Tutorial: How to insert short row bust darts into a cardigan

In this case, my Eyelet Chemise:

HoneyBee33 has written an excellent tutorial on knitted darts, which I highly recommend, and on which this demonstration is based.

Here, I have:

  • Summarised the parts that relate specifically to short row darts.
  • Demonstrated how to decide where to put the darts and what size they should be.
  • Provided links to some great photo-tutorials for executing short rows.

Here’s what you do:

1. Note down some measurements:

  • Row gauge per inch. Mine is often off, so check your actual row gauge, not just what it ought to be.
  • The length of the finished garment.
  • Your shoulder to back waist.
  • Your shoulder to front waist – tie a length of yarn around your waist to make sure your back and front measurements are consistent.
  • Your shoulder to bust point

2. Calculate the depth of your darts:

  • Subtract your shoulder-to-back-waist measurement from your shoulder-to-front-waist measurement.
  • Multiply the answer by the number of rows per inch.
  • Divide this number in half. This is the number of stitches you will wrap.

3. Calculate where to start working the short rows:

  • Subtract your shoulder to bust point measurement from the garment shoulder to hem measurement.
  • The result is how far from the cast on edge you start the short rows.

A couple of extra notes:

  • When inserting bust darts into a cardigan, one dart goes at each side edge, which means the centre front of the cardigan will be longer than the centre back.
  • If you are knitting the garment in one piece, start the darts at the last stitch on the front. If you are knitting front(s) and back separately, start the darts a couple of stitches from the edge.

This is what I did for my Eyelet Chemise:

1. Measurements:

  • Row gauge: 8.25 rows per inch.
  • Garment length: 20″.
  • Shoulder to back waist: 18″
  • Shoulder to front waist: 20″
  • Shouder to bust point: 10″

2. Depth of darts:

  • Subtract shoulder-to-back-waist measurement from shoulder-to-front-waist measurement. 20 – 18 = 2″.
  • Multiply the answer by the number of rows per inch. 2 x 8.25 = 16.5.
  • Divide this number in half. This is the number of stitches you will wrap. 16.5 divided by 2 8.25, rounded down to 8 wraps.

3. Where to start them:

  • Subtract shoulder to bust point measurement from the garment shoulder to hem measurement: 20 – 10 = 10″ from bottom edge.

To work the short rows, the best references I have found are knitty.com’s article on short rows and misocrafty‘s tutorial on picking up wraps.

This is how it should look after you have wrapped all your stitches:

And here they are in the finished cardigan:

Please feel free to contact me if any part of this tutorial is unclear; I would love to hear from you. Click the Contact link to the left of the page to get in touch with me.

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