Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Knitting more forcefully

Bed sheets are warm because the weaving process packs the threads together so closely that thermal convection currents in the air cannot easily advect heat through the fabric.

Blankets are warm because they are thick, and with the thermal convection currents blocked by sheets, the thickness of the  blankets reduces conduction of heat.

Most modern knitting depends on thickness for warmth.  The (hand) knit fabric is thick, but porous to air flow. In wind, or any kind of motion of the fabric large amounts of air pass through the fabric, and the moving air carries heat (advection).

In the old days, knitters used knitting sheaths to give them more leverage and thereby produce fabrics that were nearly as tight as woven fabrics.

This blog started when my wife bought me a fisherman's sweater in Nova Scotia, and I wore it fishing off the coast of California, and about froze.  This blog has been an exploration of how warm textiles were produced.

There are many, many earlier posts on how fabrics may be knit tighter - by knitting more forcefully.  There are even pictures and videos.  The three basic approaches are the use of a long flexible needle in a fixed knitting sheath, a shorter stiffer needle in a knitting sheath that moves, and curved needles that are rotated into the stitch.  Faster knitting may also be done using a knitting pouch as shown by Hazel Tindall in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjEh7acrr5o .

I looked for warmer yarns, And, yes there are warmer yarns out there, than, what you are likely to find at your local yarn store.  Looking for more warmth, I started hand spinning.  And, discovered that  hand spun can be warmer than any modern mill spun.  And, I discovered that some hand spun yarns are much warmer than other hand spun yarns.

I was ridiculed for hand spinning gansey yarn - but it is warmer and more durable than the yarns spun by the folks that ridicule me.

Warmth and durability is easy to measure.  I try different approaches, report what works, and discard what does not work.  Often I report things that work very well, only get a lot mail containing personal attacks.  Usually, I have tried their approach, and I am reporting a method that gives better results for less effort.  What they forget about me is that if they show me a better way, I will instantly drop my old way and adopt the better way.

My knitting, spinning, and weaving is always an evolution to faster and better.  Jan at http://www.guernseywool.co.uk/ told me about using baby oil on ganseys, I tried it for years, decided it worked well, and reported it.  For saying what worked well, I got a lot of hate mail. My conclusion is that most in the textile hobby world are not interested in what works, and what works better.  Rather they treat textiles as a ritual to be performed without deviation.

Now people are poking me because I am not making as much progress on weaving as they think I should.  It is funny, because, usually, I am ahead of them and they have been weaving for years and years. I am just not interested in showing what I am doing, until I am doing something that is worthwhile.  


txvoodoo said...

"I was ridiculed for hand spinning gansey yarn"

No, you were chastised not for spinning, but for being a presumptious, know-it-all (while not), misogynist, hide-bound jackass.

We all like things that are better - whether better means warmer, prettier, finer, more comfortable - depending on the need. (you always miss that part). But you act like you are the only voice of authority at all.

If you could ONCE come off your high horse and stop being such an overwhelming jackass, you might find a community who'd enjoy dealing with you. Haven't seen you do it in 3 years, though.

Aaron said...

And, how did the spinning community treat me?

I wanted to spin faster, and instead of telling me how it could be done, they said I was silly and stupid for wanting to spin faster. They were rude and unpleasant about this and used a shitload of obscenities.

They said they had all the wisdom of the ages, and it was IMPOSSIBLE to hand spin faster.

The hand spinning community had completely forgotten its professional spinning skills, and and denied that heritage.

I got tired of people who asserted that they were master spinners when they could not even do the basics as taught in a 2-year spinning course as taught in London, England circa 1600.

I do not care how other people spin, but I do care when they tell me things that are not factually correct. And, except for Alden Amos, a lot of modern spinners told me stuff that just was not correct.

I merely point out how things work. I offer functional options. And you call that being on "my high horse and being a jackass." That is more personal attacks, rather than discussion of ideas and techniques.

I do not want to be in a community that makes personal attacks. I want to be in a community that discusses ideas and techniques.