An Easier Short Row

Wow! I don't know why I was waiting to learn German Short Rows

Honestly, the reason could be that it is just quicker to do what you know than it is to learn something new. Take the time to watch the video on German Short Rows. I know you will be blown away with how easy they are to do, and how good they look once you complete the short rows and work the finishing row!



I knit this swatch in the pink yarn, then used the white yarn for the German Short Rows. With the color contrast, it is easy to see the length that the short rows add to the fabric.




Adapt Wrap and Turn Instructions to use German Short Rows.

When doing a Wrap and Turn Short Row, your pattern will indicate to work until there are a certain number of stitches remaining, then the wrap and turn will happen on the next stitch. When working a German Short Row, work one more stitch than the pattern indicates that you should work before the wrap and turn. So, if your pattern says to work until there are 6 stitches before the marker, then wrap and turn. you will work until there are 5 stitches before the marker.


Here is how you work a German Short Row


  1. Work to the spot that you want to turn.

  2. Turn your work.

  3. Slip the last stitch worked from your left needle to your right needle purl-wise.






4. Bring your yarn to the front of your work. In this case it is already in the front of the the work since you were knitting, and you are looking at the purl side of the work.


5. Pull the live yarn, in this case the pink yarn, up and over the needle. This creates a double stitch and a little gap between the double stitch and the adjacent unworked (white) stitch on the right needle.



6. Begin working across the row. In this case, since you are on the purl side of the fabric, after pulling the yarn up to create the double stitch, bring the yarn from the back of the work to the front of the work between the needles, then begin to purl.







7. Continue purling until you are to your next turning point.






8. Turn your work.

9. Bring you yarn to the front of your work.

10. Slip the stitch from the left needle to the right needle purl-wise.









11. Pull the live yarn up and over the needle. This creates a double stitch and a little gap between the double stitch and the adjacent unworked stitch on the right needle.


12. Continue knitting across the row.


Repeat these steps until you have worked all of the needed short rows.





Finishing the German Short Rows

Once all the short rows are complete, it is time to work your finishing rows.

1. Begin working across the row. Work until you will come to a double stitch, that was created in the previous steps.





2. Knit the double stitch, inserting the needle under both legs of the stitch. It is much like working a k2tog.















3. Continue knitting to the end of the row. We only turned twice on this sample, so at this point we have only finished one turn. We will finish the other turn on the next row. Just note that if we went back and forth 10 times, we would finish half of those turns while working this row, and would work the other half on the next row.





4. Purl to the double stitch.








5. Purl the double stitch, inserting the needle under both legs of the double stitch. This is like a p2tog.


6. Purl to the end of the row.






7. Voila! You have finished your German Short Rows! Take a look at the knit side of the work. You see the extra rows in pink, but you don't see any gaps or wraps. It looks pretty good on the right side of your work.



I have been doing wrap and turn short rows for years, but I still have to think about how to do it every time. German short rows are so much easier and they will make your knitting look great.


Quick Recap of the Steps for German Short Rows


1. Work across row to turn point.

2. Turn the work.

3. Bring the yarn to the front (if it is not already there)

4. Slip the last stitch from the left to the right purl-wise.

5. Pull the live yarn up and over the right needle to create a double stitch from the slipped stitch.

5. Work across the row either to the next turn point, or to the end of the row

6. Finish by working across the row. When you come to a double stitch, just work it, making sure that you insert your needle under both front legs of the double stitch.


That is really all there is to it! Give German Short Rows a try. It just may become your favorite method for working short rows.


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