Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Circling the Square

Short rows can make knitting endlessly interesting
As part of our machine knitting summer school for new knitters we played with short rows to make different shapes. I began thinking about triangles and squares. I think of what we knitted  as being made up of four sections.

Section 1 is start with two stitches and increase one stitch at the right end every two rows
Section 2 is put one stitch at right into hold every two rows until only one stitch is in work.
Section 3 is bring one stitch from hold back into work every two rows,
Section 4 is cast off one stitch at right very two rows.

I can knit a square by knitting section 1 then (2 and 3) three times then section 4. It looks like this

I can also insert plain rows between any of the sections. 

If I start by casting on the full width of stitches and then begin with Section 2 and also insert plain rows each time that I get back to having all the stitches in work it looks like this:

I could cast on with waste yarn and then at the graft the final stitches for an invisible join.  
This could become a skirt,. It could also be the basis of the yoke of a jumper with more rows inserted in two of the sections for the front and back and fewer rows for the sleeve sections.

One of  of the new machine knitters, Maree, made another variation by knitting three segments, with some plain rows in the middle.

When I looked at the shape again I realised that I had previously knitted a cardigan using Sections 2 and 3 twice at the bottom to give a slightly flared hip.  
Details are in my Ravelry projects.
here  and here

These circular knitted pieces can be pulled into a square, or can be used to make other interesting shapes. Since knitting stitches are longer than they are wide there are many different effects depending on how you drape the knitting and how loose the tension is.


  1. This points too many possibilities. Thanks for adding it Denise

  2. Another variation could be to cast off some needles at the outer edges at some points rather than just putting the needles out of work , then casting on again instead of putting needles back into work. I might make another sample to show what I mean.

  3. Hi,
    I am very interested in learning how to use a knitting machine but do not have the money to buy one, any possibility of being able to use knitting machines and learn to use them?


    1. We can certainly arrange a machine knitting experience on one of our machines. Get in touch via Ravelry, or via the MKAV website

  4. Thank you so much Denise and Christine, the possibilities in your diagrams are endless. Maree's wrap is delightful! I do look forward to the next summer school ☺

  5. Thanks for sharing the information. It is very useful for me . keep sharing. . .