Edge and Ground Cover Using Short Rows

I continue to realize that while trees and bushes and lianas are loads of fun to make, what we’ll probably need the most of will be various types of ground cover. These can be simple and mindless, but also a good way to try out different techniques. Today’s swatch uses something that can be found on the internet under the term “Swing Knitting”. I haven’t been able to find a good tutorial, though. Using a variegated grey/black sock yarn, I made this:

Swing Knitting - Flat

Basically, what you’re doing is working short rows in your piece, meaning you turn around in the middle of a row somewhere. Here’s a good tutorial how to do that: German Short Row video tutorial. To keep your piece roughly rectangular and not bunching up in places where you don’t want that, you will need to knit the now “missing” stitches of your row at some point, but that point doesn’t need to be right now, in fact, in can be several rows later. The rows in the picture look like they’re not all parallel, and that isn’t an illusion, they aren’t. Direction of knitting is from the bottom up. If you look at the area above the yellow and orange pins in the middle, you see two knit triangles with a diagonal purled line in between. The right triangle was worked first, making ever shorter rows. Then I purled a few rows to create the diagonal line. Then I worked the second knit triangle, and as a bonus, I worked the longest row first, so this triangle appears to be knit diagonally. It is important to put a marker where you’re turning your short rows, so you know to which place you need to knit when creating the complementary short row from the other side later. When you do that, you can remove that marker.

Here’s the piece installed on the edge of the platform:

Swing Knitting - Installed

I think it gives a nice organic effect. Next time, I might mix things up even more by using different yarns for the different areas – for example grey and green to show that some of that rock is covered by moss or grass.

 

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