Short Rows - What is it exactly?
This is a way of knitting the stitches back and forth without knitting to the end of the row, which means that there are stitches remaining at the end of the row when you turn the knit.
The short rows are used to adjust the volume of the knit: either to create a relief in a knit, such as for the hollow of the heel in a sock, for example, or to change the shape / direction of a flat knit.
Right Image - source: http://www.purlwise.com/short_rows/
Several effects can be created with short rows, here are some examples from the Ravelry site:
How to knit Short rows
Many knitters dread (and even avoid!) Patterns containing short rows. Firstly because the short rows require a little more concentration to find one's way: when one does not knit the rows to the end, it sometimes becomes more difficult to give oneself benchmarks and to follow the instructions.
In addition, we may end up with a small hole in the place where we wrapped our knitting. To solve this small hole problem, several techniques exist. The most common is the technique of winding the next stitch before turning (or "wrap & turn"). You can discover it with Very Pink on YouTube here.
The German Method or "German short rows"
A few years ago I discovered the German method more commonly called the "German short rows". I like this method that produces a rather transparent look and without holes!
So for much of you, we have prepared this video to illustrate this method and you will also find the explanations written below.
Here is how to knit the short rows using the German method: when you have turned your knitting and you are ready to knit your first row short, with the yarn in front , slip the stitch as if to purl and pull the yarn behind the work by pulling slightly so as to stretch the stitch on the needle.
This way of pulling the yarn will have the effect of creating a "double stitch" composed of 2 strands that cross and wrap on the right needle.
If the next stitch is a knit stitch, knit the stitch as you normally would.
If the next stitch is a purl stitch, bring the yarn back (the yarn will have gone around the needle from behind and back in front) and purl the next stitch.
On the next row, when you need to knit the previously wrapped knit, knit the two strands that are stretched on the needle together as you would normally knit a stitch or purl as instructed by the pattern.
Substitute the "Wrap & Turn" for the "German Short Rows"
If you knit a pattern that suggests the "wrap & turn" method but you prefer to use the German method, here's what you need to know:
When the pattern says, “wrap the stitch and turn," ignore this instruction and simply knit back.
In the next row, when the pattern says, for example, "knit 5 back", you slip the first stitch as explained above and knit 4 back (the first stitch being slipped ...).
Remember to subtract one stitch from the next row since the first slipped stitch is included in the number of stitches to work.
That's it ... it's as simple as that :) Now that you have the tools, why not grab your needles and put your new knowledge to the test?