Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why Math is Not a Knitter's Friend

Well, we all know that math is very useful to a knitter. It allows us to figure out gauge, yarn substitutions, sizing changes, etc. Unfortunately, it can also be our enemy. For example, if you are working on, say, a circular tea shawl, and are in row 31 of your last motif (which contains 36 rows) and you know that you have only a couple of rows of knitting and the edging left, you may assume that you are over 70% done. If you go one step further though and calculate the total number of stitches that will go into the shawl (67,435), then figure out the total number of stitches completed you can easily discover that you have not, in fact, hit the 60% done mark (59.94%). This can make you decide that the best thing to do is to shoot yourself, except, of course, for the fact that I am enjoying making this shawl. The edging alone, for the shawl will have 20,700 stitches! I guess I won't have it done for any holiday party, but since it is teal, that isn't really a hardship, is it?
Lesson learned: Don't try to figure out how many stitches are in any given project.

I spent quite a bit of time knitting over the long holiday weekend, mostly, but not exclusively on my shawl. I have turned the heel and completed my gusset decreases too! I may actually be able to have the sock done in time! I was still very bad and haven't started the blasted second sleeve for my grandmother's cardigan. I really am dreading working on it. I did, however, start a brand new sweater for myself. I am making the sweater in guess what color? Wrong! It isn't remotely blue at all, but rather more of a cream color. I am making the Lace and Tuck Ensemble from the Fall 2004 IK. It is made from Indica Sportweight Alpaca being knit on size 7 Lantern Moon straights (I have never knit a sweater on straights, but need my circs for my grandmother's fricken second sleeve, and these needles are new to me, so I wanted to use them). I have gotten through about 4 lace repeats on the back. I have not yet undone my mother's sweater, but will have to do that soon, I have to return the ball winder this weekend. Now, I am afraid, I must get down to business...


Blogger bitterknitter said...

I think it is a great thing to know exactly how many stitches are in a project!

Yay for the heel, and for starting a new sweater! I'm sure the sleeve might knit itself if you neglect it for long enough (mine have shown no inclination of this sort, but yours might).

9:51 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

What do you mean, don't count the number of stitches? I find calculating them the perfect means of justifying not only procrastination but also lazy knitting. Yay for calculations!

You're knitting a sock, too? I better go count how many stitches are left on my mom's sock so that I'll feel better...

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Lissy said...

Oy gevalt -- math makes me break into a sweat. It's amazing I'm fairly competent at this sport considering I am so lame at math.

I like the new sweater. It's going to look fabu on you. Knit on as many projects as you want -- Yarn Harlot would say "it's a hobby, it's supposed to be fun!" Then again, I'm not sure Yarn Harlot is the best one to give advice considering how nutty she is (but in a nice way).

12:06 AM  

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