Monday, July 06, 2015


A swatch/prototype in progress.  The stitch is eastern crossed stitch.  The yarn is Paton's Classic Wool.  The gauge is 8 stitches per inch or 32 stitches per 4".  The object is the torso for a knit in the round Jersey.

This object is out of my bin of ECS WIP.  Today, I knit the same stitch at the same gauge - I just knit it at a practical rate. The fabric is lovely.  Now, I know how to finish it off in a reasonable time.  The scale is marked in inches. 


Holin Kennen said...

For a man of science, you don't appear to know how to use a ruler - a pretty basic tool. Throwing a ruler onto a swatch of knitting so that it lies on a diagonal or any which way is about as useful as putting a rock onto the swatch since there is no way to measure the stitches with the ruler on an angle. Putting the ruler onto a piece of knitting that is folded over (your bottom photo) is also useless. You also seem to be unable, as usual, to use a camera to take a clear photo of your knitting. I also note that you are, once again, using commercial yarns. What happened to your supe- duper, ultra special, superior to all others handspun? You never seem to use it. I wonder why?

Aaron said...

Just like the pix of Jerseys knit at 8 spi on your site??

When I knit a common commercial yarn at 8 spi, everyone can try knitting that yarn at that gauge.

How to knit eastern crossed stitch is in Mary Thomas's Knitting Book.

Try it. It is a very nice fabric to wear in the garden on cool mornings.

Holin Kennen said...

What website are you referring to? It isn't mine. So much for your diligent research methodology.

txvoodoo said...

Aaron, you didn't answer any of Holin's questions. She didn't ask how to knit "eastern crossed" - that's been determined already.


1) why can you never post a pic with a ruler that actually shows something? If you're claiming 8 spi, place the ruler so people can see 8spi. It isn't rocket science.

2) learn to focus your camera. I'm sure you can. It's a relatively remedial skill.

3) Follow up on your brags about 8 spi on your handspun.

Aaron said...

Show me where Holin shows rulers that clearly show stitch count.

When I post anything, Holin directs personal insult at me rather than discussing the ideas, knitting, or weaving - she does not tell us how to move forward, she insults us. She has not told me how to spin finer or faster or more consistent. Her site does the technology of textile production forward. She does not "give" lessons, she sells them.

On the other hand I give out ideas. It is like an artist letting people come into his studio to see how he works. You may not like the finished objects, but I am not offering them to you. They are spoken for, and nobody else is making or can make similar. If you decide that you want that kind of thing, you are going to have to make it yourself; so the technology is interesting. And, I give it away.

Holin does what her teachers did. She does not add anything new to the conversation. Yes, for a limited range she is a good-enough spinner. Fine! Ask her about the 22,400 ypp singles needed to weave a bolt of "shirting". Ask her for a few hanks of samples. When she has delivered her samples of shirting singles, get some from me and see whose singles are better. And, check to see who delivers their hanks faster.

If Holin was spinning shirting, she would have seen the utility of my accelerator wheel and made one for herself. She did not, so we know she does not spin hanks of shirting. She complains that I do not post pix of shirting, but neither does she. She does not spin shirting because her friends do not spin shirting She thinks that like her, I do not because I do not have any finished product.

No, for me, the technology is everything, it is like crossing a rive that must be crossed. The finished product is nothing. Tomorrow, I will make better, so today's product is nothing more than a footstep in the bottom of some river. I cross the river because someone must, and Holin (and her friends) will not.

Crossing the river is "A Voyage for Madmen", and I follow Moitessier.

Aaron said...

The 5-ply sport weight has a different ply twist, and wants to be knit on 2 mm needles at ~10 spi. Two years ago, I would never have dreamed that ANY sport weight yarn wanted that!!

Of course the fabric is much warmer than anything I have knit from sport weight mill spun.

I have migrated the WIP to flat tipped needles, which does not seem to have significantly changed the gauge, but if there is change, then there is a change and I am not going back. With the horizontal format of the Lizard Lattice stitch, I am not worried.

