Thursday, March 17, 2011

The properties of density

I think people have a finite amount of "active" memory, which is where we store the information that we need to function in our day to day lives (think RAM for computers). It's where we keep our passwords and PIN numbers, our kids' teachers' names, the stitch pattern for the project we're currently working on... stuff like that. As long as the information is in use, it's right there, easily available. But as soon as it's no longer needed? It's outta there.

Don't know what I mean? Well, think about the stuff you learned in highschool. At one time in my life, knowing who the first bishop of Québec was and when he was appointed was pretty darn important. But now? Not so much. Sure, I remember who was the first bishop (Laval - some lessons can't be unlearned), but when was he appointed? Not a clue.

This... precariousness of information, I have found, is especially true when it comes to "The Science" (chemistry, physics, etc.). Now, I used to be a bit of a nerd (I can hear a few peoples' voices dubiously asking "used to be???" in my head as I type that). I used to know stuff about "The Science". Take the concept of density, for example. I used to understand what it was, I knew the formula to represent it's properties and everything. But when I looked it up a few days ago, it made little sense to me. I had to break it down into it's little bitty parts to get it.

Density, dear readers, is the ratio of the mass to volume of a substance.

In knitterly parlance, that would be the amount of yarn (mass) in ratio to the length of the fabric (volume) produced. So, a fabric that's dense uses more yarn then a fabric that's "thin" (or drapey). Simple, right?

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Gee that's swell Tara, why the heck are you talking about this?". Good question.

Remember when I told you that I was having issues with gauge on the Java Java socks? Remember when I said that the fabric was really thick? Like, foot-armour producing kind of thick? That's because the fabric I was producing was very dense.

I produced a dense fabric. And, as I have just demonstrated, dense fabrics use up more yarn than "regular" fabric. Any bells ringing yet?

There you go. I can feel you making the connection now. You've just realised what only dawned on me a few nights ago: by creating a dense fabric, I've used up more yarn than I normally would to knit a sock, and I'm totally going to run out of yarn before I finish the second sock.


Happy Knitting, Everyone.


Sinéad said...

Tragedy! What are you going to do? I'd be losing it right now. Bloody science. I knew it was no good... :)

sapphireblue said...


Maryse said...

I think that it happened to me too not so long ago... Hope it can easily be fixed!

dawn said...

Oh no! How close are you? I could send you a bit of mine if that would help.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Did that yarn shop in the USA ship your yarn yet? the one that you were waiting to hear back from?

Laurie said...

She blinded me with science...bummer about the sock...