Schiehallion – Bainin


Alice Starmore® Bainin is the classic yarn for Aran knitting.

It is priced per 100g ball.

Standard Knitting Tension
19-20.5 sts x 24-26 rows to 10cm on 3.75mm – 5mm needles.


SCHIEHALLION is the fabled Fairy Mountain of Caledonia, with woodlands at its foot, and I have used its name for a rich green. But for all its fey reputation, Schiehallion has a hard scientific element to its history, for in 1774 it was at the centre of a scheme to weigh our very planet. It was proposed by Sir Isaac Newton that a mountain exerts a gravitational pull. If you could measure this accurately then it would be possible to calculate the basic force of gravity, G, and hence calculate the mass of planet Earth. The calculations depended on knowing the mass of the chosen mountain, and this entailed the mountain being of a conveniently regular shape that could be easily surveyed. Schiehallion suited this purpose and in 1774 it was swarmed over by a team of scientists led by the Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne. The calculations were later shown to be inaccurate, but an interesting by-product of the experiment is in constant use today. Charles Hutton, a mathematician in the team, sought to rationalise the huge amount of spot-height data that was being accumulated, and he had the idea of drawing lines through points of equal height. Enter the concept of the contour line, born on the slopes of Schiehallion and used on maps throughout the world ever since.