Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Little Failure in the Knitting

June ended with a flop.  It should come as no great surprise that, once again, the math of knitting tripped up yours truly.  The project that is currently occupying my design mind is for a local competition.  Photos will not be included.  Just a story.

For one section of the competition project, I wanted a bit of color work.  Graphic color work.  And I found a nice design in a book of knit blocks.  It was perfect for the planned application which is actually a length of sideways knit.  You know the type where the horizontal knitting turns into a vertical pattern when rotated 90 degrees and inset into some other bit of knitting.  

So the pattern appeared to be a simple multiple of 3.  This is the level of math that never trips me up.  3 x 32 = 96 + 4 (edge stitches) = 100 stitches to cast on.  And off I went.  Knitting easily and working with two colors.  Two inches later it was apparent that the color pattern that was coming off of my needles bore absolutely no resemblance to the design in the book.  What could it be?  That math is absolutely spot on and correct.

I looked at the design again and read row by row.  Something mystical clicked and I noticed - finally - that no where did the block instructions indicate that the pattern was a multiple of 3 + edge stitches.  HMM.  Obviously some deep thought was required.  Could it be a multiple of 6 was the solution?  Let's see - 6 x 16 = 96 + 4 (edge stitches) = 100 stitches again!  I know - pure logic, but I had to try just in case math is tricky.  I was getting quite frustrated.  

Already one fourth of the competition project was completed and looking swell.  I wanted the next fourth (which, if memory from elementary school is right, equals one half!) to be done before the big holiday weekend and partying.  So I thought and counted and drew a quick little sketch.  Ah, math!  What appeared to be a multiple of 3 is actually a multiple of 6 + 3.  The three stitches are needed to offset a bit of color work and then the edge stitches are added.  
6 x 15 = 90 + 3 = 93 + 4 (those same edge stitches) = 97.   Ninety seven stitches cast on and twenty rows later I am happy.  What is on the needles looks just like the photo in the book.  Yeah for me.  Yeah for math.

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