Sunday, July 28, 2013

A case of brandy

This swatch has shown up in this blog before.  It was swaved with the steel needle (2.38 mm) and commercial wool 6-ply yarn with a grist of 850 ypp. Gauge is 5.5 to 6 spi or 22 stitches/ 4 inches.  It is a firm, but not tight fabric, and certainly not one I would consider tight enough to be weatherproof.  In fact, the purpose of this swatch was to prove that it was possible to swave a normal knit fabric.

One of the anonomice says they can knit such fabric on US3 needles (the white bar above.)

Anyone that can do that will need some refreshment afterwards.  If anyone can knit such fabric on US3 needles, I will buy them a case of good brandy.

Yes, it is not very good knitting.  I was just learning an utterly new technique.


Stanley Woodhouse said...

Hi Aaron,

I'm not sure whether the numbers on your blog are typos or if this is some sort of joke, but I do hope that you've laid in a good supply of brandy. 5.5 spi on US 3 needles is quite a loose gauge at that grist.

I tried your challenge myself with some 800ypp commercial worsted weight yarn- heavier than that which you specified- and found that at my normal tension, I knit 6.5 spi (13 stitches over two inches) but could easily achieve 7 spi if I made a slight effort to knit more tightly. To get 5.5 spi, I would probably use 4s, maybe 5s, and I am not a tight knitter.

I find it difficult to believe that you are so unfamiliar with the typical gauge at which most knitters work as to imagine that the gauge you mention would be unattainable without specialized tools or techniques, but a deal is a deal, after all.

So to what address should I mail my swatch, and when may I expect delivery of my brandy?

PatB said...

I have knitted a swatch on Chiagoo stainless steel circular US #3 needle using Kauni Wool8/2 Solid100g/400m used double strand which works out to 987ypp which is very close to the 1000 ypp which you specified in your challenge.
At the bottom of the swatch (C/O) I was getting 6.12 sts/in so I tightened it up a bit and at the top of the swatch I was getting 7.5 sts/in without any real effort.
If you'd like to see swatches they are on my Flickr account - patknitter
Touche. The ball is in your court.

Anonymous said...

New technique, hmm? Been in to show it to Alden and Stephenie yet? They might have a few things to say to you - or possibly nothing at all.

Laurel Stratton said...

What was the utterly new technique you were using here?

You often mention swaving so it can't be that.

Your knitting looks fairly normal to me.

Aaron said...

I went up to Studio Gaustad to look at a loom. She kney my gansey knitting. She went through a box of swaved swatches. Her comments were a long series of "Dang!", followed by, "Can we take these up to the house to show Alden? He was a great knitter you know!"

He poked through the box and said, "How come they are not handspun?"

No they had never seen similar handknit fabrics.

Aaron said...

I do not knit tight just to knit tight - it is too much work. I knit tight, to produce a fabric that will keep me warm. Mostly, I knit "weather proof" fabrics. I wear them in the weather.

It means, I can lay the garments on the floor, pour a bottle of water on them, talk for 15 minutes, then pick up the garment, pour the water into a bucket, and the floor where the garment was is DRY. Sometimes I use a piece of tissue paper under the garment to prove that no water went through the garment. It means that while wearing such a sweater, I can flop down in the snow and be warm enough to take a nap.

This is not "felted", it is just knit. Garments that are felted, tend to keep on shrinking. That is not good for a seaman wearing an already tight sweater. Coarse wool, worsted spun, and tightly knit does not felt much.

If you think you knit as tight as I do, pour water on the fabric, and if the counter or floor under the fabric gets wet, you are not knitting as tight as I knit outer wear. If the counter of floor gets wet, you are not knitting tight enough to earn brandy.

When knitting tight, I use a beeswax/olive oil hand lotion, some of which ends up on the wool yarn. This helps, but only if the fabric really is tightly knit and tightly spun.

Small differences in grist make a huge difference in the stitch count to achieve a weatherproof fabric. Twist and ply structure affect how tightly a yarn must be knit to produce a weatherproof fabric.

The last bit of stitch count is critical. The fibers have to be packed together so tight that air and water cannot move through the fabric. With gansey yarn, a 0.1 spi results in a huge difference in comfort when it is worn in the rain. 7.6 spi may hold water, while 7.5 spi, simply will not, the 7.6 will keep me warm and dry all day in the rain, while the 75. will not. If you claim to knit as tight as I do, your knitting will hold water.