Saturday, September 03, 2011

Venting again

The other thing that cannot be worked out from swatches is venting.

The very tightly knit fabrics produce a garment that is very warm.  If you knit a fabric that is suitable for 30F then as a snug sweater, then it will be too warm at 60F .  However, by providing some ease at the neck, shoulders, cuffs, and hem/welt, there will be a flow of air under the garment and out the neck.  When the body/skin is cooler, the flow is less and the skin warms.   When the skin is warmer, the flow increases  so that the wearer stays comfortable. When the ease is right, the flow of air under the garment is self-regulating, and the wearer stays comfortable over a range of temperatures.  Knit to fit.

We have heard layer, layer, layer for cold weather and have forgotten that there might be other ways of staying comfortable.  For example, layering does not really work in the upper rigging of a sail boat, because where do you stow the clothes you are putting on and taking off? Self -venting sweaters inform us as to how the sailors stayed comfortable without making extra trips down to the deck to change their layers of clothing.

Thus, one can have a ski sweater that is comfortable for skiing the steep chutes at the top of the mountain, and yet, it starts ventilating as one steps into the beer line while everyone else is still taking their layers off.

Likewise, it can be worn below decks, and there is no delay while looking for additional clothing when going on deck. (As in, "All hands on deck to shorten sail")

Looking at Knitting in the Old Way by Gibson-Roberst and Robson, this kind of venting works best with "Boat necklines" but also works with others, particularly including Button-neck closures.  (You will need a much tighter fabric than G-R & R contemplate.)  Turtle necks can actually be made vent by knitting the neck in a thinner yarn or on larger needles to produce a looser fabric that allows more air to pass through it.

With this extra ease, a jersey can be worn under these self venting sweaters.  This stops the venting. Such a layering requires exceptional cold to be comfortable. This combination can make shorts and bare feet comfortable even on rather cool days.   Other sailors stare at me, but what do I care?


=Tamar said...

You make good points about the actual use conditions of sailors' clothing.

Lynda said...

Thank you for your observations. There is a lot here to think about.

Aaron said...

Just working with swatches, I could not figure out why "cables" were needed. Skiing and hiking in the sweaters did provide a clue.

Then, I wore the Filey while reefing the main in a squall, and the boom kept banging into my chest. The cable were padding for when that sailors were braced against a boom, rail or capstan bar. Life boats did not have those tasks, and hence the sweaters worn lifeboats did not need the padding, and those sweaters did not have cable..