Tips & techniques – Yarn over short rows


Here is a little tutorial that many of you have been asking for: how to work short rows with yarn over, a method I use in many of my patterns and that I find quite easy and almost invisible. You will find yo short rows in many of my sweater patterns: I use them to knit the back and shoulders longer and create a scooped neckline for example inthe  Brynja, Fimmvörðuháls and Gamaldags sweaters, while in Lopi Affection and Graine d’Hélène the short rows are an integral part of the yoke design itself. You will also find yo short rows in patterns from my book Icelandic Handknits, such as the Skautbuningur, the Missing Lopi sweater, or the striking Sock Band Socks.

A short row is a row that is not fully knitted, and thus shorter; the work is turned before reaching the end of the row. At the turning point, this make a disgraceful hole. Different methods exist to close these gaps, such as the “wrap and turn” method, the Japanese method, the German method or the “Carol Sunday knits” method. In Iceland, the yarn over method seems to be the more popular. Note that in any pattern using for example the “wrap and turn method”, you can always use the “yo method”instead : simply read “turn, yo” instead of “wrap, turn”.

Yo short rows: the yo is made after each turning point. When closing the gaps, the yo and the st on the other side of the gap are worked together in such manner that, seen from the right side, the yo is under the st.



sts: stitch(es)

yo: yarn over

k: knit

p: purl

k2tog: knit 2 together

p2tog: purl 2 together

ssk: slip, slip, knit (left leaning dec): slip 2 as if to k, one at a time, insert left needle from back to front in the 2 sts on right needle and k2tog through the back loops.

ssp: slip, slip, purl (left leaning dec):  slip 2 as if to k, one at a time, slip the sts back on left needle (insert left needle from back to front in the 2 sts on right needle), insert right needle from back to front in the 2 sts and p2tog through the back loops.

RS/ WS: right side/ wrong side