Thursday, January 30, 2014

Frog announcement

Ok, I am at peace, I've come to terms with the need, my knitting and I are in agreement, there will be frogging, lace weight frogging. I am a metric person, raised in a metric country, all my life distances have been in kilometers, weights in grams and kilograms, measurements in centimeters or meters. In my life I have learned about the imperial units, I understand inches, yards, ounces and pounds. I love the Winnie the Pooh rhyme about Tigger, what ever he weighs in pounds, shillings and ounces, he always seems bigger because of his bounces. Even as a small child I got the silliness of mixing currency and weights -and I loved it.

At times it seems like I've spent my life converting between imperial and metric, my mum and grandmas cookbooks are in ounces, my new cookbooks in metric, online recipes are mixed depending on the country of origin. My dad describes things in inches, but uses millimeters when doing mechanic things. The text books we use and that I collect for patternmaking can be either metric or imperial. I joke with my students who come across the brilliant imperial drafting in Helen Joseph Armstrong's patternmaking for fashion design that a good pattern maker needs to be bilingual in terms of measurement. You see we teach using Winifred Aldrich texts and they are all in metric, but I need to take the year threes beyond what Winnifred covers into how to develope designs beyond what she shows. For most of the students who have only workd with metric measurements having to death with 3/16th or 5/8th of an inch seems way more complex than they want to deal with.

And then I go and measure the length from the side and use metric centimeters instead of inches ... What should be 9.5 inches is in fact more like 9.5 cm. Not only that but I've now knit 7cm of 1x1 rib in cobweb lace weight, so there will be frogging ... Serrious frogging, slow and careful frogging, resigned frogging. I've spent the day wondering if a really wide band of ribbing would work ... but eventually decided that I liked the original design and so will frog.

Motto of the day : check what units the designer is using, before you undertake the next step in the pattern.

Na Stella

Ps - any one else find it odd that the country that is the least imperial (USA) seem the one most likely to publish garment and patternmaking data in imperial units (inches) whereas the most imperial country (UK) publishes those things in metric units?