NEEDLE FOR FABRIC CREATION BY KNITTING
A needle for use in creating fabric from yam having an elongate, substantially parallel-sided shaft and a tip, the tip having a transition part whose diameter and cross-section substantially matches shaft's diameter and cross section, and a tapered part which tapers from the diameter of the transition part to a point, the Up and shaft being releasably engageable with each other.
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1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to the creation of fabric from yarn or thread using needles to pull loops of yam or thread through each other. Examples include knitting and crochet.
Both knitting and crochet are performed, at least when undertaken manually, using a pair of needles around which the yarn (colloquially referred to in the UK as ‘wool’ within this context, regardless of the actual composition of the yam or thread) is looped. The ends or tips of the needles are then manipulated in order to interloop the yarn in the correct manner to create a body of fabric. Because the yarn is looped around the needles, needle diameter will determine the size of the loops which, in turn, since the resultant fabric is made of many such loops, determines the ‘gauge’ of the overall fabric. It follows that, in order to alter the gauge of the fabric, one must use a different needle diameter which is, therefore, the single most important characteristic of a needle and needles are carefully selected for use on the basis of their diameter.
2. Description of Related Art
One type of existing knitting needle is monolithic, in that it consists of a single rod of material. Other designs of needle are known from U.S. Pat. No. 2,633,720, U.S. Pat. No. 3,280,595 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,007,610.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A first embodiment of the present invention provides a needle for use in creating fabric from a yarn by interloping the yam having a longitudinal shaft and a tapered tip, the tip being releasably connected to the shaft.
A further aspect of the present invention provides a needle kit having at least one shaft and a plurality of tapered tips, releasably connectable to the shaft, at least two of the tips differing in respect of at least one of a plurality of characteristics selected from the group consisting of tip taper angle, tip taper length and point radius.
Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example, and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
Referring now to
The present embodiment of tip 20 includes a transition part, 22 having the same diameter and cross section as the shaft 10, and a frusto-conical taper 24 from the transition part 20A which terminates in a substantially spheroidal point 26, in the present embodiment provided by grinding the tip to a very small hemisphere. Thus, the term point in this context is really referring to a curved end of relatively small diameter. The taper 24 of the tip 20 is, in the present illustrated embodiment, frusto-conical in geometry. It is equally possible, however, for the taper to be of a curved or arcuate nature such that, for example, the taper is defined by a circular arc of a particular radius, a parabolic curve or other curvilinear geometries.
The tip 20 is releasably connected to the shaft 10, in this embodiment by means of a screw threaded spigot 40 on the tip engaging with a screw-threaded bore 42 on the shaft 10 (though the spigot 40 and bore 42 may be swapped onto the shaft 10 and tip 20 respectively). Other releasable connections are equally possible, such as by means of a spring-loaded detent mechanism (for example provided by a compression spring and ball bearing) of the kind frequently employed with interchangeable socket spanners. This configuration enables interchange of needle tips while retaining the same diameter needle. This is useful in order to enable the user to optimise the configuration of the needle tip to suit as closely as possible the nature of the knitting they are undertaking.
The diameter of the needle determines the size of the loops of yarn that are created using the needle and, consequently, the density of stitches in the resultant material which is created, known as the ‘gauge’. The choice of needle diameter will, therefore, be selected based upon the characteristics of the fabric to be created. Referring now to
When knitting with a lighter yarn, that is to say a yam with a smaller diameter, the yam has, as result of its smaller diameter, a lower longitudinal elasticity which is experienced by the knitter as the yam having less ‘give’. Accordingly, when knitting with lighter weight yarn, for any given needle diameter, it is easier to use needles with a shallower taper angle since these will require lower forces to insert the needle into an aperture between needle and yarn. Thus, where fabric is to be constructed of multiple, different yarn weights, but using needles of the same diameter (because the gauge of the resultant fabric is to remain the same regardless of yam weight), the present embodiment of the invention makes it possible simply to change the tip of the needle to use a shallower or steeper taper angle dependent upon the yarn weight.
To ensure easier and speedier knitting, it is desirable to have as short a taper length as possible for any particular, specified taper angle. It follows that, for a given taper angle, the shorter the taper length, the greater will be the size of the needle point, i.e. the greater the radius of the circle at the tip of the needle; the needle point must be sufficiently small that it can easily be inserted into apertures to knit quickly, smoothly and accurately. This means that, for a specified taper angle, the minimum taper length with be determined by the size of the aperture through which the needle point is to be inserted which, in turn, is a function of the gauge of the fabric created and, ultimately therefore, the diameter of the needle.
The table set out below sets out various characteristics of the needle tip, showing combinations and reference to yarn weights and gauge size Consistent with the Craft Yarn Council yarn guide.
In an alternative embodiment, the or each needle (i.e. whether individual or as part of a kit) is ‘circular’. That is to say that two substantially rigid shafts are interconnected by a flexible shaft and a tip is provided at each end (a releasably-engageable tip may be provided at both ends of the circular needle or, alternatively, at only one end, as desired). Such circular needles are known per se.
FIGS. 6A-c show further embodiments of needles according to the present invention.
The various modifications disclosed are not limited to use with the embodiments in connection with which they were first described; all modifications or alternatives may be equally applicable in conjunction with each of the disclosed embodiments.
1. A needle for use in creating fabric from yam having an elongate, substantially parallel-skied shaft and a tip at a proximal end of the shaft, the tip having a tapered part which tapers from the width of the proximal end to a point, the tip and shaft being reteasably engageable with each other.
2. A needle according to claim 1 wherein the taper is substantially frusto-conical in shape from the proximal end to the point.
3. A needle according to claim 1 wherein the taper in the tip is arcuate from the proximal end to the point.
4. A needle according to claim 1 wherein the tip has a spheroidal point.
5. A needle according to claim 1 comprising a spigot provided on one of the shaft and tip engagable in a bore provided on another of the shaft and tip, thereby to provide releasable engagement of the shaft and tip.
6. A needle according to claim 5 wherein the spigot and bore are mutually engageable by means of a screw thread.
7. A needle according to claim 1 wherein the shaft has a substantially cylindrical cross section.
8. A kit comprising at least one elongate, substantially parallel-sided needle shaft for use in creating fabric from yarn having a proximal end to which a hp may be connected and a plurality of tips, at least one of the tips having a tapered part which tapers to a point, each of the tips being releasably engageable with the proximal end of the shaft.
9. A kit according to claim 8 wherein the taper of the at least one tip is frusto-conical in shape from the proximal end to the point.
10. A kit according to claim 8 wherein the taper of at least one tip is arcuate from the proximal end to the point.
11. A kit according to claim 8 wherein at least one tip has a spheroidal point.
12. A kit according to claim 8 comprising a spigot provided on one of the shaft and a tip engagable in a bore provided on another of the shaft and tip, thereby to provide releasable engagement of the shaft and tip.
13. A kit according to claim 12 wherein the spigot and bore are mutually engageable by means of a screw thread.
14. A kit according to claim 8 wherein the shaft has a substantially cylindrical cross section.
International Classification: D04B 3/02 (20060101);