Another Fantastic Short Row Option with Free Pattern & Video

Updated: May 8

I have been exploring options for working short rows in patterns


Short Row Options

So far we have gone over:

  1. Wrap and turn short rows

  2. German short rows


Now we move on to Japanese short rows

I began knitting with Wrap and turn short rows. I understood the premise, but would usually give myself a refresher before working the wrap and turn short rows. I then learned German short rows. I find the German short rows are easier to work and the provide a neater and cleaner finish than the Wrap and turn short rows.


I want to continue to explore the options for short rows, and that is why I am writing about Japanese short rows. To be honest, the Japanese short rows look equally as neat and clean as the German short rows. Structure wise, they are more similar to the wrap and turn method, but as far as ease of working the Japanese short rows, they are equally as easy as the German short rows.


Japanese Short Rows work in blue

Here are the written instructions for the Japanese short rows:


  • You will need a locking stitch marker or lsm at every turning point. I suggest using one color on the knit side and a second color on the purl side. That being said, all the markers will live on the wrong side, or purl side, of the fabric when working in stockinette stitch.


Locking Stitch Markers (lsm)

  • On the right side, or knit side of stockinette stitch you work to your turning point. The turning point will be one stitch more than the pattern indicates if the pattern is written for the wrap and turn method.

  • Turn.

  • Slip 1 stitch from the left needle to the right needle purlwise.

  • Clip the locking stitch marker (lsm) to the working yarn just below the slipped stitch.

  • Hold the lsm up against the slipped stitch.

  • Purl to the next turning point. Once you begin working the stitches, the lsm will be held in place right under the slipped stitch.

  • Turn.

  • Slip 1 stitch from the left needle to the right needle purlwise.

  • Clip the lsm to the working yarn just below the slipped stitch.

  • Hold the lsm up against the slipped stitch.

  • Knit to the next turning point unless you have completed all of the required short rows..

  • Repeat these step for all of the required short rows

Here is how the Japanese short rows are finished:

  • Knit to the first marked stitch, which will have a lsm on the yarn right below the stitch, and will also have a gap right after the marked stitch.

  • Knit the marked stitch.

  • Pull up on the locking stitch marker to place the yarn on the left needle. The lifted stitch should be oriented so that the front leg of the lifted stitch is closer to the pointy end of the needle.

  • Knit the lifted stitch and the next stitch on the left needle together. This closes the gap between the stitches. Remove the lsm.

  • Repeat for the remainder of the marked stitches on the knit side of the fabric, then knit to the end of the row.

  • Purl to the first marked stitch.

  • Purl the marked stitch.

  • Before lifting the stitch, Slip 1 stitch from the left needle to the right needle purlwise.

  • Pull up on the locking stitch marker to place the yarn on the left needle. The lifted stitch should be oriented so that the front leg of the lifted stitch is closer to the pointy end of the needle.

  • Slip the slipped stitch back from the right needle to the left needle.

  • Purl the slipped stitch and the lifted stitch together. Remove the lsm.

  • Repeat for the remainder of the marked stitches on the purl side of the fabric, then purl to the end of the row.


Japanese Short Rows, Wrong side view

Japanese short rows work equally as well as German short rows. The only drawback that I can see with the Japanese short rows can also be seen as a benefit. The drawback is that the locking stitch markers, or lsm, can be a little fiddly, and it takes some time to add the markers and to remove the markers. However, having the markers right by the gaps eliminates any confusion as to where the gaps are located.


Here is the video tutorial for Japanese short rows.



Practice Japanese short rows

I am including another dishcloth pattern so that you can practice your Japanese short rows. The Round Short Row Dishcloth, Version 2, pattern is available now. Download the free pattern, knit it to give yourself another useful item while you perfect the Japanese short row technique!









Need some more inspiration? Check out Lovecrafts.


  • Twetchtransparent
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram