Short Row Knits Blog Tour: Zapote jacket and German Short Rows

We're delighted to have our yarn featured in Carol Feller's latest book, Short Row Knits. This book features a great technique section detailing four types of short row methods as well as twenty knitting patterns including a variety of sweaters and accessories.

As part of the blog tour, today we'll be taking a closer look at Zapote, a children's jacket, as well as the German short row technique.

The Zapote jacket is knit from the top down using German short rows to shape the hood. The shoulders are shaped in one piece with raglan increases, and the body is finished with an A-line shape and garter stitch pockets. It's super adorable! The pattern is sized from 6 months to 10 years and uses Yowza (shown here in Coventry).

German short rows are simple to work - but better yet, they're virtually invisible.

If you work a short row in knitting without some kind of wrap or extra stitch, you'll get an unsightly hole that disrupts the visual flow of the piece. German short rows solve this problem by creating a doubled stitch at the turning point by essentially pulling up a stitch from the row below.

Here's a little demo.

To work a German short row from the knit side, (1) knit to the turning point; turn; (2) slip the stitch purlwise from left to right and then (3) pull the working yarn up and over the right needle. Then bring the yarn down in between the needles (4) and purl across. 

Yes, this feels like making a beginner mistake and it looks a little funky! But it creates a double stitch that will become virtually invisible in the finished fabric. When you go to work past those doubled stitches, be sure to knit both loops together as if they were one stitch. This is how that double stitch will look when you come to it:

Here's my swatch, front and back, after I've worked two short rows from the knit side and then knit two rows all the way across. You can hardly see - especially on the knit side - where the turns were, but the work is definitely at an angle now.

To work a German short row from the purl side, the technique is similar. Again, it's a little funky looking as you do it: (1) purl to the turning point; turn; (2) slip the stitch purlwise (with yarn in FRONT) from left to right and then (3) pull the working yarn up and over the right needle. Continue to knit from here. Again, when you come to the double stitch on the next row, (4) work it as if it were one stitch.

OK we can't resist another cute baby photo.

Helen adds... Knitting for babies is always satisfying - you finish a project rather quickly, and babies make everything look cute! Carol's adorable hooded jacket is sure to be a hit with the parents you know, and the clever hood shaping gives plenty of practice in the German short row technique. The simplicity of the sweater means it will be lovely in both monochromes and Babettes - just pick one that is appropriate for the intended recipient! My co-worker Alex has twin daughters who will turn one this coming spring... and I'm seriously thinking of picking two skeins that go well together and knitting a pair of jackets!

Finally, now for the fun giveaway part! 

Comment here about your favorite color or colors for babies by midnight PST on October 1st (be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you) to be entered in the giveaway! We are giving away one copy of Short Row Knits and will choose a winner randomly. Thanks for reading and we hope you've learned something new about German short rows today!

The next stop on the Short Row Knits blog tour is with Stephannie Tallent on October 2.


Edited to add: Congratulations to Sylvia D, who was randomly selected as the winner! I've emailed to let her know to expect a copy of Short Row Knits in the mail.


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Making Zapote hooded jacket I’m stump what to do with 3 slipped stitches when I do first short row


I think colors depend on the garment and I don’t generally like dark colors on babies. The hooded jacket is adorable.


Red! That jacket would soooooo cute in a nice bold red.


Very cute ! I’m new here. I’m looking forward to reading and seeing more here :)


Love this! :)


Carol Feller is a wonderful teacher and designer. Love her kals.
Miss Babbs has such great yarns and colors, can never have enough. I’m using Miss Babbs yarn on the current Carol Feller KAL!!

Ashley E

I love to use a background lightish neutral (like Oyster) and then put in narrow colored stripes. I think this is more interesting than just one plain color and you can go either subdued with the colors or go wild — since you have the neutral background to help keep things balanced.

Ren Tolbert

Love the new selection of colors. For baby babies I like soft colors and I do like neutrals soft gray soft beige. For toddlers I like the brighter colors and I like them mixed with neutrals.

Thank you for the German Short Row tutorial. I started the Vitamin D sweater with Delita at A Likely Yarn and had to lay it aside for hand surgery. I’m now back in the knitting loop and ready to finish my sweater. I think I can…I think I can…LOL!


I think the new Muslin color would make an elegant item for little girls and I really like Denim for the little boy I have in mind.


I have a skein of the watermelon color that I want to use to make something for my nephews daughter. I love that jacket!

Dawn K

I love to see little girls in pinks and purples. Boys in Navy or brown.

Linda reynolds

i love reds for babies!


I love Funny Papers color way for kiddos. This is such a cute pattern! Would be great to do!


I have taken this book out of the library and would love to own it. I thin Carol is great. As for color, I like red on babies.

Betty R

ANY bright FROM Miss Babs is my fav

Amy C

Oh, I love love love the patterns in this book! So many clever techniques! I would very much like to win this. Thank you for the great giveaway.

Stephanie Schmidt

Very cute ideas!


If I know the parents, I will usually ask if there is a theme or something the parents are “fans” of (sports team, movies, etc). If I don’t know the parents, I usually will do gender colors but not traditional pastels.


Something bright and cheerful on babies. I like colors that can go for girls or boys, especially purples.


I like strong colors for babies. Even little ones like bright, strong colors. I agree that Squash Blossom is a wonderful color, also am keen on reds, jewel tone blues and a dark green.

Judy Landerschier

Bluish/Greens look good on boy or girl babies.


I love turquoise and grey for a boy (I have 2!) and rose and taupe for a girl (I have a 15 mo old daughter too!)


Red, red, red! It fits all seasons, and looks good on babies! Plus, I’ve had two different mothers use a gifted red sweater for their baby’s first year Christmas picture. I love Scarlet Letter. But I would love some of the deeper reds too, like Vlad’s or Pyrope.


I love grays on a baby! Gender neutral and looks good on all skin types. And Elizabeth Zimmerman said said so ???


I don’t generally knit for babies. When I do, I try to keep the parents’ taste in mind and knit colors they’d like. My personal preference would probably be a vibrant purple.

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