I've been Short Row crazy these past few months. They seem to be making their way into a lot of designs, and I love how many different ways they can be used. Short Rowing is one of those techniques with endless possibility that can turn the simplest projects into something special. Today's pattern is a great example of this.

I really love the simple rhythm and bold texture that comes from knitting welts. Whenever I see a welted scarf or cowl in the wild, more often than not I find myself wanting one too. I wanted to put together a welted accessory that had a little something extra that might sneak up on you... that you may not notice upon first glance. Something that would make the knitting process slightly more adventurous as well.

Enter short rows. In the photo above you can see how the use of short rows skews the welts in the center to lay diagonally across the rhythmic horizontals. It was just the thing to spice up an otherwise repetitive bit of knitting (though you know I have a special place in my heart for The Mindless too.)

The cowl pattern is written for three sizes – shallow, medium and deep versions. The medium version is shown here. Wet-blocking is an important ingredient in this pattern, to achieve the proper drape and behavior from the fabric. Unblocked welts create a somewhat stiff and structured fabric that looks more like a tube – great for some things, but a little too rigid for a cowl with that effortless look. Wet blocking this and stretching it vertically helps the fabric relax and take on a wonderfully cozy hand, while simultaneously making the welts more visually appealing and the short rowing more obvious.

It's a great little gift to to use as Short Row practice. I've made a couple of them myself using my favorite method, Japanese Short Rows, which are so clean and tidy they give me more secret delight than most things do.

Resources: The Setzer pattern is available as a downloadable PDF through Brooklyn Tweed or Ravelry. Yarn for this project is available here; sample shown was knit up with Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER in the "Wool Socks" colorway.


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