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How to Work: German Short Rows

german, short rows, Tutorial, warp and turn -

How to Work: German Short Rows

How to Work German Short Rows

Short rows are a method of working only part of a row of knitting (whether it is in the round or flat) to create an extra area of knitted fabric in one spot. They can be used for many shaping requirements, such as to turn the heel of a sock, to add extra shaping to a sweater to better fit a curvy body, or to create shaping in a shawl, just to name a few. These rows are exactly what they claim to be. Short rows are shorter than a regular row in the knitted piece, but when turning mid-row to work the other direction, the knitter is presented with a hole in the work at the turn spot. German short rows use the active yarn pulled over the needle (instead of around a stitch like traditional short rows) to fill in the hole and create a finished piece of knitting with no visible blemish.

How to Work It

How to work: German Short Rows

Begin by knitting on the right-side row to the location of the turn as indicated by the pattern. Turn work to the wrong side.

How to work: German Short Rows

Bring the active yarn to the front of the work between the needle tips and slip the next stitch purlwise from the left tip to the right tip.

How to work: German Short Rows

Bring the active yarn over the right tip from front to back.

How to work: German Short Rows

This creates a "double stitch" on the right needle; keep a firm tension on the active yarn.

How to work: German Short Rows

Bring the active yarn to the front of the work between the needle tips and purl across the wrong side to the next turn point.

How to work: German Short Rows

Turn the work so that the right side is facing.

How to work: German Short Rows

Bring the yarn between the needle tips to the front of the work.

How to work: German Short Rows

Slip the next stitch purlwise with the yarn in front.

How to work: German Short Rows

Bring the active yarn over the right tip from front to back. This time it will not look as neat and tidy as on the previous wrap, but it will still work. Keep a firm tension on the active yarn.

How to work: German Short Rows

With the yarn in the back, knit across the right-side row to the next turn point and repeat from the beginning of the tutorial until all the needed wraps are complete.

How to work: German Short Rows

For this example, I have worked four German short row turns as indicated by each finger in the photo.

How to work: German Short Rows

Now for the working in, knit to the double stitch.

How to work: German Short Rows

Insert the right needle tip into the double stitch as if to k2tog (knit two together), wrap and pull through.

How to work: German Short Rows

As you can see, the wraps are well camouflaged if not totally invisible.

How to work: German Short Rows

Now purl to the double stitch on the wrong side.

How to work: German Short Rows

Purl the double stitch together, making sure to get a loop of each wrap.

That's it!  hope you enjoyed learning about German Short Rows, they are my go-to method for short rows at this point since they are so lovely and invisible! 

Happy Knitting!

Meghan 

 Want to try German Short Rows in a great project? Try Cusp of Gemini ; this simple shawl pattern uses short rows to create a triangular shape and looks great in a plain, variegated or striped yarn! 

Cusp of Gemini

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2 comments

  • Meghan Jones

    Hi Suzanne, if you are working in garter stitch I would recommend just using a traditional wrap and turn short row method, and not lifting the wrap. The horizontal wrap will blend right in with the garter bumps and the wrap will prevent a hole from forming too! thanks-Meghan

  • Suzanne McCrea Biamonte

    Megan, thx for the most informative German Short Rows Instructional. This is the best I’ve seen ❤️🙏🏼! Will this technique work on garter stitch ?
    If not? Do I perform the purl row method each row? OR the knit stitch each row? Kindof seems like a duh question but I’m working with bulky yarn on 6mm needles the gaps are gonna be big if I don’t compromise with GSR’s.
    PS: from ShPk, my sister in Edm quilts for your Mom, we both know her from guild. Small world. Love your work 🙏🏼❤️

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