Get into the Swing

Lovelyarns swing

Sample from the class pattern

I did the most fun thing this past Sunday. I took the Swing Knitting class at Lovelyarns. I love learning new techniques and this one is not only easy to pick up, but provided quick results. Regarding the Swing Knitting technique, as one of my fellow classmates said, “After a few rows, it just clicks.”

Swing Knitting is a form of short row knitting. You can learn more about the history of swing knitting by visiting this website. The Dreambird shawl is a popular item that employs this technique. Sue (Lovelyarns’ lovely owner) made one a few months ago.

Sue's Dreambird

Sue’s Dreambird

Our instructor, Linda Rosenthal, compares this technique to painting with yarn. According to the class description, this technique was “…perfected by ​​Heidrun Liegmann-Halama, swing knitting is a method of using short rows to create bubbles and bands of color that swirl across the fabric.”

I’m sure I’m the only knitter to have bagfuls of bits and pieces of yarn. I tried using them up in the popular 10 Stitch Blanket, but quickly lost interest. I also queued the also very popular Beekeeper’s Quilt, but that looks like I would get bored very fast and never have a finished item.

Swing knitting is the perfect technique to dispense with your bits of yarn in a quick and very satisfactory way. Linda introduced us to color theory, explained how colors can change depending on adjacent colors, and the importance of looking at your color combinations in natural light. The double-stitch technique truly was quick to master and in no time at all my four classmates and I were well on our way to making a scarf.

Linda provided added inspiration by showing us samples of her swing knitting scarves. One included the use of lace yarn and beads. She helped us get over our initial hesitation regarding yarn combinations and encouraged experimentation.

I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun in a class. My fellow classmates were energized by this technique and they were so encouraging to one another; supporting everyone’s efforts, providing assistance to those with whom it didn’t “click” as fast (until it did, indeed, “click”), and offering help in yarn selections. While three of us were locals, I thought it interesting that two ladies travelled some distance (Front Royal, VA and Lancaster, PA) just to learn this technique.

Linda was a great teacher and is a highly accomplished multi-media artist. She is a professional photographer, a commissioned painter, a potter, a jewelry designer, and knitter extraodinaire. I sing her praises because I don’t think she would. Her artist’s eye and sensibility was definitely an asset to those of us in her class.

My Swing Scarf in progress

My Swing Scarf in progress

For me an added joy to being a knitter is to expand my capabilities. Taking classes such as this one provides that opportunity as well as the chance to meet some delightful fellow knitters. There are so many talented knitters/crocheters in our area and I’m grateful that Lovelyarns provides not only the forum to learn, but a warm and inviting community of craftspeople.

I encourage you to meet your fellow knitters/crocheters in a Lovelyarns Class and to learn some new techniques. I think you’ll be glad you did.

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