Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Short row rump shaping

Last night, I ventured into the unknown waters of short row shaping. Most knitters use short rows to give themselves some extra fabric in the bust area, as shown in this photo from Amy Herzog's terrific Fit to Flatter tutorials. Short rows let you insert a curve in flat knitting without having to increase the length of the garment. I've heard wondrous things about short rows and how much they improve fit.

Maybe short rows would help me in the bust department, but where I need the extra curve is in my derriere. I spend half my life tugging on the back of my garments. And my profile pics always bug me because what should be a parallel line at the hem is always pitched. I look like a Victorian woman with a bustle.

I literally have an anatomical, genetic reason for my unfortunate bustle. I have hyperlordosis, an exaggerated curvature of the spine. Besides making sweaters difficult to fit, hyperlordosis also gives me fits of pain and weekly trips to the chiropractor. 

I can't do a thing about my spine, but I can add some rear shaping to get a better fit. I will admit freely that I'm making this up as I go along. I knitted about 10 inches in length and then started the shaping. I left a 25-stitch margin on each side and then did the standard short row wrap and turn. (See the video below for a comprehensive discussion of the technique.)

You can see that I've added a gentle curve that makes the hem dip a little, but when I wrap this around my butt, the curve will (hopefully) be absorbed by my butt and result in a straight line. I suspect I should do more short rows and more research, too. I wish I had more confidence about what I'm doing. I know it's the right approach but whether I'm implementing this correctly is a mystery. I'll let you know what I find out.

I may be clueless about short-row shaping, but there's one thing I know for sure: I love my little man, Moose. He always makes me smile. :-)