A knitter, with the help of a machine, creates the needles that knit her sweater.
But even as she makes the needles, she’s still in the knitting business.
With a new study in the Journal of Human Factors, we’re digging into what goes into making a knit sweater.
Read moreA new study by scientists at the University of Washington in Seattle shows that the way people knit a sweater determines whether it’s going to last longer.
The study, published in the journal Science, is based on data collected from nearly 3,000 knitters who responded to a questionnaire that included a range of knitting tasks, including how many stitches they’d done and how much time they’d spent knitting.
The researchers found that knitters were more likely to make a sweater that was more than four years old, as opposed to fewer than two years.
The study looked at the data in more detail, looking at how knitters had responded to the questionnaire, whether they had a machine to help with knitting, and how the machine performed.
In addition to knitting the needles out of a knitting bag, the researchers looked at how much work had been done on a knitting machine over the past six months.
The data showed that kniters who worked on their knitting machines for at least 20 hours a week were more than twice as likely as knitters with fewer than 20 hours to make the sweater that would last more than three years.
So why do knitters knit sweaters that are more than a year old?
Well, they need to be, said lead author Sarah Koester, who studies the relationship between knitting and human health at the UW.
“We have a lot of different things that we need to understand, such as the way our bodies function in different stages of development,” Koesner said.
“It is likely that the age of the knitting machine is something that is connected to the age that the person is.”
So, how do kniters knit sweats that are older?
They might use a machine that is designed to work for a particular age, like a knitting set that is used to make sweaters for adults.
And those machines might be able to work with a particular type of yarn.
“The machine may need to work at a specific temperature, and that temperature might be quite high for a certain type of fabric, and we may have to use a particular yarn,” Kiesner said, noting that the knitting machines themselves might not be as sophisticated as the knitting needles.
That means knitters need to have a good understanding of their own bodies and how they can function at different ages.
“It’s important to understand how our bodies and the knitting process work, so that we can be able [to] design machines that work with our bodies,” she said.
The findings are particularly important for people with pre-existing health conditions, because knitters are more likely than non-knitters to have pre-existing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
“There’s no doubt that a lot more work needs to be done to understand the knitting processes that affect health and the health of people in general,” said study co-author Dr. Julie Kollin, a senior scientist at the Seattle Heart Institute and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Public Health.
“But as you know, knitters, as a population, have a very high risk of mortality from all of these things, so it’s important that we learn to design machines for their bodies that can help them live longer.”
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.