YO Short Rows

I have been using Shadow Wrap, GSR, Japanese and some strange unknown short rows techniques and even though I have seen YO short rows mentioned before, I had never given them a try. Today I decided to give YO short rows a test, so for comparison I knitted plain turn and slip, GSR and two variants of YO. Both YO short rows techniques produced a better result than GSR (my previous favorite), in my opinion.

So how is YO short rows done? It is very simple:

  1. Turn your work
  2. Do a tight yarn over
  3. (Optional) slip the first stitch
  4. Knit or purl (depending on what side you are on)

In my test I had the best result with the optional third step where I slip the first stitch. It created the smoothest result and was most difficult to find in the knitting.

For closing the gap:

  1. Knit or purl until you reach the yarn over (the last stitch to work is very close to the YO, and together they look almost like the twin stitch of GSR)
  2. Do a decrease with the yarn over and the stitch after the gap by working both together. Depending on the situation you have to pick one of K2tog, SSK, P2Tog or SSP in a such way that the stitch after the gap ends up on top of the yarn over.

This technique is really a hidden gem among all the short rows techniques.

To clarify the gap closing: K2Tog and SSP is used while working flat stockinette. When working stockinette in the rounds and coming from the other side of the gap SSK and P2Tog are used. In both cases you have a gap and on one side of it a YO and on the other side a normal stitch and those two need to be worked together.


By the way, YO short rows are identical to Japanese short rows, just that you use the needle instead of stitch markers, so it is an easier way to do Japanese short rows as you will not have a lot of markers hanging.

Thanks, engblom. I haven’t tried yo short rows yet but have been testing out shadow wraps which seem pretty good. I’m also a fan of German short rows but happy to experiment with something different.

Thank you for sharing this, and your explanation is excellent. I’ve only ever tried wrap and turn, but while it’s very easy to do and functional I’m not totally thrilled with the look.

I’ll have to try swatching this to see how I like it!