Apr. 23rd, 2017

infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
Yesterday I carded and spun some more sweater wool, finished the heel of
stripey sock #1, and did a bunch of garden stuff. I potted up the tomatoes,
eggplant, and sweet potatoes, built a frame for the second tray of pots to
go in the window, planted seeds for okra and zinnias, and picked wee
seedlings of mountain spinach off the wet paper towel where they'd been
stratifying in the fridge and transferred them to seed-starting pots. I
"planted" the rest of the paper towel in the yard next to the rhubarb and
lavender, since there were a bunch of strong-looking ones that had embedded
themselves in the paper.

I made some more crackers from the morning's sourdough discards, and I am
getting better at crackers because they were delicious. Equal parts starter
and finely chopped nuts, plus enough oat flour (you could use whatever, I
use oat since it's fodmap-friendly and unfermented wheat flour isn't) to
make a dough, olive oil and salt. Roll as thinly as possible onto aluminum
foil, score and dock, bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes. I brushed half of
them with a honey-paprika glaze, and I'll definitely be repeating that
experiment.

I've been reading through back issues of PLY magazine, and in the Singles
issue is a really excellent write up of the autho's experiments with
biasing when knitting stockinette with singles yarns. It is exactly the
sort of thing I hope to do if I ever actually start my CoE in handspinning.
She tested the effect of diameter, twist angle, finishing, and gauge on the
bias angle of the finished swatch, and didn't stop until she had produced
and tested a truly biased fabric under multiple circumstances. Then she did
a literature search into the material properties of wool to see if she
could explain her results. In summary: you get the most biasing if you knit
with singles fresh off the bobbin. Next most is with finer, high-twist (>40
degrees) singles, knit a bit loosely. And there is a reason! Wool protein
composition is 75% amorphous polymers which change shape when wet to
minimize the forces on them. The remaining 25% are non-amorphous, and
retain their twist. This means that when you wash a singles, 3/4 of the
twist goes to sleep permanently when the amorphous proteins reshape
themselves. And her numbers work out -- the swatches of fresh singles have
4x the bias of washed ones. Really lovely results.
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