Working Short Rows in Orbit

Working Short Rows in Orbit

Orbit is a tear-drop shaped topper you can wear scrunched up like a cowl or opened up over your shoulder poncho-style. The shape is achieved with short rows, a technique that is easy to work when you take it one stitch at a time! Mango Moon Mulberry Meadow yarn, with its next-to-skin softness and wonderful hand, is a perfect choice for this versatile design. Today we’ll show you how to master short rows to make this fun project.

Short Row Wedges

In the Orbit pattern, the garter stitch striped sections alternate with wedges of short rows. What is a short row? Short rows are exactly what they sound like: a row in which you do not knit all the stitches. To work a short row, you will stop at a specific point and turn your work to continue back across the stitches you just worked until you reach the next turning point. There are a variety of different types of short rows and ultimately they all achieve the effect of creating curves in your knitting.

Here, the short rows are worked by slipping the first stitch after each turn without wrapping the next stitch. You can avoid leaving a hole by slightly tightening the slipped stitch. In the photographs below, the second short row wedge is being worked.


If you are comfortable in reading your knitting, you’ll see there is a small space where you turned your work and slipped the stitch. That will help you identify the turns and know where to stop and turn on the following rows. You can also use stitch markers to mark those turns if you’re worried about missing them as you knit – just remember to remove them on Rows 15 and 16 when you begin to work in the round.

On Row 15 and 16 work those slipped stitches as normal stitches. If you feel they are too loose and will result in a hole, lift the horizontal strand before the slipped stitch and place it twisted on the left needle. Work this loop together with the slipped stitch to tighten up that space. Try it both ways and see if you have a preference! It is not required, but know that consistent stitches will give your project an even appearance.

Continue on in the same manner for each short row wedge. Be sure to note the number of stitches to work before stopping and turning – that number changes in each section.

Ready to start knitting an Orbit of your own? Kits, including the yarn and pattern, are available at Heart of the Mitten.

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How to Knit the Short Rows in the Orbit Topper

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