I’ve been asked by a few people about my Rainbow Sock: how I’m using the yarn-over method without messing up the stitch count, and to share what I’m doing to get hole-free short rows. Describing the process solely in words is far more difficult than I expected, so I’ve added a few pics to help clarify. Clicking on the photos will open larger versions of them in Flickr.
I expect there are better-written and more comprehensive instructions of this technique out on the web; this is simply how I used it for this project.
I started out by following the instructions on the pattern, but they made absolutely no sense to me, and I ended up with a right mess, so I chose a method using yarnovers. I have no idea who to give credit to for this technique; I’ve seen it used in patterns all over the place.
Marker used for clarity to denote start of short-row section and placement of stitches.
1. Knit 2 stitches.
2. Turn work, take yarn back between the needles and forward over the top of the right-hand needle (reverse YO), purl 4.
The first stitch will feel a little weird; at least, it did to me.
This is a top view showing the YO and the 4 purled stitches. Note that after the yarnover there is an equal number of stitches on each side of the marker.
3. Turn work, bring the yarn forward between the needles and back over the top of the right-hand needle (YO), knit 4. The following stitch is the YO from the previous row, and is mounted the wrong way on the needle.
4. Reverse the mount of this YO so it looks like this:
5. Knit the YO together with the next stitch (like a k2tog) to close the gap, and knit the next 3* stitches.
6. Turn work, make a reverse YO (as in step 2), purl 8. The following stitch is the YO from the previous row.
7. Slip the YO knitwise, slip the next stitch knitwise, return them both to the left needle, and close the gap by purling them together through their back loops like this:
8. Purl 3 stitches, and turn the work. You have 6 stitches on each side of the marker like this:
9. Continue in this way, working 3* plain stitches after closing the gap on each row like this:
Row 1. (RS) K2, turn.
Row 2. (WS) Rev yo (step 2), p4, turn.
Row 3. Yo, k 4, close the gap (steps 4 & 5), k3, turn.
Row 4. Rev yo, p8, close the gap (step 7), p3, turn.
Row 5. Yo, k12, close the gap, k3, turn.
Row 6. Rev yo, p16, close the gap, p3, turn.
Row 7. Yo, k20, close the gap, k3, turn.
Row 8. Rev yo, p24, close the gap, p3, turn.
Row 9. Yo, k28, close the gap, k3, turn.
and so on….
*The pattern instructs you to knit or purl 4 stitches after working the turn stitch. I found that following the yarnover method of working short-rows, only 3 stitches should be knitted or purled to maintain the correct count.
Clear as mud? Feel free to contact me if I haven’t explained it well enough.
All that said, I’m leaning strongly towards frogging mine. The bias is quite noticeable after 4 short-row sections, and I can only foresee it worsening after the 6 repeats needed for the foot. At the very least, I’m ripping the heel back to redo, and maybe continuing down the foot in plain stocking stitch.