Dixie Peach: Yarn Science

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yarn Science

Last week I discussed the genetics of yarn - how yarn can seemly have the same parents but each skein can have its own unique qualities and appearance. This week I suppose it's a combination of astronomy and physics - two things I honestly don't know loads about because they both involve copious amounts of mathematics.

I thought for sure that by now I'd have a pair of finished socks to show off to y'all - Poppy's Hippy Dippy Tie-Dye socks. I didn't get as much knitting time in over the weekend as I'd planned, what with wallowing in The Malaise and all, but I still thought that by tonight I'd be weaving in the loose ends and snapping its photo - the birth of a pair of socks!

I have to knit 7 1/4 inches of foot before I can begin the toe decreases - for you non-knitters, make the sock more narrow for the toes. Yesterday afternoon while B was having his physical therapy I knit for the whole hour and afterwards measured the foot and it was 5 inches long. I knit more in the afternoon after a nap. I knit while supper was cooking. I knit while watching TV. I knit later in the evening before bed and when I measured the foot before bed it was at 6 inches.

I knit for what amounts to be about two hours and only added an inch? This can't be right.

I have two theories about what may have happened. Perhaps there's a twisted part of physics that says when one is knitting a sock's foot (because this never happens when knitting the sock's cuff or leg), the stitches compress themselves somehow. You add a row of knitting, a row of knitting compresses into another and one only gains half the length of a normal row. Or there's the astronomical theory: When knitting the foot of a sock, your rows of knitting are somehow sucked into a sort of yarn black hole. You can knit like mad but the rows your adding get somehow sucked into another dimension. I know I'm explaining this badly but you know - math, scientific theory, me...bleh. Those three things just won't even blend.

Remember the episode of the original Star Trek series where some of the crew of the Enterprise is somehow switched with an alternate universe - it's them but the opposites of them? You remember - Spock had a beard and Sulu had that big bad ass scar on his face and was always trying to get it on with the good Uhura? Maybe something similar is happening with this sock. I'm here knitting but I don't add any length. In the alternate universe I'm trying to unravel a sock and it keeps going on and on and on and I can't get it all unraveled.

Well...just as long as on the other side I don't have a beard or a bad ass scar on my face.

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Blogger LeaderOfMyPack said...

Black holes and math! This is why I quilt. I would seriously go batty if I coudln't find my stitches.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Oh don't believe that quilting leaves you immune from crafting black holes. How many times have you cut the right number of pieces and then when you're sewing the pieces together you find you don't have as many as you thought you did?

Sucked right into the crafting black hole, that's where they are. Oh. Wait. You have kids. You can always blame the kids.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Miz said...

Get into the shuttle-craft and get out of the house for a while. I'm getting worried about you, you're in yarn Pon-farr.

1:15 AM  
Blogger LeaderOfMyPack said...

I have been totally thinking about this. And quilting is actually way worse for math and black holes!

Like I was doing my quilt, finished a block and actually lost it. I LOST IT! I had to recut and re-sew and that sucked big time.

1:36 AM  
Blogger sari said...

Somewhere on the other side of the earth is a huge pile of knitted sock toes, and one confused person.

3:19 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Hey, I thought about you in an interview yesterday!! This woman brought her KNITTING with her! She had ONE skein (is that the right word?) of yarn, yet the sock she was knitting was amazingly patterned!! What kind of math whiz designs the colors on that one long string of yarn?! AMAZING!

I'm all one for a bit of quirkiness on the job, and this woman is very skilled (knitting aside), so I'm gonna offer her the position! The knitting turns out to be a definite positive! And guess what? I'll be traveling with her for a few days in March, so there's a remote chance that I'll learn a bit about knitting. My mom -- rest her knitting soul -- would be so PROUD!


1:27 AM  

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