Monday, November 23, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Carol Feller's Short Row Knits


So, short rows are basically magic.


....and, as I remember thinking as a newbie knitter, they can seem about as impossible as magic. Not so much the technique itself (I tend to be pretty fearless about that kind of thing- just string, ya know?) but figuring out how to add them to a design and make them do what I wanted was absolutely boggling. I remember asking for advice in the old livejournal "knitting" community, about how to calculate short rows to make a set of costume devil-horns curve properly (I don't recall getting a satisfying answer, but I DO recall being made fun of in the "knitting_snark" community- geeez guys! ;-P Man, remember the livejournal knitting scene? Way back before Ravelry? Good times. But I digress...)


Enter: the book I wish I'd had then. Carol Feller's Short Row Knits!







You may know Carol from her awesome Craftsy class on the same subject, which was responsible for introducing me to short-row set-in sleeves (which I've only used once so far, but I know I'll be back for more.) This book is a thorough exploration of the whole world of short rows- starting with four methods described in detail, along with recommendations for which method is best for which applications. I'd tried three of them before - wrap and turn, Japanese, and yarn-over. I hadn't tried German, though, and Carol claims it's the most invisible method for short rows in garter stitch... something that has stymied me before. So I thought I'd give it a whirl...









Not bad! Admittedly it looks a bit odd in the picture because I didn't center the short-rows... I'm a sloppy swatcher, I'm afraid. But there are no weirdly prominent bumps on either side of the garter stitch, and the few I did in the stockinette look pretty good too.


After discussing each method, Carol walks you through all the common uses for short rows- creating shaped shawls, adding darts and other "make this sweater fit better" features, turning heels, and making cool 3-D shapes like balls. She also gives you tips for designing with short rows - sketching the curve you want out on knitters graph paper, for example, to help you decide where to place them- and for modifying existing designs. All around, a great a thorough introduction to a very useful technique!







The projects themselves are lovely- Carol's sweaters are always to die for! The fact that they're educational to boot is really just a bonus.






My only wee complaint: I would love to see more diagrams of some of the projects, such as the shawls, that would let me visualize exactly how the short row wedges are coming together (or even just flat shots.) This book is designed to help you learn project-by-project, but it's unlikely that very many people will actually make every single item, so being able to visualize how the project comes together without actually knitting it would help readers learn the lesson from each item without actually having to knit each one. There are a ton of useful diagrams in the techniques sections of this book, though, and the garments have schematics which is helpful as well :-)


So whatdya say? You want a copy? Good news!

I've got one copy to give away to a lucky winner! Just comment on this post before the end of November and let me know your favorite way to use short-rows (or if you haven't used them at all, what use you're looking forward to!) On December 1st I'll pick a winner at random!




Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy of this book by the author and publisher. However, all opinions are my own.

27 comments:

  1. I have only done the wrap and turn short rows but would love to learn how to do the Japanese and German short rows.

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  2. I've used short rows for sock heels, crescent shawl shaping, and ruffles, but I'd love to learn her set-in sleeve method. Thank you so much for the opportunity!

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  3. Most often I use short rows for sock heels, but I've been dying to try them out to help neck shaping in sweaters!

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  4. Short rows, by me, are mostly used to make sweaters longer back or neck shaping. Nice effect and so easy.

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  5. I've used short rows in socks and shawls - I'd love to try them out in a sweater!

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  6. I love using short rows in sleeve caps, and I've used them to add length in the back of sweaters, but I'd love to play around with them more :)

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  7. I've only used short rows like five times and I have to look up how to do them every single time. I wish I felt more confident about them!

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  8. Short rows are <3. They are absolutely my go-to for sock heels. But I definitely need to get better at using them in the boob area.

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  9. I don't have a favorite way of using short rows, I just use them when I told to in the pattern. Thanks for the chance to win the book.
    Lmecoll on Ravelry

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  10. Short rows frighten me, but I'd love to know how they work! Thanks for the opportunity.

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  11. My favorite way to use short rows is when you are making graceful waves in a shawl. It has a sense of wonder for those whose thought knitting only made squares or rectangles.

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  12. I love using short rows to shape shawls

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  13. So far, I've only used them on sleeve caps. They seem so versatile, though, I'd love to learn more!

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  14. I've used short rows for sock heels and crescent shawls. I'd love to have a collection of short row methods in one book, though. I've used two different wrap and turn methods, and I can't remember either one! I'm pretty linear in my knitting, and I'd love to figure out the curve...

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  15. I've used short rows in shawls mostly and you're right, they do feel like a kind of magic and also like you're a bit off piste lol. I find it fascinating to see how they work, but I've not done enough to really have a favourite use, yet!! Thanks for the chance to win the book :)

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  16. Thus far, only for socks and shawls, but I'd like to be able to broaden my horizons.

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  17. I've just used short rows for socks, shawls and for shaping garment. Now I'm very anxious about learning how to use in other ways.

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  18. This book looks fantastic! I'm a big fan of short rows, especially for interesting color patterning in shawls and making sweaters fit better by having short rows along the back.

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  19. I really want to learn this short-row set in sleeve thingy. It sounds so promising. I'm also pretty interested in using short rows to insert color-blocking parts in an otherwise-flat piece of knitting...

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  20. Hi there. Just did short rows on a few baby hats to make fox and wolf ears. They were super cute.

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  21. I think I've only used short rows on a shawl. I tried to design something recently (cowl) using short rows and I missed the point.....didn't come out as I intended/wanted, so I have to learn some more theory. This book?? Carol Feller explains things really clearly in videos I've watched.

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  22. I've used short rows before but they never seem to come out perfectly, I'd like to know more

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  23. I use short rows to make a rounded gusset and flap sock heel (pretty much the toe-up round heel from Lara Neel's Sock Architecture book), which fits me just about perfect. My favorite use of short rows though is to create a crescent shape in a shawl knit tip-to-tip. I made my public library buy Carol's book, but, boy would I love to own a copy!

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  24. I do prefer German short rows but I would like to try Japanese short rows. I am finally getting over the fear of short rows. That took awhile! LOL!

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  25. I do prefer German short rows but I would like to try Japanese short rows. I am finally getting over the fear of short rows. That took awhile! LOL!

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  26. That book looks great! I've enjoyed short rows every time I've knit them because I love watching the fabric take shape. I've done them in shawls, hats and cowls.

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