It’s not that stitch markers are bad. No. They are very helpful tools, our big friends. But because we attach one marker each time we turn the work using the Japanese short rows method, the process of shaping gets really slow and all those small objects dangling on the wrong side of the work quickly become confusing and annoying.
We can easily change that and make this method faster and simpler if we work Japanese short rows without using stitch markers. All it takes is some basic understanding of the logic behind this method.
All ways to make short rows intend to somehow close the gap that inevitably happens when we turn the work mid-row.
When we use the Japanese short row method, we do it by working the last horizontal strand of the turning row together with the first stitch at the other side of the gap. Once we understand this simple concept, we don’t need to plant dozens of stitch markers into our project.
Here’s what we do instead.
Aside from making the Japanese short rows method faster and less cluttered, this “marker-free” approach has another valuable benefit – it makes it easier for us to use this method on projects worked in the round.
When we add short rows to a seamless project, we can use the same method as the one we use when we close the gap on the knit side of the work to close gaps at both sides of the shaping, eliminating the need to swap the stitches as we did when we closed the gap on the purl side of the fabric.
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“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.