German short rows

German short rows technique began to be used around 2013 in English knitting patterns, and has become so much popular that most patterns using Stockinette stitch and published recently use this technique.

The number one reason of this popularity is its simplicity. Unlike wrap and turn which seems to require some steps to turn and to resolve the gap, German short rows’ operations look simpler. Let’s see if it is true with pictures.

I always use this terms to disambiguate which side you are working, but some patterns call the steps below just “right side”, though all the steps happen on the wrong side!

Knit to the stitch indicated (to last 4 sts in this example) and turn work. The wrong side is in front of you.

With your working yarn in front, slip the next stitch and pull the yarn to the back of your work. You gonna have a stitch like this, with double legs.

This step is usually called “make DS” – make double stitch -, because the stitch turned over on the needle looks doubled or divided.

Then, bring the yarn in front of your work, making sure that the divided stitch doesn’t return to the normal position – this is the most important point of German short row -, and purl the remainder of the row. Here the next stitch is purled to secure the DS.

And to resolve the gap, get back to the double stitch which should look like this.

And knit the two legs of the DS together, as if to k2tog. And that’s all. Quite simple, huh?

Here is the DS seen from the wrong side. Looks very nice 🙂

As for the opposite side of the work, the steps described below can be called “Wrong side” in some patterns (though all the steps happen on the right side).

Purl to the stitch indicated in your pattern (to last 4 sts here) and turn your work to the Right side.

You gonna do the same thing as on the opposite side of work, but as you have purled the row and turned your work, the yarn is in the back of work. So bring your yarn to the front.

Then, slip next stitch and pull yarn to the back. The stitch is divided/doubled.

The yarn is now in the back of work, and you are ready to knit the remainder of the row.

To resolve the gap, get back to the DS which looks like this.

And purl two legs together.

Here is the result seen from the WS.

I said that the number one reason of the popularity is its simplicity and I hope you’ve seen why with this tutorial. But there is also the number two reason: its finish. German short rows give a smoother slope than W&T short rows, and here is why.

This chart shows the stitches you obtain with the classic W&T short rows. You have 2-row stairsteps at each turn.

And this one shows the stitches you obtain with German short rows. You can see that you have 1 fewer row at each turn, thus obtain a smoother slope.

It’s valuable when you with to have smooth slopes on shoulders, neckline, or rounded hem, etc.

German short rows are also useful for reverse stockinette garments. The loops connecting rows are not very noticeable on the “wrong” side. And this picture of a neckline – from my newest design Recto Verso sweater – can illustrate the point 🙂

I think this should be my last post of the series on short rows, unless we discover another simpler and nicer method. If you haven’t read the other posts, take a look at them to know how to take advantage of other methods:
Japanese short rows?
Japanese Wrap and turn
classical Wrap and turn

The conclusion is that we should use the most adapted method to what you are knitting!


Out of Darkness Shawl!

As you may know, we had a very hot summer in Europe this year. I usually knit wool even in summer, but it was totally impossible because of the heatwaves and I worked with linen and silk instead.

I knit first Iris by Ririko with a linen yarn in June-July (I bought linen yarn when they had begun to announce the upcoming heatwave in June and I congratulated myself for having the idea!).

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French Seacoast

As some of you may know, I made a Seacoast pullover not so long ago. I really love this design by Joji, and when I saw a new Poivre Blanc color on De Rerum Natura website, I wanted to make a winter version of this.

And unfortunately, I fulled my first Seacoast sweater: I hand-washed it, but wanted to spin-dry it. My washing machine didn’t find the balance with a wet-heavy sweater to go to spin-dry, and my sweater continued to go up and tumble in the machine… The fabric lost the elasticity and the characteristic rib-stitches on the yoke were flattened. And this unfortunate event precipitated my decision to make a winter version.

I naturally used Gilliatt in Poivre Blanc. For those who don’t know yet, Gilliatt is a yarn from a French brand, De Rerum Natura. They use mainly French merino wool, and their yarns are made in France and the countries nearby, Italy and Belgium if I remember correctly. So my second Seacoast is French, unlike the first one which was British (but not totally European).

I didn’t obtain the pattern gauge (18 sts). So I followed the instructions of the third size to make an intermediate (between the second and third) size.
Seacoast has a large neck, a bit too large to my taste (I’ll be cold in winter!), so I already customized it on the first sweater. I started with the same number of stitches but worked the ribbed stitch part longer so the yoke covers more my shoulders. This customization wasn’t so bad, but I only used the same needle throughout the yoke (smaller one than for the Stockinette body though) and the neck grew wider with wear.

(my first British Seacoast sweater)

So this time, for the first rounds, I used a needle 0.5 mm smaller than the one I used for the yoke – and I can tell you that to knit a worsted weight yarn with 3.5 mm [US4] needle isn’t easy! Then I made the yoke deeper, worked short rows in slipped-rib stitch as for my first one.
The lower body is shorter and sleeves longer than the original, as for my first one too (I recommend that you knit sleeves longer for close-fitting circular-yoke sweaters).

Just done, the sweater looked stiff, with lot of gathers at the start of Stockinette, the neck too tight, not so nice in short. But the blocking (I particularly “opened” the rib)resolved these problems , phew!

The yoke I highly customized looks like this: the neck is much narrower than on the original and it is a bit than my first one (it’s important for the winter sweater!).

It’s a bit too warm for the end of April but I took some pictures.

In short, my French Seacoast in Gilliatt looks simpler, more rustic than my first one knit in Lyonese, a wool-linen blend yarn. The fabric has much less drape. I like it as is, but it is not impossible that I’ll make a spring-fall version with Lyonese again!



If you are a knitter, you love sheep (or, if you don’t like sheep, you are not a knitter)!
So I discovered Donna Smith’s Baable hat with the same enthousiasme as all of you 2 years ago.
This pattern was featured on the cover of the first issue of Shetland wool week annual, and seeing the names of contributors (Kate Davies among others), I didn’t hesitate one second to purchase it (and to my satisfaction, this number is full of interesting patterns and articles).
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