german short rows

January 2017 KALFH #2: Tilting Lines Cowl

Here we are at the second week of KALFH and today we're looking at German Short Rows by way of the Tilting Lines Cowl by Jennifer Dassau. 

Not gonna lie - when I was knitting up my class sample I was afraid the short rows were going to be too subtle. But when I bound this baby off, I think I actually said "WOAH!". They are some of the coolest short rows I've seen to date. The effect is subtle but stunning! 

For class my students were told to cast on and work as per pattern up to Row 4 of the Cowl Lace pattern - where the short rows begin. And this is where the fun really starts. 

If you joined me for last weeks project, Welter Hat, which features the standard Wrap and Turn (W&T) short row, you'll truly appreciate how easy a German Short row is not only worked, but processed after the short rows are complete! 

Here's a great video from Very Pink Knits to supplement the awesome pictorial in Jennifer's book (skip ahead to 1:00 minute to get through the chatter):

German Short Rows – NO WRAPS, NO GAPS!

  1. To create a short row stitch, simply pull up on the working yarn to create a Double Stitch.
  2. The Double Stitch is created after the work is turned rather than before turning the work.
    1.  i.e.: Knit to the desired stitch. Turn the work. THEN create the double stitch with the purl side facing you.
  3. The Double Stitch is always created with the working yarn in front of the work.
    1. If you are creating a Double Stitch with the purl side facing you, pull up to create the Double Stitch.
    2. If you are creating a Double Stitch with the knit side facing you, bring the working yarn to the front of the project on the RIGHT side of the stitch that is to be doubled, then pull up to create the Double Stitch.

To identify a Double Stitch, look for:

  • An upside down V on the needle. To process the stitch, treat the Double Stitch as a K2tog (or P2tog on the purl side) and simply knit the 2 legs of the Double Stitch together. 

There's actually very little to add to this project in terms of notes or changes or tips. It's very well written, simple but incredibly effective in terms of creating something truly beautiful. I can only add some very minor notes: 

Additions to the Pattern

  1. Row 9 of the Cowl Lace Pattern, I would simply add "process the short row stitch similar to a k2tog as encountered". 
  2. You need to work a Rnd 14 as per Rnd 2 before beginning your repeats. It's not written into the pattern except at Rnd 2. 
  3. Lastly, after completing Rnd 14 of your final repeat of the Cowl Lace Pattern, knit 3 rounds instead of the 4 noted. This is a preference thing so the top and bottom of the cowl match. There's nothing wrong with what is written, just my own personal preference of symmetry at work.


STEAM BLOCK ONLY! This cowl is very delicate and can be easily misshapen with wet blocking. Here’s a video on steam blocking:

Compared to the Wrap and Turn (W&T) technique of last week, it's getting easier, isn't it?! So you can substitute these German Short Rows for W&T's in patterns and get a similar effect with a less gap-py look (my W&T's always have little gaps, or uneven tension) and without those messy wraps. WAY COOL! 

Next week we're going to tackle Japanese Short Rows in Jennifer's Welts Apart Cowl. I think they're a riot! You know your 20-pack of removable stitch markers?! Get it ready! And then some. This technique is gonna knock your socks off! 

Keep in touch!

If you're on social media, feel free to tag #unapologeticknitter (or use @notsorryknitter on IG) so I can see your amazing creations! I can't wait to KALFH with you!