Tuesday, December 26, 2006

2 Degrees of Seperation

On Christmas day, my DIL told me a sweater I knit for my grandson Cyrus, finally fits perfectly. Really, I knit 3 to 6month size!--just 20 or so inches at chest, (Cyrus is now going on 18 months!)
Well, it’s good it fits him--even if months later than anticipated. And its very good it fits him now when the weather is cooler, and sweaters are more useful.

Here’s Cyrus (before he fit in the sweater) with Debbie New, (mom is behind the camera!) at Stitches West last year.
Sonya (DIL) met Debbie New the previous year, when she took a class with her. And Debbie was kind enough to pose with Cyrus, because he’s wearing a sweater inspired by her design in Unexpected Knitting.
So there are just 2 degree’s of separation between me and Debbie New.

The sweater was one of the most fun things I have ever knitted.
It was in some aspects, incredible simple.

It was in other aspects, incredible complex.

I suppose it was only complex if you thought about it.
I suppose if you followed Debbie’s directions exactly (and ended up with an exact replica of the sweater she designed), it would have been simple enough.

But I never do that! Besides, I wanted to understand the process.

The sweater is made up of 2 identical hexagon sort of shapes, that are knit in the round.
The shapes are folded, seamed, and simple finished.
Like any sweater, GAUGE is paramount.

The Hexagons aren’t hexagons. The basic shape is a six sided (like a hexagon) but unlike a hexagon, its made from 6 right-angled (90° ) wedges (not 6 equilateral triangles)

Stop and think about that for a moment.

Normally a hexagon is made from 6 triangles , each of which has equal sides and equal angles. And since the sum total of degrees in a triangle always equals 180° , an equilateral triangle always has 3 60° angles.
When all wedged together, you get a six sided figure, that fits on a plane--(a flat surface)
The 6 triangles can be arranged to fit inside of a circle (6 X 60° =360° ) --a very convenient thing if you are knitting in the round.

Now think what happens when you have 6 Right (90° ) angles meeting at one point.
6X90° =540° ! Yikes!
If you think it can’t be done, think again. It can. Its just isn’t a flat figure.
It ripples. It ruffles. Its too big to lie flat.

But if you fold the knitting in half, ( 540° /2=270° ) you end up with a double sided 270° shape, and that you can visualize--270° =¾ of square.
It’s a letter L or Number 7 sort of shape.

Put 2 together, and you can get a double sided T shape.
And a T shape works fine for a sweater.
Especially a baby sweater.

I wrote extensively on the experience last year as I was knitting it.
I didn’t have a blog then, but posted on Knitty’s coffee shop (BB) and on Knitter’s Review BB.(links to these sites in side column).
I’ll share more about the experience here, in the next few days.

(and I'll post a photo of hat #3 for The Ships Project)


Anonymous said...

I love this baby sweater!! It is what I would consider a UNIQUE piece!! ;)

Anonymous said...

This design reminds me a little of Nora Gaugan's recent structural wonders -- intriquing! I love to look at it and think of the technique but still remain very much an organic knitter working from the left side of my brain....

PS, That's one very cute kid!


simplyducky said...

That's such a cool pattern, it really appeals to my inner math geek. It'd also be cool to make an adult-size version.

Nancy said...

Hi from Nancy (Caring for Cooper). What a fabulous sweater. You did a wonderful job. I wonder if some Cooper babies will be having some of these. I will have to try it one of these days. You are so talented. Thanks for all you do for the babies.