Friday, December 26, 2014

More on knitting hand spin 5-ply sport weight

One can get gauge by using finer needles and knitting more gently or by using larger needles and knitting more forcefully

I am back to using spring steel  / 2 mm needles with a wooden knitting sheath for knitting hand spin 5-ply sport weight.

I find threading the knitting sheath on to braided apron strings to be a comfortable way of getting good stability. The ruler is 12" long.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Rabett Run: Ozone Photochemistry - Part 2

Rabett Run: Ozone Photochemistry - Part 2

Real science from an well known academic scientist who is near the top of  the publish or perish world.  Note: No citations.

Also note that (commenter) Dave did not pay attention in Atmospheric Chemistry (or bother to Google) and HO2 is a real entity in the real world.

History is longer than we thought

See: World's First Computer

It was well built.  Somebody had built prototypes.

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.

Knitting sheaths and knitting pouches revisted

For most of the last couple of years, I put aside my knitting sheaths and gansey needles in favor of  my leather knitting pouch and various other needles.

I like the knitting pouch with light, flexible needles  (stainless steel tubular) needles for lace. Certainly, cable needles offer some convenience, but for fast, low effort knitting the pouch wins over cable needles for lace.  The the pouch is very nice for soft fabrics knit from soft woolen yarns with needles in the range of 3 or 4 mm. (I no longer use needles larger than 4 mm, and thus am not speaking to their use.)

However, for fine, worsted spun yarns, nothing beats solid, spring steel used with a knitting sheath for fast low effort knitting. Above about 2.5 mm solid steel needles get very heavy, and then you are better off with tubular or wooden/bamboo needles and a knitting pouch.  At sizes below 1.75 mm the steel needles do not have enough spring force and  it does not matter whether  the needles are used with knitting sheath or a pouch. (However, a knitting sheath will always tend to damage tubular needles.) Thus, the virtue of the knitting sheath / spring steel needle is most apparent with needles in the size range of 1.75 mm -> 2.5 mm.

At this point, I design my yarns to be knit on needles in this range. My 5-ply sport weight is not as tightly plied as the commercial gansey yarns, so it is more splitty to knit.  Thus, my needles have gotten blunter, my stitches have less "pop", and things like bobbles are harder to knit.  However, the fine plies spread, and produce a more weatherproof fabric. These days, I knit hand spun, worsted 5-ply sport weight on rather blunt 2 mm spring steel DPN held in wooden knitting sheaths. Cast on for a snug fitting gansey to be worn against the skin is more than 400 stitches.

Gloves and boot socks get swaved using short curved needles that are rotated into the stitch using the same yarn.