Sunday, December 02, 2012

First video of swaving

The rain has paused, and there is enough light for video.  Unfortunately the I have a limited number of good swaving needles at this time the the good needles have this 6-ply navy yarn on them that just sucks light out of the frame.

Here are some very short clips.  These are done very slowly for the camera, and the motions do not really work that well when done slowly.

Swaving "needles' are called pricks. The pricks, sheath and setup are here: 

I find that short pricks work better.  Long pricks tend to get torqued  off axis and become difficult to rotate. Thus, I like swaving pricks that are no more than 8" long. The curvature is so slight that the needle will fit into 1/2" pipe.  Thus, when the prick is rotated in the sheath, the tip describes a circle of less than 1" in diameter. The arc of movement is limited by the legs of the previous stitch.  Thus, fine motion control of the  working prick is not required.  Then the left prick simply follows the right needle, and since they are both in the same stitch, the left prick follows the same circular motion as the working needle.

The are three motions in the formation of a knit stitch.  Push into the stitch. Loop yarn. Pull back.  At the end of the pull back the stitch pops off the left needle, but remains on the working needle.

For a purl stitch (not shown) the yarn is brought forward, the working prick is pulled into the stitch, the yarn looped, and the pricks pushed away so the yarn pops off. 

While there are 3 motions, the yarn looping is a continuation of the first motion, so the direction of motion of the hands only changes once in the course of a stitch, and is very fast.  The tension of the stitches is also very uniform (and tight!)

For comparison here is my knitting with the same yarn and needles:

Note that there are 4 motions, each of which require fine motion control.  Yes, swaving is faster.  And, while knitting can be done with a loosely secured needle, swaving requires that the working needle rotate easily on a fixed axis.

Swaving has become my knitting style of choice because it is fast and it gets more knitting done for the same effort.  On the other hand, it must be done fast.  It does not work for slow knitting for relaxation.  It is a high effort activity, that results in getting a great deal of knitting done rapidly.


Kathe Lewis said...

Thanks for showing, Aaron, now it makes sence! I've got to try that with my European knitting.

Aaron said...

My wife (who does not knit) says she can not see any difference between the swaving and knitting. I look at the videos, and truthfully see very little difference. That is OK, they are both knitting, they should look very similar.

However, as I do them, they feel very different. They use different muscles. And somehow the thinking or mood is different. I can think my way through knitting one motion at a time, and knit a stitch one motion at a time, pausing between motions. With swaving, if there is any hesitation, I am very likely to drop the stitch. I have dropped more stitches swaving in the last week than I have dropped in the last year of knitting.

In particular, the needle rotates, so the angle with which the needle contacts the yarns changes. It looks like a normal knitting motion to finish the stitch, but the direction of the motion is controlled by the rotation of the prick in the knitting sheath rather than by changes in the direction that the needle is pushed or pulled..

I am surprised at the advantage of short pricks.

I am surprised at the advantage of sitting on a bench, stool, or chair without arms.

paisleyapron said...

I would love to see you knit "at full speed." Watching you learn to swave is fascinating.

ari-atari said...

Hi Aaron,
The swaving video seems to be missing. Is it still somewhere on Youtube? It's one of the things I plan to try this Year.

Aaron said...

?? I will go look soon.