Saturday, June 18, 2016

US3 Needles

  1. Back in the summer of 2013, patknitter was saying that she could replicate my fabrics, using US3 needles. On July 28, 2013, I posted that I would buy her a case of brandy if she could actually do that. see

  2. At that point, I had been working on how to hand-knit warmer fabrics for 14 years.  I understood all of the approaches.  I knew what needles produced which fabrics, and which fabrics could be produced with what needles.  I had done my homework.  I had knit 50 gallon  drums full of gauge swatches, most of which are still in my office.

  3. She never sent me proof of meeting the challange, and more recently she has been claiming  on Ravelry that she did meet the challange, but that I did not pay off. This was, and is deceitful, underhanded, and libel. The moderators of Ravelry: Guernseys - Ganseys - Knit Frocks group  have allowed this. 

  4. Her solution was to use a thinner yarn.  The thinner yarn made it a different fabric. The different yarn construction that she used was another degree of difference. There is simply no way that the fabric which she claims is the same as the pictured  fabric, is similar to the fabric pictured in the case of brandy post, and again below. Her claim has no merit.

  5. Moreover, attempting to knit the defined yarn on US3 needles at 5.5 spi produces a stiff board like fabric that is unlike the fabric pictured.  The pictured fabric has decent hand and drape. Been there, done that, enough to know what works, and what does not work.  patknitter is simply ignorant of how to knit either fine or dense fabrics of high quality and good wearability.

  6. 6-strand, cabled (wool sock yarn) knit (by me) at 8 spi on US3 needles
  7. This time the yarn grist is 1680 ypp rather than 
  8. the 850 ypp of the challange fabric.
  9. ~8 spi and 10 rpi

  10.  challange fabric knit from brandy post
  11. 6-strand cabled 850 ypp wool yarn
  12. ~ 6 spi and 11 rpi
  13. yarn grist matters in knitting

  14. Of course, I knew that finer yarns could be knit at 6 spi (or 8 spi) on US3 needles.  That is why I was careful to say the challange was to replicate the fabric, and not the stitches per inch, as she claims. The fabric of the challange cannot be knit on US3 needles, even when the yarn is stretched to its breaking point. That is determined by the physics of wool.

  15. A case of good brandy is thousands of dollars. I did not underestimate patknitter. I expected the required effort to be more than the tasks of Hercules - more like the labor of  Sisyphus.  However, with the tide of group sentiment running against me, I relented and offered to send patknitter enough of the right yarn to make her demonstration, in case her stash was not up to the task. However, I do feel that anyone that brags about being a "gansey knitter" should have a variety of multi-ply and multi-strand cabled yarns on hand.  In fact, the bully gansey knitter should have gauge swatches of such yarns ready at hand - all labeled with the type of  yarn and the needles used.

  16. It is shameful that Ravelry: Guernseys - Ganseys - Knit Frocks group (
  17. has supported her wrongful claims and dishonesty.

  18. This kind of thing is why I have basically stopped using Ravelry.

  19. I find that groups like  Guernseys - Ganseys - Knit Frocks group  are full of misinformation like patknitter's claim that fine, dense fabrics can be knit on US3 needles by just knitting tighter, and keeping the yarn at a higher tension. In the past, on this blog, I have mentioned other Ravelry groups commonly posting misinformation,  but sometimes I took that as misdirection to preserve a competitive advantage. Now, I have to say that misinformation on Ravelry is simply endemic. Lies that I heard as I began knitting run rife.  It took me years to track down or discover better approaches. 

  20. Now, the lies get group approval and better technical approaches get group disapproval.  These days textile craftsmanship on Ravelry is discouraged in favor of mediocrity.  Easy is prefered to excellent. Fast is prefered to durable. Everything is focused on "hobby grade". There is no disciplined pursuit of excellence.

