Some people knit because they like the process. I knit because I want particular objects. I want those knit objects as soon as possible. Thus, I look for techniques that allow me to knit particular fabrics. And, I look for techniques that allow me to knit those fabrics as fast as possible. Come on, am I the only knitter that wants to get stuff finished? I do enjoy knitting, but I have a lot of stuff that I want to knit, and a limited amount of time to knit.
Swaving seems like an approach that allows me to produce fabrics that I like, at a very rapid rate. For that it is worth a lot of effort. On the other hand, swaving turns out to have a very long and very steep learning curve. I admit that I am still at the bottom of that learning curve. We could climb the curve faster if other people would make swaving tools, and tell us what tools work and what tools do not. It would be nice if other people would work out the technique.
However, people seem prone to just carping that my swaving technique is not as good as it could be. I know that. Why am I the only one posting on this topic? Why do they not post better tools and techniques?
We have no extant tools known to be used for swaving rather then knitting, so I was making tools from the example of one glover's needle (because it was different) and some rather general descriptions. There were problems with the proportions of the first needles that I made. The result was they produced beautiful fabric, but the process was very high effort, and not ergonomic. Still, I think that working out the motions of swaving was very ingenuous.
Last summer, I worked out some the problems with the proportions of the pricks, and the process become much easier and more ergonomic. I started exploring what the process could do. The video (a few posts back) is 6-ply yarn being knit on US1pricks to produce a very tight fabric that is even tighter than anything I could produce with gansey needles. In its own extreme knitting way, it is kinda neat. My wife took a video of some of that work, and it got posted.
As I do, what I call "swaving", the prick rotates in the knitting sheath. That is different. On the other hand, if you are not looking for it, it is very hard to see in video. (My wife also says it is hard to see in real life, and she has very sharp eyes.) I can see it because I know the physics of the process and know what is going on. I do see the needle rotating in the knitting sheath. I see the pressure applied with the side of my hand to the shaft of the prick that causes the prick to rotate. Since most knitter's needles do not rotate when slight pressure is applied to the shaft of the needle, most knitters do not recognize that a rotational force is being applied to the working prick. The needle is not wiggling back and forth, it is not flexing, the knitting sheath is not moving, rather the prick is rotating in the knitting sheath. As it rotates, the tip of the needle describes an arc. An arc that takes the tip of the prick into, and out of, the stitch -- driven with one linear motion of the side of my hand. Like it or not, that is different from other all other knitting techniques. It is is proper swaving.
Now, I know the yarn can be carried with either the right or left hand. I consider both swaving because in both cases the prick rotates in the knitting sheath. Knitting when carrying the yarn in the left hand may be a bit faster. And I have figured out how to purl - much easier when carrying the yarn in the right hand.
The surprise is knitting fine yarn with very fine (1.5 mm) pricks into firm fabric. I like this fabric for socks and gloves. Today, swaving is the easiest way I know to get this done. For now, it seems to me that socks, mitttens, and gloves from fine yarns are the tasks where swaving truly excels. (Now, it is worth spinning finer yarns.)
Failure for knitters to recognize the rotation of the prick, makes me wonder if Rutt actually saw swaving and failed to recognize why it was different than knitting. Really, unless one is looking for the rotation of the prick, it just looks like "knitting".