Wrapless Short Rows

I engineered this technique in 2009 when I couldn't find any other short-row methods that I liked. Since that time, my method has become a favorite with a number of top designers, who often refer to it as Sunday short rows. Their acknowledgement, by colleagues whose work I respect so much, means a lot to me.

Results with this method are especially good looking, and the technique is quite easy to work.

Wrapless short rows share a similarity with Japanese short rows in that the yarn is marked at the point of turning (I like to use scrap yarn as a marker).

But what makes this different from most short row methods is that the first stitch after turning is not slipped.

This un-slipped stitch is key. Other short row methods slip a stitch to create a stepwise transition from short rows to long rows (think sloped bind off). But the strand of yarn running behind that slipped stitch makes the fabric pucker, even with the extra slack provided by wraps or yarnovers.

Here, by working the stitch instead of slipping it, that pucker that is eliminated and no extra slack is needed. And although the transition from short to long rows is not stepwise, the resulting fabric is smoother.

This video tutorial demonstrates the technique (also see Notes below):


Use of waste yarn

- When working a number of short rows in series, a long strand of waste yarn can be used through all turn points. This might be simpler than using a number of small individual strands. If you do use one long strand through them all, be sure to allow at least 2-3 inches of slack between each turn, in order to make it easier to pick up those loops later.

- The use of waste yarn is merely as a place holder. It marks the working yarn at the exact point of turning. With enough experience, you might be able to identify that point in the yarn strand and pick it up (using a pointy needle) eliminating the waste yarn altogether.

When not to use

- I use these wrapless short rows with nearly everything except stripes or self-striping yarns, where a step-wise approach tends to look better. For those projects, German short rows are great. (I haven't done a tute on that method; there are already good ones out there.)

Wrapless in the round

- Wrapless short rows are especially nice for working yokes and other shaping in the round. To do so, the first turn (the one that was made in turning from RS to WS) is worked exactly as when working on the RS, as in the video above.

- When working around to the second turn (the one that was made in turning from WS to RS), when approaching the turn gap, the low side (valley side of the canyon) will be on the right needle and the high (mesa side) will be on the left ...

Work to 1 stitch before the gap, pick up loop (other side of the gap) and place onto left needle, knit next stitch together with pick-up loop.

Check back soon ... I'll be adding a photo tutorial illustrating wrapless short rows in the round.

Video may also be viewed here on Youtube.

And here is a photo tutorial of the technique in both English and French courtesy of Annette Petavy Designs.