Even with the flat tipped needles, it is a significant knitting effort.

The knitting effort dwarfs the spinning effort. When was the last time you could say that about 5-ply sport weight?

Holin Kennen said...

Aaron, you still haven't answered my question. What website are you referring to? Why would I spin wool "shirting" when there is no demand for it. It would be like trying to sell a horse and buggy to someone who wanted to buy a car. I sold five of my fingering and lace weight skeins last week and took on a commission for another custom order for lace for a shawl. When was the last time this was the case with you?

Holin Kennen said...

Wow! You make an awful lot of assumptions about me, Aaron. You clearly have a very active, if completely inaccurate, imagination. I don't need a wheel like yours. I outgrew my Ashford Traditional years ago and moved onto different wheels with features that allowed me to spin faster and more consistent yarns. I do have an accelerated wheel - it's a Great Wheel - but I wouldn't build a wheel like yours for love nor money. It would be superfluous.

If the finished product is nothing, as you say, then you're going to be very, very cold in your non-existent gansey because there will be no finished product to wear. I hope you can stitch your numerous samples into a blanket, because it seems that you will have nothing else to wear unless you take a trip to Neimann Marcus.

txvoodoo said...

If you feel every question is an insult, then you're right.

You have a very strange conception of what an insult is, however.

"Show me where Holin shows rulers that clearly show stitch count."

Show me where YOU do. Ever. You've put rulers all over your photos and still never show anything. Why bother? Yes, you own rulers. We know that. But do you know how to use one?

"On the other hand I give out ideas. It is like an artist letting people come into his studio to see how he works."

No, you make pronouncements. And I've spent time with many artists in many studios, and none of them has their head so far up their nether orifice as you do. You do not teach, you bark. You do not instruct, you mandate.

You also still don't offer PROOF. Why would I want to make anything like your garments with imaginary properties?

You also have an incredibly narrow vision of what "good" or "useful" are. The world is a big place, with many different conditions - climate, activities, body temps.

I will never knit anything like what you think you are achieving, because I have no need of it. I'm in Texas. If I knit something like a gansey, one could legitimately question my sanity.

But I'm from the northeast, and wore many warm garments growing up, and especially when I went to college in the mountains. Remarkably, my clothing was all attractive, well-fitting, AND kept me warm, despite hours hiking in snowy mountains far-below-freezing temps.

I also managed to keep warm skiing in Tahoe without your kind of knitting.

Dr Gan Sei said...

Got the loom warped yet?

And what is the point of including blurry, badly-placed rulers?

purplespirit1 said...

It's hard to "discuss ideas" (as you insist) when your responses are random.

What is the purpose of having a ruler in any of these pictures? It's barely even a prop. As someone else pointed out, you may as well have a rock in its place, it would serve as much purpose. If you're going to use a ruler in your work, why not use it properly? The point of this is unclear.

What would be the purpose of someone else posting pictures of their work, when we're discussing yours?

When you criticize Holin for "not giv(ing)" lessons, she sells them" - how often have you posted in your blog or on ravelry, that you'd only show pictures or videos of your work only to those who pay for it?

It's very hard for any of us to have a cohesive conversation about any of your postings if you're making a point to not show something that makes sense.

It's also very interesting, in this particular post, that you're using commercial yarns to knit a sweater, when a) you claim to supposedly have so much spun yarn already made, and b) you've posted frequently criticizing the poor quality of commercial yarns. How does this particular project not contradict yourself on these terms?

A Fisherman Lies said...

Your bolt of shirting comment reminds me; have you figured out how to use your loom yet? Have you modified it to weave faster?

Anyway, here is a web page that might help you with your ruler problem:

Sarah Avery said...

If the knitting effort is that great, then the yarn doesn't WANT to be knit at that gauge. I'm sure the flat tipped needles aren't assisting either. I'm looking at the fabric you're creating, especially at the point where you begin the new round each time, and it's very inconsistent. You might also want to look into jogless stripes.

txvoodoo said...

