Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't Do The Math

A lot of knitterly people I know are good at math. Perhaps it's because math is so integral to the design and execution of the projects we make. Or perhaps we math types are drawn to knitting because each stitch is a discrete operation, and each project has a finite solution. Or perhaps I just like to hang with smart and creative people :-)

Until recently, I had been enjoying some good knitting math. I've been working on my River Run Shawl more regularly than usual, counting down the number of rows left until the body was complete. I found my enthusiasm to work on the project was inversely proportional to the number of remaining rows - the smaller that row count got, the more I worked on the project. And Ta Da! I finally finished the body of the shawl - can I get a Halleluja!

The last body row of the shawl ended with 424 live stitches, which get bound off concurrently with the addition of the border. "So," my mind starts to wander to the dark side of math, "I wonder how long it will take me to put this border on?"

My initial quick assessment was a bit depressing, and quite incorrect. Without reading the pattern, I assumed that I would be binding off one shawl stitch with each border row. That would mean 424 border rows are on the horizon - "Ugh," thought my mind. At least the border rows are only about 30 stitches long, and only 3 out of every eight are beaded. "So," my mind says, "I can deal with this." Then I read the pattern.

Turns out that the directions call for one shawl stitch to be bound off with every other border row. That doubles the row count to 848!
So," my increasingly annoying mind asks, "How many more hours of work are we talking here girlfriend?" I need to find the "off" button for my brain, but first I had to find out the answer. I timed myself completing 2 reps of the border, and then extrapolated that data over the remaining 104 reps of the border and got the answer.

39 hours.

"Cripes," said my mind. "I wish you hadn't done the math."

1 comment:

  1. You are so funny!! I do this too!! You can do it and its beautiful!!! Just keep knitting!!!

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