Tag Archives: knitting

Triboelectric Knitting: the new water-boarding for kinky OAPs…

The Alternative Advent: Day 6

tiboelevtric knittingAnd I find chopsticks frankly distressing. Am I alone in thinking it odd that a people ingenious enough to invent paper, gunpowder, kites and any number of other useful objects—

Haven’t yet worked out that a pair of knitting needles is no way to capture food?

Bill Bryson

Is it any way to capture food?

Of course not, but despite the indelible blow they struck for hapless babysitters in Halloween, their appeal was on the wane— until fairly recently. The information age have made them sexy again. Forget about knitting being the new ‘going out’; because that Roman-Candle just never sticks. Last week, ‘staying in’ was having a revival; before that it was black and it won’t be long before the new black is once again an absence of colour.

It is for some though, the new sex and while there are octogenarians who’d argue that this was always the case— and not just because it strengthened hand muscles and their ability to grip things— but because it catches the imagination in ways I’m only just beginning to understand.

Even I cast a few loops from time to time and rip away for a while error free. I leave plenty ‘signatures’, quite substantial some of them— but any past-time where the word ‘mistake’ is semantically questionable gets the thumbs up from me. They’ve been doing it with every single subject in English schools for a long time.

And is it really surprising it’s thought of as sexy, with stitches called the stockinette or the garter? If they’re for the flirty knitter, perhaps the ribbed stitch is arguably exclusive for her.

That said, I say not. As impressive as these double-knitted, slip-stitches look, they’re just a little bit unmanly. Instead of ‘stitch one, purl one’, why not alternate to the ever diminishing decimal places of pi: ‘stitch one, purl four, stitch one, purl five, stitch nine’ and on and on, ad infinitum?

Combine that with the geometric elements of Cavandoli macramé and you’ve got yourself some yarn-candy for the geeks. For the super geeks though, you’d need something much better…

Triboelectric Knitting

You see, some materials create more static electricity than others because of their tendency to either give up electrons and become positive in charge or attract electrons and become negative in charge.

Wool for example, just throws its electrons away willy-nilly— so it stands to reason that if you made needles that wolfed them down, you’d have the potential for potential energy. That and electric shocks for whomever was brave enough to use them.

I’d probably try a spiny, teflon-coated-copper-core, with a Styrofoam moulding to bring it flush with exposed spines, and finish it off with a non-conducting gripper, so as not to earth any of the latent charge before it had time to get frenzied; or just ask someone who knows the difference between beans to make some for me.

Add to them a miniaturised version of the pedometer to record the number of stitches stitched in a sitting and you’ve got yourself the makings of a game: equation based of course.

There would be two sums involved:

  • The duration of the session divided by the number of stitches recorded; and

  • dropped stitches divided by shocks received

And by dividing the the product of those two sums, you get your index.

Of course, the real fun would be to give a couple of these new fangled sticks to season hardened biddies who have a stitch count you can measure in the balls [of yarn] per minute, or BPMs…

And then just sit back and see what happens…

They’d do it for the status amongst the other biddies—

And respect of course. Who’d wanna mess with a juiced up granny?