch skipped in a row, or the slip stitch after the row is turned), turn. -15 sc

Row 18-32: Rep Rows 2 through 16 of wedge 1.

Wedges 3-8

Repeat Second Wedge.

Seam Wedge 1 to Wedge 8.

Tunisian Short Row Washcloth/Potholder

Short Row Tunisian Crochet Washcloth/Potholder

These same principals apply to Tunisian crochet as well.

First Wedge

Row 1: Ch 15, pick up loops in each ch across. RP. -15 sts

Row 2: Tss in next 13 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -14 tss

Row 3: Tss in next 12 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -13 tss

Row 4: Tss in next 11 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -12 tss

Still not working the last stitch…

Row 5: Tss in next 10 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -11 tss

Row 6: Tss in next 9 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -10 tss

Don’t work the last stitch of each row of Tunisian crochet, then begin the regular Return Pass. Thus removing 1 stitch from each row on the same edge of the fabric.

Row 7: Tss in next 8 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -9 tss

Row 8: Tss in next 7 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -8 tss

Are you seeing the angle?

Row 9: Tss in next 6 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -7 tss

Row 10: Tss in next 5 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -6 tss

Row 11: Tss in next 4 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -5 tss

Row 12: Tss in next 3 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -4 tss

Almost finished the first wedge…

Row 13: Tss in next 2 sts, leaving last st unworked. RP. -3 tss

Row 14: Tss in next 1 st, leaving last st unworked. RP. -2 tss

Row 15: Tss in same st, leaving last st unworked. RP. -1 tss

Second Wedge

Row 16: Pick up loops in each unworked stitch of rows below. RP.-15tss

Row 17-30: Rep Rows 2-15 of wedge 1.

Wedges 3-8

Repeat Second Wedge.

Seam Wedge 1 to Wedge 8.

Simple Bars are a Great Texture- Crochet for a Difference

Sometimes it is just the simple alteration of stitches that can create a texture that can have a purpose. Simple Bars, as I am calling it, has a great textural appeal, with little work. The texture has a nice visual appear but in some applications can have a very practical purpose as well.

Essentially this is just alternating front and back post double crochet stiches, to begin you create an even number of chains. Double crochet in the fourth chain from the hook and in each stitch across. Chain 3 and turn your work, in the next stitch work a front post double crochet, and in the next stitch work a back post double crochet. Repeat alternating front and back post double crochets across the row, work a double crochet in the last stitch Then chain 3, turn and repeat the same stitch pattern. It really is that easy.

Simple Bars www.lindadeancrochet.com

Simple Bars

Here is the traditionally written method:

Chain an even number

Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook, turn.

Row 2: Ch 3, *fpdc in next st, bpdc in next st; rep from * across, dc in last st, turn.

Row 3-desired length: Repeat Row 2

This Simple Bars creates enough texture that when worked up in cotton can make great dish clothes. I would use a heavier weight cotton, not a thread, something like a light or medium weight yarn. The reason cotton is a choice it that it will not melt under high heats like acrylic, and holds water really well.

Not everywhere that crochet can make a difference is readily apparent. The simple kitchen in our community can easily be overlooked, but really make a small difference. Everyday throughout every community there is a hot meal being made and served to people in need. In some cases these are traditional soup kitchens with volunteers serving food donations to people in need, in others they are community halls that host community pot lucks, where everyone in attendance brings a dish to share. Some communities find these in churches, some in schools, but crochet can be donated here in the way of pot holders and dish clothes. Consider making a few for your community kitchens, sometimes it is the little things that can make all the difference.