Unraveling Short Rows
I was recently asked a question about adding short row shaping for the bust to allover patterns. I have three methods that I like to use to give the girls more room when normal short row techniques (like those used in plain stockinette stitch) just won’t work.
The first method is to simply knit your front longer than the back and ease the extra fabric in at the bust when joining the front to the back. Spread the easing out over a space of about 3” to keep the fabric from bunching too much. Any unavoidable bunching can be steamed out.
Another method which is particularly useful with cabled or Aran type sweaters, is to leave a panel of seed or stockinette stitch (sometimes as little as 5 sts will do) along the armhole edge of the front to facilitate the wrapping and turning of short rows.
Also, there are usually purl panels between cables to help the cables pop. I will wrap and turn in those panels. Even though the wraps won’t be right next to one another, you’re still lengthening the center of the fabric without adding length to the sides which is your overall goal when making room for a generous bosom.
In the photo of my Ruby cardigan below, you can see what I’m talking about. There are no side panels of stockinette at the underarms, but there are purl panels to work within even if they’re only 1 stitch wide. So as you can see, I’ve got at least 5 places to wrap and turn on Ruby which will yield at least 10 short rows per set. This may give me as much as 1 3/4” additional length in the front which is about enough for a C or small D cup. For a larger cup size, I’d simply work another set of the 10 short rows after the first set is completed.
Now, let me just say that this pattern was not written specifically for the addition of short rows but since I know what they are and what I’m trying to acheive with them, I can figure out how and where to squeak them in. Anyone with a bust size larger than a B cup should add this technique knowledge to their bag of tricks as something to keep in mind when choosing a pattern.