The first time I watched a video on Japanese short rows I distinctly remember thinking to myself "Noooooooope"! It looked super finicky and scary.
Flash forward to today and Current Me wants to give Old Me a stern talking to! Japanese short rows have got to be the most visually stimulating short row I've ever seen. There's absolutely no guessing as to where you've worked your short rows. It's awesome!
So grab your removable stitch markers and get to casting on your Welts Apart Cowl.
Adjustments to the Pattern
My first note is going to be regarding the cast-on method. I cast using the Cable Cast On per the pattern on a 24" cable and found it SUPER snug. So I changed to a more standard Long Tail Cast On and I was off to the races. Just for comfort and ease of knitting, I'd recommend this.
Next, I'm going to make a teeny tiny recommendation regarding yardage. If you want a one-skein project, only knit 8 rounds of ribbing at the top and bottom of the cowl. This isn't a criticism of the pattern - the design is great - but once I finished knitting the project, the 9th and 10th rounds of the top of the ribbing are all that I knit from the new skein. So essentially this is a one skein project if you make a slightly shorter ribbing. OR! You can knit it as a 2-skein project and have enough yarn left over from your second skein to knit a Welter Hat to match the cowl. A win-win either way!
Japanese Short Rows: Easy Peasy
- Work to the designated stitch in pattern. Turn work so the opposite side is facing.
- Slip 1 st purlwise from LH to RH needle
- Clip a removable marker to the working yarn - the marker will always be on the wrong side of the work!
- Continue on in pattern, either knitting or purling, catching the stitch marker.
- The marked stitch is created after the work is turned, rather than before turning the work.
- i.e.: Knit to the desired stitch. Turn the work. THEN create the marked stitch with the purl side facing you.
To Identify a short row turn, look for 1 thing: a STITCH MARKER! It's that easy!
Because Japanese short rows are so visual, I recommend using two colors of removable stitch markers. It's definitely not essential, but I find it easier to track the number of turns I've worked on each side of a project if I have two colors of markers.
You should end up with an even number of stitch markers of each color on either side ofyour short rows
To process a turned stitch:
- Knit/purl to the marker (there will be a visual gap).
- Using the marker, pick up the running yarn and place it on the LH needle to the right of the previously slipped stitch, in the correct orientation (right leg of the st in front).
- IF you are working a project flat, where you will be picking up sts on the WS of the work, there's a small change to the process. You will purl to the marker (or the gap), slip the next st purlwise to the RH needle, THEN pick up the stitch by the marker and place it on the LH needle. Next, transfer the previously slipped stitch, purlwise, back to your LH needle. Continue to number 3.
- Remove the marker.
- K2tog/p2tog these 2 sts.
Here's a great video tutorial to supplement the pictorial in jennifer's book:
This project does very well with wet blocking. Soak the project thoroughly, push (don’t wring) the water out, lay flat to dry, pinning to dimensions if desired.
And there we have it! The project itself is very easy to follow and visually is very clear as to what should be happening! Next month we're going to be focused on Colorwork. Check back here on Monday, January 30th to find out what our projects for February will be!
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!