How to work German short rows

Short rows can be one of the most fun parts of knitting. They offer up such wonderful three-dimensional possibilities, making it easy to turn a heel, work horizontal bust darts, create a curved shawl worked end to end – or create a dipped hem, as in Regensberg.

german short rows pinterest.jpg

I love how they look and I love doing them. But only when using the right technique; badly made turns are such a turn-off. I might use different methods depending on circumstances, but this one is surely the simplest and most versatile: German short rows. 

This method doesn't involve any extra stitches or preparation before the turn, so if the pattern is written for the wrap-and-turn method, work one more stitch than instructed. The last stitch worked – or first stitch after the turn – functions as the wrapped stitch. 

Here's how you do it.

 

For knit stitches, at the start of your short row:

1. Bring yarn forward.

3. …and tug hard on yarn to tighten the stitch and pull stitch below up over the needle, creating the appearance of two “legs”.

How the stitch appears once worked. 

2. Slip the stitch purlwise…

4. To close the gap on the return row, purl into the centre of this “double stitch” (with two legs in front and two behind).
 

The turns will be almost invisible from the knit side of stocking stitch fabric.

For purled stitches, the method is exactly the same, just, well, purled:

1. Turn the work and bring yarn forward.

3. …and tug hard on yarn to tighten the stitch and pull stitch below up over the needle, creating the appearance of two “legs”. Bring the yarn forward to continue purling.

…like this.

2. Slip the stitch purlwise…

4. To close the gap, knit into the centre of this “double stitch” (with two legs in front and two behind)…

 

The turns may appear a little bumpy on the reverse stocking stitch side, but will smooth out with blocking.

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