Decreases, Increases, Working the Stitches

How to Work Short Row Shaping Part 3 of 4: The German Method

This is part three of a four part blog series on short rows. In this post, we will cover the German short row method. Click here to read the blog from the beginning.

German Method with the Purl Side Facing

  1. On the knit side of the work, work across the row to the turning point. Turn work – the purl side is now facing you.
  2. Make sure the yarn is forward (in the front of your work).
  3. Slip 1 stitch purlwise.
  4. Then, pull straight up on the turning yarn. The yarn will come over the back of the needle. This creates the double stitch.
  5. Keeping the tension, purl the next stitch and work to the next turning point.

 

German Method with the Knit Side Facing

  1. On the purl side of the work, work across the row to the turning point. Turn work – the knit side is now facing you.
  2. Move the yarn forward (to the front of your work).
  3. Slip 1 stitch purlwise.
  4. Then, pull straight up on the turning yarn. The yarn will come over the back of the needle. This creates the double stitch.
  5. Keeping the tension, knit the next stitch and work to the next turning point.

Closing the Gaps Knit & Purl Side

Once you have created the double stitch, it will be treated as 1 stitch in the subsequent rows. When you have finished all short rows and are ready to work across the row, you will work the double stitches by using k2tog on the knit side and p2tog on the purl side.

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Decreases, Increases, Working the Stitches

How to Work Short Row Shaping Part 2 of 4: The Standard Method vs. Wrap & Turn

This is part two of a four part blog series on short rows. In this post, we will cover the standard short row method and the wrap and turn method. Click here to read the blog from the beginning.

Standard Method

Work across the row to the turning point and then turn the work. It’s really that simple. The so-called “flaw” in this method is that it produces a hole at the turning point. Bear in mind that a “flaw” sometimes can be used as a design element within a garment. But holes aren’t always wanted and there are other methods which allow the knitter to avoid holes when working short rows.

Wrap and Turn Method

This is a commonly used method in sweater knitting and is often indicated within patterns as “wrap and turn” or w&t.

Wrap and Turn Knitwise

  1. Work across the row to the turning point.
  2. Slip the next st purlwise wyib from the left needle to the right needle.
  3. Move yarn to the front (wrapping the st).
  4. Slip the stitch back onto the left needle. Turn your work.

Wrap and Turn Purlwise

  1. Work across the row to the turning point.
  2. Slip the next st purlwise wyif from the left needle to the right needle.
  3. Move yarn to the back (wrapping the st).
  4. Slip the stitch back onto the left needle. Turn your work.

Closing the Gaps: Knit the Wraps

  1. For decreasing short rows: knit the wraps on the first row after all short row shaping is complete.
  2. For increasing short rows: knit (RS rows) or purl (WS rows) the wrap together with the stitch on the needle as you work the subsequent short row.

*Note that in some designs, the next row may be a bind off row after working all short rows.

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Decreases, Increases, Working the Stitches

How to Work Short Row Shaping Part 1 of 4: The Types & Methods of Short Row Shaping

Short row shaping is a technique that can be used to add or remove fabric from a specific area of a garment. Short rows can take several shapes within a garment: they can be worked to form a wedge (dart), a convex curve or a concave curve. They are often used to shape cap sleeves, custom fit the bust, shape shoulders, and as a general design element within a garment.

To get started, I’ve outlined some key terms below:

Turning Point: this is where the knitting changes direction from one row to the next row.

Turning Yarn: this is the working yarn – turning yarn is used in some of the techniques outlined in this series.

Gap: the space (or gap) in the knitting where you turned the stitch in the previous row.

Types of Short Rows

June Hemmons Hiatt describes two types of short rows in The Principles of Knitting: decreasing short rows and increasing short rows. I like this classification because it provides a good general description of the different types of short rows.

Decreasing short rows are more common than increasing short rows and form a convex shape. They are called decreasing short rows because the number of active stitches decreases row by row.

Decreasing Short Rows

Increasing short rows are worked from the side edge of the garment and move toward the center row by row and form a concave shape. They are called increasing short rows because the number of active stitches increases row by row.

Increasing Short Rows

It’s important to know if you are working a decreasing or increasing short row because the technique for “closing the gap” differs between the two. For example, in the Pretty in Mink pattern, I used increasing short rows to form the reverse shirttail at the front cast on edge of the garment. This method is outlined in Sally Melville’s Knitting Pattern Essentials. In this method, you work past the gap on the subsequent row – which means you are closing the gaps as you knit the next row. This differs from the decreasing short rows where you close the gaps after all short row shaping is complete or close the gaps as you bind off.

