Knitting Traditions · Project

Short Shrift

I’m not a flowery person.  In summer we plant some flowers at strategic locations around our yard and so on, but other than that – not flowery.  I don’t have clothes with flowers on them, I don’t have jewelry with flowers on them, I don’t have much by way of decor items with flowers.  So why the Provence Shawl? I think it was a chance to do something a little bit new and different with short rows.

For anyone wondering how to do figural knitting like this, the secret is short rows. If you are not familiar with the technique, it basically means just knitting part of a row and then turning back. You can do this in a variety of configurations, each of which will give you a different effect in your knitting.  In garment knitting, short rows can be used to shape sock heels or add bosom shaping.  Or you can use it to create nifty shapes in your accessory knitting, like these other projects I have done using short rows…



And there are others as well, but these three illustrate a few of the primary ways you can use short rows.  The upper left picture there is Optical Delusion:Conflagration. In this use, you knit to a midpoint in a row, and then kind of go back and forth in ever shortening arc, until you create a sort of “eye” shape, then go back to your regularly scheduled knitting.  The very popular and beautiful Waiting for Rain shawl uses this same method.  Lower left is Krafla, in which you always go back to one edge of the project, but knit short rows in toward the center of the project in such a way that you create a wedge shape.  Finally on the right is my Torque. The short row technique this one uses is really the wedge-knitting concept taken to it’s extreme so that you knit a circle.  Really, you knit a bunch of circles, then connect them together.  My uncharacteristically floral Provence Shawl really is like this one at the heart of it.  They are a different aesthetic, of course because you’re talking about gears vs. flowers here, and they use a different connection method, but otherwise much the same.

So how’s it going?  Pretty well so far!

DSC08191 I have 12 of the 20 flowers done so far. Next I will need to pick up stitches and knit leaves, and from there, go into the shawl part.  Onward and upward!

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