Short Rows: Tip Sheet for 5 Techniques

Whether a seasoned user of short-rows or a knitter looking to use the technique for the first time, we could all use a bit more information on what short-row techniques work best in which situation.

short row techniques

The Wrap & Turn

“All short-row techniques involve knitting a partial row, turning the work before the end is reached, and then knitting back in the opposite direction. When you again encounter the place where you turned the work, which may be in the next row in that direction or many rows later, you will come to a small gap created at the turning point. This is because the last stitch before the turn is not connected to the stitch after it. Generally you don’t want a hole in your knitting, so you have to do something to make the gap invisible. Different short-row techniques use vari­ous strategies both when making the turn, and when later closing the resulting gap.”

—Jennifer Dassau, Knitting Short Rows: Techniques and Tips for Great Shapes & Angles

1. The Wrap and Turn (w&t): excellent for simple stitch pattern stitches such as ribbing; suitable for working in the round; depending on your yarn, it’s not the
best choice for stockinette stitch.

2.  The Yarnover Method: easy to work back and forth in stockinette, garter, and rib; yields tidy results; suitable for colorwork where the yarn color changes between rows; a bit complicated when working in the round.

short row techniques

The German Method

3. The German Method: another technique easy to work in stockinette and garter, also works well with reverse stockinette; not great for garter stitch as it can distort the row below; turning point is disguised.

4. The Japanese Method: extremely tidy results in stockinette, garter stitch, and reverse stockinette; requires a removable stitch marker; adaptable for working in the round.

5. The Twin Stitch Method (twin&t): also called shadow wrap method; simple when working stockinette (back and forth, or in the round); works will with ribbing too, or other stacked stitches; distortion of the row below is noticeable in garter stitch.

For full step-by-step instructions illustrations for working each of these techniques, be sure to check out Knitting Short Rows: Techniques and Tips for Great Shapes & Angles.

—Kerry