I'm going to talk about this here, as it's come up a lot over the last few weeks, and I'd like to put a couple of things straight.


The Elemental Hats are not swing knitting. They don't use the technique. They are short row colourwork but that's a broad umbrella!

I'm not fully versed in swing knitting, but as far as I understand it, it's a method for maintaining balance within a flat piece of fabric that uses short rows to manipulate the fabric and thus create colourwork patterns. The aim of swing knitting is to guide you and create a rthythm to your work that follows the dips and flow of the short rows, and that doesn't take into account the need to use short rows for shaping.

Those of you who have knit any of the Elemental Hats will know that the short row forms are not all the same, and in some cases, not even the dominate feature. The only one that comes close is Korra, but even then that uses instarsia and still has those additional short rows for the crown and brim which would otherwise break up a rthythmic flow.

Swing knitting has picked up pace recently and is being recognised as a technique, which is great. It is though one method for creating short row colourwork, or perhaps a discipline is a better way to describe it. But it isn't the only way, and I wanted to clear this up before too many more people start linking the Elemental Hats with the swing technique. Parallelo and Scourie use the same techniques as the Elemental Hats but I don't think they could be linked in the same way. Taking a technique and adding in a 3rd dimension changes it muchly, and perhaps that's more evident when it's knitted?

Swing knitting is a brilliant technique and the uses of that I've seen are amazing! And now I think I need to investigate it further, as I'm always curious to see how others approach a similar challenge :)

AuthorWoolly Wormhead