Tips with Trish – Japanese Short Rows

Happy Fall fellow fibre lovers! After a few months away from the blog, we are back with a great line up of new tips, tricks, ideas, and suggestions that we hope will make your knitting easier as you journey along your path of creativity.

Our previous two posts discussed two of my favourite techniques for short row shaping, the Wrap & Turn method, and German Short Rows. Admittedly, these were my two favourites because they were the only two I had ever tried and they worked well. What is it they say? If it isn’t broken… While I was looking at various articles on the first two techniques, I stumbled across Japanese Short Rows and wondered if it could really be that different. After all, I had two fool proof methods under my belt already that were satisfactory enough. But sometimes satisfactory just isn’t good enough and so I took the plunge and dove into Japanese Short Rows, and I’m so glad I did!

In Japanese Short Rows we don’t wrap stitches, nor do we pull on them and slightly distort them, rather we mark the turning point by placing a removeable stitch marker on the working yarn. On subsequent rows, we use the removeable marker to lift a leg onto the left-hand needle that will be worked together with the next stitch. Clear as mud, right?

Grab your needles and work along with me. For this sample I’m using Loch Lomond, a gorgeous rustic wool from BC Garn, and I’ve cast on thirty stitches on 4mm circular needles.

On Knit rows, knit to the turning point indicated in your pattern and place a locking stitch marker around the working yarn.

Turn to work the next row. Slip the first stitch purlwise and then purl across the row, making sure that the locking stitch marker is snugly in place between the slipped stitch and the first purled stitch.

To resolve the short row on the knit side, simply knit to the marked stitch and gently pull up on the marker and place this leg on the left-hand needle. You may remove the marker now or after the stitch has been resolved.

Knit the lifted stitch together with the next stitch and proceed according to the pattern.

To work Japanese Short Rows on purl rows, purl to the turning point indicated in the pattern and place a locking stitch marker around the working yarn.

Turn the work, slip the first stitch purlwise and work across the row. To resolve stitches on purl rows, work to the marked stitch, gently pull up on the locking stitch marker and place stitch on left-hand needle. Purl this stitch together with the next and continue with pattern.

Japanese Short Rows are by far the most inconspicuous, the easiest to execute, and produce the tidiest of results! The gaps are easy to see, there are no wrap stitches to locate, and as you can see in the photo below, the finished result is almost invisible! Japanese Short Rows, I’m so glad I found you!

I started a new sweater last week that is knit in the round and uses short rows to build the back higher than the front. I was so pleased to be able to substitute the standard Wrap & Turn short rows with Japanese for a cleaner, tidier look. I’ll be sure to post photos when it’s done.

What’s your favourite short row technique? Leave a comment in the comments section below, I’m always looking to learn something new!

Happy knitting everyone! Stay safe and be well!

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