Fingerless glove

looking for what's missing... I'm a knitting, spinning, mother of teenagers with a big dog, a small cat, minus the lovely rabbit Meliflua.

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Location: Virginia, United States

Right now I'm listening to "An Irish Country Village" by Patrick Taylor, reading "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" by Anna Quindlen and knitting Wisconsin Wintersocks. And casting off the lace shawl I've been working on since I last posted.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Go metric

When I was in grade school, My Weekly Reader proudly proclaimed the US was going metric. The U.S. Metric Study figured that, oh, in about 10 years or so, we would predominantly be using the metric system. Sigh. Ten years later would have been 1981. Why are we still struggling with eighths of an inch? (I blame Ronald Reagan for cutting off the funding.)

I want the metric system. I want it like a teen-aged boy wants a fast car, and I have a theory on how to get it. Pick a date: I like May 11. Culvers Frozen Custard has proclaimed that "Eat what you want day." (I may not have a Culvers nearby, but I have their tempting calendar in my kitchen. By the way, the flavor of the day today in my hometown is Chocolate Caramel Twist.) So warp "Eat what you want day" to "Have what you want day." On one single magical day, take away all our rulers, speedometers, measuring cups, scales, road signs and 2 by 4s (they are NOT really 2 inches by 4 inches anyway). Magically replace our yardsticks with meter sticks, mark our food packages in grams and liters, list our speed limits in kilometers per hour. Without doing the conversion, we would adjust in no time. The speed limit says 60 km? Fancy that! Our speedometer says 60 km. Who cares how many miles per hour that is?

We are afraid to go metric because we are afraid we are too dim to do the conversion math. But we do not have to convert feet to meters. Just take your measurement in metric from the beginning.

American knitting needle manufacturers could lead the way by labeling our knitting needles in millimeters. The US system of knitting needle designation is vague and arbitrary. What exactly is a 10 1/2? Where is size 12? A size 2 might be 2.75 mm or 3 mm. The metric system tells us how big our needles are if we want to know.

And about those gauge swatches... If patterns asked for 20 stitches over 10 cm instead of 5 stitches per inch, maybe we would stop trying to measure our gauge over little, inch-wide strips. (Don't look at me that way. I would never do that, just saying some might. I am of the "it will fit somebody" school of thought. That is why I knit shawls, scarves and potholders. No issues with gauge.)


Anonymous Bob said...

Hey -- Gas would only be $1!!!

you know i only drive in kph over here, so it's not as big a switch. just look at the inside ring of numbers on the speedometer, and after a while we could phase out the outside ring...

7:14 AM  

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