Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Ah, Heck!!

EVERY branch of knowledge and technology has its own vocabulary.  It may use words from common language or from other branches of technology, but each branch of learning is likely to use the words differently.  Every branch of technology has its own terms of art.

The vocabulary of a technology is an index to the thoughts and concepts used in that branch of technology.  Without understanding the vocabulary, you cannot understand the technology.  Without a command of the technology's vocabulary, you cannot even ask intelligent questions.

Spinning is an archaic technology.  It's vocabulary has become obscure. However, if one is going to understand the concepts of spinning, then you need to know the vocabulary.

A beginning spinner may use an off the shelf wheel, but an advanced spinner will have goals that cannot be achieved with an off the shelf wheel and thus must know enough of the craft of wheel making to intelligently specify the wheel required.  At some point the advanced spinner needs to learn the vocabulary of the spinning wheel maker.


On the right, a hook that is not a heck.  On the left,  hecks that are not hooks and a hook that is a heck.

2 comments:

lloeren said...

Oh Aaron, you do write some complete and utter bollocks (a not so archaic British English term meaning claptrap, nonsense).

Firstly, Mabel Ross did not have an editor restricting her writings. As a well respected British spinner with a lifetime of knowledge from before you even thought of spinning, if she had felt that heck was the correct term to use then she would have used it and so would Ruth Gough of Wingham Wool Works, my one and only spinning instructor, who continues to publish her work.

Secondly, I cannot believe that someone as forthright and with such strong opinions as Alden Amos would be forced into using hook instead of heck if he felt that heck was the correct term. No, the reason heck is included in the glossary is because it is an archaic term found in archaic texts that one may come across, he similarly includes cross-band, for example.

Indeed, heck has been shown elsewhere to be a word from older Northern English dialect. Language and dialect evolves and today hook is the more well known and well used word. I cannot believe that there is a wheelwright out there who would misunderstand me or think less of me if I used the term hook or sliding yarn guide in the appropriate context. As they say in Northern England (and elsewhere in the UK) would they heckaslike.

No, you use 'heck' in your arrogance to make you appear more knowledgeable than you truly are.

As for your insistence that advanced spinners must have a custom made to their specifications wheel, that is such a ridiculous assertion and is patently untrue. There are many, many advanced spinners who spin on wheels that have pre-written specifications. They just don't expect an Ashford Traditional to do everything. Perhaps you should read the Advanced Spinners group on Ravelry sometime, then you will realise what truly makes for an advanced spinner.

I personally own a Lendrum DT which is widely recognised as an incredibly versatile wheel. If I had the funds I would buy a Lendrum Saxony on the spot. I do own other wheels, they are antique French wheels, one is a castle wheel, one is a flax/hemp wheel (I live in an area where hemp (or chanvre) was widely grown) and I have a driven spindle wheel with a hand-crank.

Aaron said...

Why so much heat about hecks?

It is a "term of art" for wheel makers.

You are a reader and possibly a spinner, not a wheel maker - it should make no difference to you. If you see "heck" in my text, ignore it, it was not directed at you. There are some real wheel makers that do read my blog.

I have looked through the various spinning groups on Ravelry, and I see the best spinners do not post there. The best spinners are too busy spinning and teaching.

And, I see much pure bullshit and stupidity on the Ravelry spinning groups. Nobody on Ravelry seems to be able to do the math that is require for advanced hand spinning.

Who in those advanced spinning groups can sit down and in less than 2.5 hours spin a hank of shirting warp? (560 yards of worsted single that weighs 11 grams)Ask!

That is not advanced spinning - that is the beginning of competence in spinning.

Send me a note when you have spun a hank of shirting warp in a day on your Lendrum DT. One can easily spin that fine on a DT, but a DT does not spin that fast. As such, it will never produce a useful amount of shirting warp for weaving.

I like useful.