Saturday, February 11, 2017

Resistor Knit Hat - March for Science

Posing in the Resistor Hat at my lab bench at Stanford University
I designed this to wear in the March for Science on April 22, 2017. This hat pattern features a circuit with a battery and 3 resistors in series (to increase the resistance). Resistors are commonly used in electronics to slow down the electric current - the 4 vertical lines on the hat represent the battery while the zig-zag represents resistors.


The bacterium Bacillus subtilis growing as individual cells (left)
and as a multicellular biofilm (right) (my photos)
I am a scientist in the Department of Bioengineering and Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University. I study bacteria - in particular, I study bacteria that grow and interact in together in communities called biofilms. In particular, I am studying how life in a community can serve as a niche for genetic diversity. I love scientific research and the scientific process. In particular, I enjoy designing the experiments to answer a specific question, performing the experiments, and analyzing the data. As a scientist, I have to be very open minded about the data - often, experiments give results that are not predicted and I have to objectively view the data and the facts and make conclusions based on all the evidence at hand. 

I have rarely used my political voice, but the current administration's disregard for scientific facts is troubling and, quite frankly, very frightening. In particular, I am continuously astounded by both the disregard for the overwhelming evidence that climate change is real and humans are causing it and the undisputed evidence that vaccines are safe and the best way to protect our communities from diseases and that they DO NOT cause autism (the one study that claimed this has long been revoked and the paper's author fully discredited). 


Source
I would like to share a personal vignette. I was chatting with a college-educated family member who is extremely smart about antibiotic resistance and how we may very well be living in a post-antibiotic world within the next few decades. The family member responded (and I paraphrase), we live in America, we should be able to make new antibiotics. I was a flabbergasted by this argument, because science knows no boundaries and antibiotic resistant bacteria do not discriminate who they infect. For more on this topic by reputable sources, see this 2015 BBC article, this news article from the Journal Nature, and this 2005 review article from the archives of medical research

Scientists need to stand up and demand evidence-based policy and facts. Science is not partisan. Protecting our world and the people in it is not a partisan issue. This is why I will march on April 22nd. I hope you join in the cause!

Check out this "show and tell" video about the Resistor hat and the designs that were inspired by it. :)


Here is an example of catching long floats on the wrong side .

Click here for a FREE pdf of the pattern. I hope you enjoy knitting this nerdy hat! If you are new to Fair-isle stranded colorwork, there are some good tutorials here and a good video tutorial here. I personally don't use either of those fancy techniques and I simply wrap the non-worked color around the working color before knitting the working color every few stitches during the long floats as shown in the photo above. :)

Since originally posting this, I have designed a DNA helix colorwork option (here) and headband/hatband options (here). 





Update at 7:30 pm PT 2/12/17 - found an error in the original pattern - at the end there should only be 6 stitches on the needles and I wrote 9. I've uploaded a revised pattern (linked above).

The vertical lines represent the battery which provides the current and the zig-zag pattern represents the resistors.
I am working on a series of Resistor Hats (pun intended) and other resistor knit items. Please see my Etsy shop, Craftimism on Etsy for some of the smaller items and contact me on Etsy for custom made to order knit items. Follow my Facebook page to stay up-to-date on my knitting designs. 




Thanks to Andrés Aranda Diaz for taking the photos and Dave Gutekunst for the conversation that inspired this hat.

19 comments:

  1. Thank you for this great pattern and for being out there standing up for science! If my body were up to being in a march, I would, but these days I have to cheer from the sidelines and provide support and whatever contribution I can from here. The willful ignorance about scientific facts in our society and especially among so many in our government is truly terrifying.

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    1. You are welcome! Thank you for your support!

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    2. Cheering for the sidelines counts! It all counts.

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  2. I continue to resist, but I can't resist this hat! Downloading the PDF and having my mama knit me one. More important though....I love the solidarity I see in our country. I am proud that we aren't afraid to uprise, to protest peacefully, to not conform, not to accept the alternate facts. See you on the 22nd in spirit.

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  3. I'm going to make one of these hats for sure. My daughter, who's an infectious diseases specialist in North Carolina, was thinking the hat might be too warm for
    April. She'd like to use the motif on a T-shirt, just for herself and her two girls. Would that be OK with you? Dot

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    1. Yes! The resistor design is a common design in physics. Use it wherever you would like!

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    2. Thanks! I'm a mathematician and my husband is a physicist, so I've seen lots of circuit diagrams. But it's your, and Dave Gutekunst's, good idea to use it this way. And I always ask permission. :-)

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  4. I only have 6 stitches left at end. Major fail on my end?

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    1. Could you clarify? You should have 84 stitches and the pattern is for 84 stitches.

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    2. when I'm at the end of the pattern, and finalizing the k2tog pattern, I only have 6 stitches left to pull the yarn though. The pattern calls for 9. I'm guessing I'm doing something wrong?

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    3. It might be a typo on my end, I'll check.

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    4. Typo on my part, should read pull yarn through remaining 6 stitches. Sorry about that!

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  5. I love this! I am the designer at ChemKnits and I am thrilled to include this in my list of free science hats for the March for Science. I designed the GENEie collection and I'm writing up a summary of my designs and others that would work well for the march. I am really happy to find a design that fits in the physical science category, there are a lot more life science options out there. Thank you so much for creating this design! I especially love the title (as does my Mechanical Engineering husband who named the GENEie.)

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  6. This is so awesome, and I am anxiously awaiting the headband pattern (the link on this page actually goes to the double helix hat pattern??).

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    1. Good catch! I removed that link. Should have the headband pattern up by Friday or Saturday!

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  7. Thank you for creating this hat. Lots of work ahead of us

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