"Tomorrow, I will make better, so today's product is nothing more than a footstep in the bottom of some river. I cross the river because someone must, and Holin (and her friends) will not."

I don't accept the premise of this statement.

It would be more accurate to say that Holin and her fellow professionals work for the product because that is what a professional does. Only a hobbyist and amateur spends all their time working on something that will only benefit themselves.

I note that there's nothing wrong with being a hobbyist. We just can't pretend that professionals only should strive for some illusory, unspecified, and oft unachievable goal. Professionals must have a final product to sell.

I guess, to extend your metaphor, Holin & other professionals realize it's far better to build a bridge over the river to get to their goal, than to wade through it and drown in the middle.

Aaron said...

One can sell the product, or one can sell the technology.

Teaching is a form of selling the technology.

However, most modern hand spinning teachers simply regurgitate conventional wisdom based on the model developed by the ladies of Queen Victoria's Court. Those ladies looked to subsistence spinners as they developed the spinning. The ladies of QV's did not seek to recreate the fine textiles produced by talented professional spinners. They did not try to replicate textiles worn by the rich prior to 1750, and they did not try replicate the functionality of textiles produced for specific industries (e.g., fishing, cab men) prior to 1750.

I seek to replicate the functionality of specific textiles.

Aaron said...

Some times one must make yarn do things it does not want to do! On the loom, storm cloth and balloon cloth are beaten until they conform.

Many fine wool fabrics were milled ( until they were fulled. After WT wove the cloth for his kilt, the largest single cost in having a kilt made from the cloth was having the bolt of cloth fulled.

Good dogs and good yarn do what their owners need done, but it is up to the owner to ensure that the right things are done.

Aaron said...

As long as there is a scale in the frame, you can use a pair of dividers to transfer distance from one part of the image to another.

Aaron said...

This is a swatch to test the functionality of a knitting method with a particular type of yarn. The questions are: "Is it warm" and "Is it durable?".

Make it work, then make it durable. If the knitting method works, I will make pretty ones. Why bother to make something that is going directly to destructive testing pretty? I do not think you understand the concept of destructive testing.

Dr Gan Sei said...

So, years ago when you began this monstrosity you were claiming that it was a garment. Now you're claiming that it's a swatch. From this I deduce that it is seriously faulty in some way that makes it unfit for purpose and non-functional.

Speaking of non-functional, what is the purpose of placing out-of-focus and badly-placed rulers on your knitting? Are they just to look pretty?

Holin Kennen said...

So rather than place a ruler on your sample in such a way that a person can easily see the number of stitches per inch, you expect people to do some unnecessary calculation in order to figure it out. How is that advancing the art of knitting, as you claim to be doing? I can think of no better example of your poor "teaching" than this sorry excuse which you offer for your poor photographs with useless rulers.

Destructive testing? What utter nonsense! Moving the goalposts again, eh?

A Fisherman Lies said...

You referred to the item as a 'torso for a knit in the round jersey' and commented that you'd figured out how to finish it off in a reasonable timeframe, but now it's a swatch you plan on destroying?

Do you read your own writing?

E said...

"As long as there is a scale in the frame, you can use a pair of dividers to transfer distance from one part of the image to another."

That's actual nonsense, Aaron.

Photography distorts actual size, relative size, and distance - a dramatic example is how easy it is to take a picture of someone "holding up" the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In every photograph there is some distortion; no scientist would rely on using an object in a photo to measure anything else in that photo.

Only when objects are truly next to each other and correctly aligned, is it possible to create a photographic representation that accurately conveys a given measurement.

Put differently, the only way to create an accurate and reasonably trustworthy photograph of how many stitches in a given inch, is to lay the ruler out exactly as you would to measure the SPI.

As you continue to refuse to display the measurements for the SPI you claim to have, I cannot trust what you say.