Knitting and Science

Knitting and yarnAsk any knitter about the stretch of a knitted piece, and they can tell you a bit about physics, even if they don’t identify what they’re doing as science.

This article at Physics World talks about how one physicist accepted a project to study the stretch of knits, and the process he then had to undertake in order to create knitted pieces to study. As it turns out, it wasn’t as easy as picking up a ball of yarn and some knitting needles.

Many of the experiments this scientist conducted had to do with elasticity, but he found that the yarn became deformed over several stretches, which became a new statistic to consider.

In the end, “While understanding the elasticity of knits may help scientists find direct applications in composite reinforcement, soft robotics or architecture, comprehending the statistical part may help fundamental physicists understand why such different systems show similar behaviour.” So if you’re interested in physics of this sort, you might follow this scientist’s lead!

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