Whenever a pattern requires working short rows, I almost always use shadow wraps. But recently I started a project that specifically calls for German short rows. I gave this technique a try and discovered that it is an amazingly simple method that forms an almost invisible transition between the rows.
When we plan to use German short rows instead of “wrap and turn”, “shadow wraps” and other short row techniques, we have to understand one very important thing. Here’s what I mean:
The idea behind every method to work short rows is to eliminate a hole in a spot where we turn the work. This is usually achieved by creating an additional wrap or a stitch at the “border stitch” – a stitch that is right next to the place where we turn the work (and where a hole could potentially appear).
In most short row techniques the “border stitch” is the one that is the first after the turning point, but in German short rows, it is a stitch that is the last before the turning point.
To make this concept clear, I marked these stitches in the photo below.
If we were to turn the work to make a short row in the swatch featured in the photo, the turning point would be between the needles, the “border stitch” for most short row techniques would be the first stitch from the tip of the left needle, and the “border stitch” for German short rows would be the first stitch from the tip of the right needle.
Why is this so important? Because it means that if we use German short rows in a pattern that calls for “wrap and turn” or some other short row technique, we should work the number of stitches mentioned in the pattern plus one more stitch.
For example, if a pattern tells you to “knit 5 stitches, then make wrap and turn”, we should knit 6 stitches, turn the work and work German short rows.
Now, that we clarified this important feature of German short rows, let’s see how this method works step by step.
The only case when we should stick to the classic “wrap and turn” or “shadow wrap” techniques is when several consecutive short rows have the same turning point. It sometimes happens when we use short rows to shape a heel of a sock (for example, in Sneaker Socks) and we have to wrap the same “border stitch” twice. When it happens, German short rows technique forms a small but noticeable hole.
In all other cases, it is a great way to create almost invisible short rows in any stitch pattern with just three simple steps.
The full step-by-step photo tutorial about this method, is a part of the Knitting Collection #5. Once you order your copy of this collection, you will instantly receive a “big PDF” (336 pages!) with this and 46 other tutorials included in the collection.
You will also receive three knitting patterns as a special bonus, so go ahead and get it all right now before you forget 😊
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Matching Cast Ons and Bind Offs” Book
Discover six pairs of cast on and bind off methods that form identical edges on projects worked flat and in the round.
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.
Dealing with Unfinished Projects
Dictionary of Knitting Symbols and Abbreviations – E-Book
Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified
How to Shape Neckline Without Binding Off Stitches – E-Book
Knitting Collection #7