DayanaKnits' projects
The Science of Hearing
February 2012
September 2012
Project info
The Science of Hearing
Seamless Hybrid by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Needles & yarn
US 4 - 3.5 mm
madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light
none left in stash
4 skeins = 1760.0 yards (1609.3 meters), 400 grams
Nina Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
July 24, 2011

Blogged in illustrated detail, here!

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“The sweater you were the most worried about, is the one that fits me better than any sweater I have!” - B.

This color of madelinetosh was created for my husband. He likes bright colors enormously, but is a tad shy about wearing them, so I try to find him colors that are on the fringe of the ‘man’ range of hues, with spots of brightness. This is a bright red with slight orange tones… it’s really gorgeous. Of course, when I bought another skein much later, the color Sequoia looked utterly different, way more orange, no beautiful ruby toning. Beware!

B. likes thin sweaters. Men like thin sweaters, actually. They get hot in big bulky things, and keep them in the closet until “skiing” or some other excuse. Sad to only see his knit sweaters come out a few times a year, I decided to go for something that would take a long time to make, but would be worth it. We picked the seamless hybrid in sport weight because of Jared Flood’s personal version -- it just looked so… wearable!

B. is a scientist, like myself. He works on how ‘hair cells’, the cells responsible for our hearing, develop in the embryo. These cells are exquisitely shaped, a real anatomical wonder (see pictures)! When sound enters our ear, it moves fluid over the “v-shaped” bundle of hairs along the cell and the sound frequencies are transmitted to the brain. Can you see the bundle of hair cells?

B. didn’t know that his sweater would be a special Science Sweater. There are 4 rows of hair cells in the ear, 3 of a smaller size, 1 of a much larger size. I knit 3 rows of smaller hair cell rows around the torso, and larger hair cells up the sleeves. I even added a ‘mutant’ hair cell on the sleeve, as one of the genetic causes of deafness he studies involves mis-positioning of the v-shaped bundle (see close-up)!

It took a couple of months, but he looked over at me one day and said, “That’s not just stockinette… what are you DOING to my sweater?” Yes, he said “stockinette”. I gave it to him, and it took about a full minute until his eyes opened wide and he said, “Oh my god, they’re hair cells!” He was very happy. I hope that one day he will wear this sweater during a job interview!

We had a disaster after blocking. I soaked the sweater in a Eucalan wash before blocking and after blocking, and it had stretched to over 5 inches TOO LONG. It was absolutely chilling! Don’t put tosh merino light in Eucalan, please! I threw it in a tub of super-hot water for 45 minutes, and it looked the same (oh, superwash). I let it dry, threw it in a basket to frog, and went on vacation for 2.5 weeks. When I came back, I took it out again to measure something salvageable… and it fit perfectly. It fit perfectly… how did it fit perfectly?? Ok, the sleeves had to be shortened, but no big deal, I had done them top down. I consider this whole experience a modern knitting miracle!

B. wore this sweater almost every day this winter, it makes me tear up just to write this. =)

And as for one-ply merino light, it has a worn, fuzzy aura with that much wear, but no pilling at all. I am surprised at how well it looks!

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February 2012
September 2012
About this pattern
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About this yarn
by madelinetosh
100% Merino
420 yards

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stashed 124001 times

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  • Project created: May 4, 2013
  • Finished: May 4, 2013
  • Updated: June 16, 2013