  21. Problems with patknitter's assertions include;
  22. First, wool yarn is simply not that elastic. A stitch formed by wrapping yarn around a 3.25 mm needle will always be larger than a stitch formed by wrapping yarn around 2.4 mm needle.  The yarn will break before the 7.5 mm of yarn measured for a stitch by a 2.4 mm needle, can be stretched to the 10.2 mm required to go around a 3.25 mm needle.

  23. Second, fabric knit with tightly held yarn tends to be stiff, board like, and have poor hand and drape. Fabric knit to the same spi/rpi by using smaller needles, with less yarn tension tends to have better hand and drape.  Finer needles tend to produce fabrics that are more comfortable to wear.  That  is because the yarn loosely knit on the finer needles is not under tension, so the fabric is relaxed and feels more pleasant.

  24. The bottom line is that the way to knit fine fabrics (Arans, Guernseys and Ganseys included) is to use the correct sized needles and  knit with just enough tension in the yarn to ensure that wrapping the yarn around the needle produces a uniform stitch.

  25. This is an important issue, both as a matter of  quality of knitting and the ergonomics of knitting.  However, patknitter gets many "agree"s and "love"s for her assertions that reduce the quality of knitting, and increase the chance of injury while knitting. She is a populist leader, and a bully.  She is not a proponet of excellence in knitting.  In the early days of Ravelry, there were many proponents of excellence on Ravelry. I do not see them posting on Ravelry any more.  I  suspect that like me, they have gotten tired of the tone of many groups on Ravelry.  A tone that emphasizes personality over technical merit.

  26. Knitters that accept what patknitter says as true cannot become excellent knitters. I do not care how well any particular knitter can knit, but I am pointing out that patknitter and others like her form a significant social barrier to technical excellence in textiles.  I think expert knitters and spinners should make a point of removing technical and social barriers to better knitting.  

  27. I am not interested in environments where mediocrity is king.  I do not participate in  groups that tolerate deceit. I do not like people that engage in libel.


purplespirit1 said...

"This kind of thing is why I have basically stopped using Ravelry."

And yet you have posts that are as recent as 3 days ago there, and at least 15 posts from within the last 3 months. AND yet another blog post devoted to Ravelry that's newer than this blog post - that's two posts in a row devoted to ravelry.

For a site that you claim (again) that you don't use that often, you're devoting a lot of attention to it.

If you don't like ravelry so much, why not delete your account there?

purplespirit1 said...

I forgot this bit of info yesterday, sorry for not including it in my original first comment.

I remember you and patknitter making that wager, quite publicly at the time on ravelry. She met your challenge and won, therefore winning the bet. You changed the rules afterwards by wanting her to reknit whatever you wanted her to knit but now using different yarn than what you originally agreed upon.

You changed the rules after you lost the bet - how is it then fair to trash patknitter or ravelry on your blog? It's not libel on her part.

If patknitter takes up your challenge again (which I doubt, because why?) but hypothetically, and wins the bet again, what's to say that you're not again going to change the rules of the game because you lost again?

Sour grapes, my friend. How sad.

Aaron said...

The original challange with its original language is still on the blog.

I did not underestimate patknitter. The original challange was for same fabric, not same spi. I knew her tricks. The first part of the challange was to find the right yarn. She did not bother.

You are the ones that change the terms AFTER losing!

purplespirit1 said...

The problem is that you're convinced that everyone but you is wrong, and no matter what anyone says or proves, you'll still argue how wrong everyone-but-you is.

How sad.

Aaron said...

Again you are upside down. I very much accept that there are different goals and approaches to textile craft.

My approach produces fine fabrics that many appreciate. It can produce warm fabrics that some appreciate.

I dislike being told that these are not traditional methods. I dislike being told that I cannot measure correctly. These are lies and libel

I know what can, and cannot be knit on circular needles. This is the result of thousands and thousands of hours of focused and aggressive research. I know what can be knit with a knitting sheath. I dislike people that have not put thousands and thousands of hours of focused and aggressive research into the topic speculating from ignorance that the technology does not work, because it does work very well.

I do not care how you knit, but if I find a better way to knit, I want to be able to share it with other knitters so they can also knit finer and faster.