Knitting Short Rows: The German Method

What are short-rows? They’re exactly what they sound like: partial rows in the knitting that create curves, soft angles, and depth. Short-rows are an invaluable technique that allow the knitter to create modern, seamless knitwear that is both engaging to knit and flattering to wear. In this series, we’ll show you how to work some of the most common methods of working short-rows. Previously, we discussed the wrap and turn method and the yarnover method. This week, we’ll show you how to work short-rows using the German method.

knitting short rows

The German method is easy to work back and forth in stockinette stitch, garter stitch, and reverse stockinette stitch and yields tidy results. In the German method, stitches are worked to the desired turning point, the work is turned, then a yarnover is used to pull up a stitch from the row below, resulting in both of its legs creating a double stitch on the needle. On a subsequent row, both legs of the stitch are worked together to disguise the turning point.

The German Method on a Knit Row

knitting short rows


knitting short rows

1. Knit to the turning point and turn the work (Figure 1).

2. Slip the next stitch purlwise (Figure 2).

3. Bring the working yarn to the back over the right needle and pull upward so that both legs of the stitch below the slipped stitch are pulled up onto the needle, creating what appears to be an odd-looking double stitch (Figure 3).

4. If you’re working in stockinette stitch, bring the working yarn to the front again between the needles (Figure 4); purl the next row (Figure 5). If you’re working in garter stitch, the yarn is already at the back; knit the next row.

Intrigued by German short-rows? Try making the Tilting Lines Cowl, shown above. Or consider the Buttonside Sweater, shown in the header—check out Kerry’s finished Buttonside Sweater here!

Knitting Short Rows: Make It Yours

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