Techniques for Working Short Rows

The short row shaping techniques discussed in this series fall under decreasing and/or increasing short rows. In Part 2-4 of this blog series, I’ve provided information and instructions for the below listed short row shaping techniques. Please note that instructions are written for Stockinette stitch.

  • Part 2 The Standard and Wrap & Turn Method: can be worked as either a decreasing or increasing short row depending on how the pattern is written.
  • Part 3 The German Short Row Method: can be worked as either a decreasing or increasing short row depending on how the pattern is written.
  • Part 4 The Yarn Over and Japanese Method (Sock Knitting): these methods are worked as decreasing short rows and are typically used to turn the heel of a sock.

Decreasing Short Rows Using the Wrap & Turn Method

 Decreasing Short Rows Wrap & Turn

Increasing Short Rows Using the Wrap & Turn Method

Increasing Short Rows Wrap & Turn

Decreasing Short Rows Using the German Method

Decreasing Short Rows German

 Decreasing Short Rows Using the Yarnover Method

Decreasing Short Rows Yarn Over

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Increases

Bar Increase

The bar increase is a visible increase in Stockinette stitch and tightens the stitch in which it is worked. Because it is visible, it is often used as a decorative stitch when working in Stockinette stitch. To perform the bar increase, you will either knit into the front and back of a knit stitch or purl into the front and back of a purl stitch.

The bar increase works very well when used within ribbing because it can be placed in the transition between a knit and a purl stitch. On the right side it creates what looks like a knit stitch followed by a purl stitch. For example, when asked to increase evenly within a k1, p1 ribbing, use this technique to increase into the knit stitch (k f&b). The pattern will then become k1, p2 after increasing.

Knit into the front and back of a knit stitch (k f&b)

Purl into the front and back of a purl stitch (p f&b)

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Increases

Make One Increases

The make one increase is performed by picking up the running strand between two stitches. Make one increases can lean left or right depending on how the running strand is picked up: from back to front or from front to back. If a pattern doesn’t specify M1L or M1R, use M1L.

Make One Left (M1L)
1. Pick up the running stitch from front to back.
2. Knit the stitch through the back loop.

Make One Right (M1R)
1. Pick up the runnin g st from back to front.
2. Knit into the front of the running thread. This can be difficult. Try loosening the stitch with the right needle prior to knitting into it.

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Increases, Working the Stitches

Yarn Overs

A yarn over is a very simple and decorative increase. The type of yarn over that is performed depends on the stitch that is worked before and after the yarn over.

Yarn Over (YO): Worked Between Two Knit Stitches (as in k1, yo, k1)
1. After working a knit stitch, move the yarn to the front and place it over the top of the right needle.
2. Knit the next stitch.

Yarn Around Needle (YRN): Worked Between Two Purl Stitches (as in p1, yo, p1)
1. After working a purl stitch, move the yarn to the front and wrap it around the right needle brining it over the top of the needle and back to the front.
2. Purl the next stitch.

Yarn Over Needle (YON) – Worked Between a Purl and a Knit Stitch
1. After working a purl stitch, move the yarn to the front and place it over the top of the right needle.
2. Knit the next stitch.

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Increases

Lifted (Raised) Increases

The lifted or raised increase is the least obtrusive increase in Stockinette stitch and is virtually hidden. The limitations of this increase is that it cannot be worked every row because you are going into a stitch or two below the stitch on the needle in order to work the increase.

Right Lifted/Raised Increase (Knitwise)
1. Insert the right needle under the stitch that is below the first stitch on the left needle.
2. Place this stitch onto the tip of the left needle. Knit this stitch.
3. Knit the next stitch that was above the stitch increased.

Right Lifted/Raised Increase (Purlwise)
1. Insert the tip of the right needle under the leg of the purl stitch that is below the stitch that is on the left needle.
2. Lift this stitch onto the tip of the left needle and purl it through the back loop. Purl the next stitch.

Left Lifted/Raised Increase (Knitwise)
1. Knit the stitch that is just above the stitch that will be increased.
2. Insert the left needle under the second knit stitch that is below the stitch that was just knit.
3. Place this stitch onto the tip of the left needle and knit it through the back loop.

Left Lifted/Raised Increase (Purlwise)
1. Purl the stitch that is just above the stitch that will be increased.
2. Insert the left needle under the second purl stitch that is below the stitch that was just purled.
3. Place this stitch onto the tip of the left needle and purl it.

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