Saturday, January 30, 2016

Back to leverage

Ultimately, knitting needles are levers for moving loops of yarn. For hand held needles such as circular needles or DPN, the thumb is usually the fulcrum, and total leverage is ~1:3.  With a knitting sheath or knitting stick or knitting pouch as the fulcrum, the leverage is between 1:20 and 1:100.  With the gansey needles/knitting sheath that I am using for sock knitting these days, my leverage is about 1:50.

That means, a knitter with with circular needles must apply about 17 times as much force as I do to move the yarn loops. In fact, it is possible to knit as tight as needed with circular needles.  I wore through the plating on 2 sets of US1  Addi Turbos doing just that.  As an old rock climber, I have reasonably strong hands.  There was a time when I spent 2 hours per day at Indian Rock hanging from my fingers, just to strengthen them.

A very easy training climb on Mt. Tam.
There was a time when I climbed the 2,500 feet of Mt. Tam.
every day.  When they closed Mt. Tam because of the trail-side shootings, 
I climbed it every night.

Some knitters, say that they have very strong hands and can knit as I do using circular needles.  Their hands would have to be 17 times as strong as my hands are.  That is like claiming that if Aaron can lift a hundred pounds, they can lift 1700 pounds, over and over.  They may be that strong, but human hands cannot endure such stress indefinably. Using gansey needles and a knitting sheath, my hands and wrists are subject to only 5% (e.g., 1/17 th)  of the stress of their hands and wrists are subjected to as they knit.  It is a level of stress that my hands can endure indefinably.  I let my steel needles take the stress, and save my hands.

I think that is a smarter way to knit.

Swaving using curved needles with a knitting sheath
provides uses compound leverage, to yield
very high effective leverage.

The crew of one the last wooden cargo 
ships to go around the Horn.  Notice 
the commercially knit Guernseys.


A Fisherman Lies said...

It's embarrassing that when you are unable to answer straightforward questions (about your own claims) on Ravelry, you come running back to your blog to make ridiculous accusations in your own echo chamber.

What a sad little man you are - but I'm sure your stress IS indefinable.

Aaron said...

I use my name, and you use an avator, that says a lot about who we are.

Certainly, I make many mistakes, and when I do, I admit them and report them. However, anyone can get the materials at the local hardware store, and check out what I say. Making one's own knitting tools is one of the traditions of knitting.

There is no echo chamber here, because I test, test, and test more. What works better is kept and what does not work as well gets discarded. I know what tools you use, and how you use them. I used those tools with those techniques in the past. Then, I moved on to better tools and techniques. I was able to do that because I treat knitting as a craft, and you treat knitting as a condition for membership in a social group.

If I own a book, I know what is in it. If you claim to have owned a book then you should know what is in it.

What useful things have you ever posted? What questions have you ever answered?

You may not, but some people do consider the tools and techniques for knitting finer and faster to be useful. I post for them, not for you.


A Fisherman Lies said...

I love that you point out I'm anonymous and claim to know what tools I use, all in the same paragraph.

Knitting isn't a condition for membership n any social group (except a knitting circle, I suppose), but basic manners are. To be very clear since you have language interpretation problems, being polite doesn't preclude disagreement. One can have a civil debate on any number of topics, assuming one has basic social skills.

Aaron said...

In short, there are only a limited number of knitting tools.

You might be an expert knitter using knitting sheaths and do not want others to know your secret; but, I think not.

That leaves DPN, circular needles, hooked needles, knitting looms, and knitting frames.

The strength of your prejudice tells us that you learned it as a child from a group. Your on-going prejudice tells us that others around you use the same tools. That whittles the list down to DPN and circular needles both of which have the same physics. Picking, throwing, or Portuguese tension, they all have the same stress on your hands and wrists.

You talk about my personality, rather than the technical issues of knitting. So yes, you do see knitting as a social activity, rather than as a craft. In a craft, performance is graded by the rate and quality of production, not by one's social graces.

One does not get to technical excellence by being polite. If one wants to be a better knitter, then one much talk about the technologies and skills of better knitting. That is true, even if the "Queen" is a member of your knitting group, and it would be very rude indeed to imply that the Queen is not an excellent knitter. Thus, discussion of knitting skills is avoided while the Queen is present. Soon, such avoidance of the topic becomes habit. To a craftsman, technical excellence must trump etiquette. Craftsmen will rank you by how good a knitter you are, rather than by how polite you are to the Queen.

A Fisherman Lies said...

The only prejudices I've demonstrated are against a) bad manners and b) poor use of language. If you're going to misuse terminology and invent your own personal jargon (stitches per square inch is laughably meaningless, even without your errors in calculating it) then you're not going to be able to have a substantive conversation with a fellow craftsperson, the Queen or anyone else. I can't accept any of your claims about your knitting given the errors in logic, science, history and math you've demonstrated here on your own blog. The fact that you present these errors with such arrogance suggests a root cause for your ignorance - the real craftspeople I've are passionate about their work and happy both to teach and to learn.

Your assumptions about me are well off the mark, since as usual you've misinterpreted or invented the 'evidence'.

Aaron said...

Stitches per square inch is a useful measure for fine knitters.

Stitches per inch is a useful measure for folks pretending to be fine knitters. Loose fabrics can be easily distorted to increase spi and the inflated spi, makes it sound like you are knitting much finer than you really are.

You do not like stitches per square inch because it more truthful and is harder to "fudge". What really gets you upset is when I tell your students that it is reasonably easy to make 6-strand sock yarn (1650 ypp), and knit it at 148 stitches per square inch at a good pace. Nor, do you like it when I tell your students that it is very feasible to knit commercial 5-ply "gansey yarn" at 116 stitches per square inch, at a very good pace.

I mean, I would not want to fib to your students, and lead them astray; now would I? Do you want me to lie to your students?

Nor do you like it when I set objective, numeric standards for spinning and knitting. You would not like stitches per square inch even if I expressed them as spi and rpi as Gladys Thompson did.

With that, I end this comment as I have a great pile of 6-ply sock yarn waiting for me, the plums are blooming, and the hiking season is coming. You should be getting after your Christmas knitting.

purplespirit1 said...

When you talk about students, and being a teacher (or master) - who is part of this following that you have?

It's one thing if you want to toot your own horn about math and fine needles, and how many stitches you can cram into a square inch of fabric, or how many miles a minute you can spin - and be proud of all that, at that.

But, you frequently mention on your blog about 'students' and how you are a master or a teacher - who are you teaching? Better yet, where are you teaching? Do you have a classroom of people seeking your information, maybe even paying to be in that class?

You've often mentioned, also, how others are hiding behind fake names while you use your own name (supposedly) on this blog and on ravelry - but if all the "teaching" you're actually doing is typing things into a blog... well, anyone with a keyboard and internet access can do that.

If you've an actual physical group of people that you're teaching, then it'll be easy to accept you as a teacher or "master" of your craft. But, if you don't, and the only teacher/master qualification that you consider yourself to have is some needles and yarn, a blog and a ravelry account, then I'm a teacher and master too - as are half of the people on ravelry.

FWIW, I actually have classes - and people pay me to teach them to knit. And they've paid me to teach them to crochet too - and spin yarn. And I've been doing all that for 20 years, at least - how long have you been "teaching", in comparison?

By your own admittance, you've been only spinning/knitting for less than 10 years - it's very hard to believe that someone so green to the craft is more of a "master" than someone who has been doing it for decades longer - and professionally, at that.