How to Knit Japanese Short Rows

Japanese Short Rows
There are several ways to work short rows. One of my favourites is the Japanese method. Unlike the more traditional “wrap and turn,” the stitches at the turning point are not wrapped. Short rows are a two-part operation. First you work a partial row, then turn and work in the opposite direction. Later the hole caused by turning is closed.

Mark the turning point

  • Work to the turning point; turn.
  • Slip 1 stitch purlwise.
  • Place a self-locking stitch marker around the working strand of yarn. Snug the marker up against your knitting and work the next stitch, trapping the marker in place.
  • Continue to work the rest of the row.

Closing the gaps

  • Work up to the gap adjacent to the market stitch.
  • Grasp the stitch marker and gently pull it to create a small lop of yarn. Place the loop on the left hand needle. You want the longer leg of the loop to be on the front side of the needle.
  • Work the next stitch together with the loop of yarn.
The loop helps to close the gap created by turning and working in the other direction. The Japanese short row method uses a smaller loop of yarn than the more widely known “wrap and turn” method and is minimized on the back of the work. The Ebb & Flow blanket (from the Tempest collection) has gently curving lines of garter stitch ridges which are achieved with short rows. It’s the perfect project for practicing short rows.

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