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
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.
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.
Bring the active yarn over the right tip from front to back.
This creates a "double stitch" on the right needle; keep a firm tension on the active yarn.
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.
Turn the work so that the right side is facing.
Bring the yarn between the needle tips to the front of the work.
Slip the next stitch purlwise with the yarn in front.
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.
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.
For this example, I have worked four German short row turns as indicated by each finger in the photo.
Now for the working in, knit to the double stitch.
Insert the right needle tip into the double stitch as if to k2tog (knit two together), wrap and pull through.
As you can see, the wraps are well camouflaged if not totally invisible.
Now purl to the double stitch on the wrong side.
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!
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!