Saturday, May 09, 2015

Flat stitches

A recent swatch:
5x2 strand cabled sport weight

Note that half the stitch column forms a vertical line of bumps like rope, and the other half of the stitch twists to form a narrow vertical line of twisted fiber.  That is a warm fabric. Most of my knitting has that pattern in the areas of plain knit, particularly, items knit in the round.

Much of the knitting in Gladys Thompson, Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans has that pattern.  For example, it is used to great advantage in the Filey Pattern IV, and the Whitby Pattern V.  It even shows up in the very finely knit Norfolk I.  Thus, we have this pattern in Thompson's knitting and fine older pieces.

It requires a firm yarn and tight knitting with needles that are small by today's standards.

You may not like it, but it makes for a warm and durable fabric.  The commercially knit socks that I am wearing right now show it.

Most of my knitting is actually right on the boundary of  laying flat and having the  narrow vertical lines of twisted fiber:

A commercial 3x2 6-strand 850 ypp wool yarn, as a well worn boot sock.

Winghams 5-ply gansey yarn as a well worn gansey. 

Winghams was one of the oldest producers of the traditional style gansey yarns, but a while back they stopped making that yarn.  

In that range, the fabric is very warm, but still has some drape and hand.

Other modern fabrics knit to this gauge:

oops, I seem to be reapeating myself.



Rowanea said...

Are those singles you are knitting with?

Mooneybeams said...

No firm yarn or tight knitting required - that column and rope patten is what happens when you knit with a single. Even a fairly loose Aran single on 5.5mm needles. You really don't have any clue what you're on about, do you?

Aaron said...

A fabric knit from a single is less durable and not as warm.

I am about functional fabrics - fabrics that can be lived in.

The fabric knit from a single is like a facade on a movie set. It looks nice on film, but is just a set and is not really functional.

I am willing to put in 10 times more work on my Aran yarn because it will last me a hundred times longer, and all the while, it will keep me warmer.

The big investment in a sweater is the effort to knit. By using better yarn, I leverage that investment to have a better garment.

I would encourage you to watch the early Jack Cardiff films because he was the master of making a cheap screen painting look like the real thing on film.

Aaron said...

The swatch at the top is 10-ply sport weight. The others are labeled.