Sunday, June 24, 2007

Math Problem

I hated math until I finished high school and no longer had to do it on a regular basis. When I do math now, it is on my own terms, no teacher is looking over my shoulder and making me feel self-conscious. I was never *that* bad at math, but I was generally pretty slow about it. Now that I'm not timed anymore, it doesn't even matter. So these days math and I get along pretty well.

This is especially good when it comes to knitting, as we often deal with math. I do all sorts of division and multiplication these days. This weekend I ran into a particularly cool math problem, and I thought I'd share it with you.

A knitter wants to make the Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. This shawl calls for 1700 yds of yarn to make a shawl 74" across (radius: 37"). The knitter finds a skein of Merino Oro laceweight with just 1375 yards. How big a shawl can she make?

To solve: the first step is to figure out the area of the pattern shawl, so we know how far 1700 yards gets us. (we are rounding for sanity's sake)

A=π * 37^2
A=π * 1367
A=4300 in^2

Ok, so 1700 yards makes 4300 square inches of lace. Now we need to find out how many square inches of lace (x) we can make with 1375 yards of yarn. My algebra here gets kind of ugly, but bear with me.

(4300 in^2)/(1700yds)= x/(1375 yds)

Remember your algebra steps! Multiply across...

1700x = 4300 * 1375
1700x = 5,912,500
x = 5,912,500/1700
x = 3478 in^2

So the new shawl will have an area of 3478 square inches. What's the radius of our new shawl?

A = πr^2
3478 = πr^2
r^2 = 3478/π
r^2 = 1108
(Not even gonna attempt the square root sign)
r = 33 in

So the new shawl will be 66" across, which I think is perfectly acceptable, as I am 66" tall.

Once I've made a swatch of the pattern I'll figure out how many rows I need to leave off in order to reduce the radius by 4". I'll edit the lace pattern from there (more math!)

So, wasn't that fun? Here's something even more fun, for those of you who've made it this far: this yarn ($16.50) was my first wedding-related purchase. 3478 square inches of knitting from now, I'll have my veil done!

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's not easy being green...

This is how far I got on my Origami Cardi before giving up. That very loooooong, skinny strip is supposed to be the back. Like, it is supposed to go sideways across my back and not swallow me like a tent. Obviously the "not swallowing me" was not going to happen. I got gauge when I swatched, but I never bothered to check on the sweater itself because I could see that it just wasn't working. Plus, I left the pattern at home when I went on a long-weekend trip to visit scenic Oklahoma. I knew the lace pattern well enough to knit without it, but I totally botched the edge treatment.

By the time I was reunited with the pattern and understood what I'd done wrong (and how big it was turning out) I was kind of sick of the whole idea anyway. I decided that the yarn wanted to be something much more classic.

It is now turning into the Equestrian Blazer from the Winter IK. And MAN is it going quickly! This is basically one evening of knitting, and I am already to the bust increases. My row gauge is off so the sweater's going to be a lot longer than called for, but I'm tall so I think I can live with it. (Note: this color is "Spruce" and is a much deeper green than the pictures would have you believe)

Something green also came off the needles yesterday:

(and my cool heel)

To recap, this is Artyarns Supermerino, US 6s, for my brother. Now I have to decide whether to give him the socks next time I see him or to make him wait until his August birthday.

Not everything around here has been green, though.

Wow is this pattern (Cookie A's Twisted Flower) ever complicated! But soooo pretty. The heel flap nearly killed me, though--it's lace patterned every row, so I had to do backwards ssk's and all that craziness. But I'm getting close to the end on the foot! Wheeeeeee...

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Good year

I had a birthday last week! That's part of the reason I haven't been posting much lately... all sorts of running around. Weekend before last I went home to celebrate with my family.

I got a big box.

What's this? (seriously, count the arms)

It's a swift! Squee!

Even better, this swift was the product of much scheming between my parents and my buddy Auntie Ann. Not to mention, it's a really sweet Mama Bear swift from The Oregon Wood Worker

When I got home I made cupcakes for my friends, but I am lazy and made them ice their own. The croissants really wanted to be in this picture too.

Oh, and notice that I'm wearing the Cherry Leaf shawl in the pics above. I LOOOOOVe it! I've never had a triangular shawl before, but I really like the way they hang on the shoulders. I bet one of those curvy Faroese ones would be even cooler.

I still hope to take better pics of it eventually, but i think this one shows the drape and the pattern reasonably well.

I was so bored with the (stockinette) Ravenclaw scarf and the (garter rib) camo socks that I had to start something interesting, for fear that my brain would melt. These are Cookie A's twisted flower socks, and they definitely got my brain moving again. Also, Louet Gems is such great yarn that, if I didn't think Dave would object, I'd marry it and have its babies.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Up to something

I've been up to something. Up to a few things, to be more accurate.

I blocked my shawl. I did it at night, so all the pictures are terrible, but they're the best I've got. It went from this:

To this:

I like the way it turned out, from top:

to bottom:

But I am not happy with the "Real" FO shots so I will try to get those sometime soon. Special thanks to Kelp! for letting me borrow the blocking wires!

I've also been making socks for my brother.

In camoflage, as he requested. I'm using Artyarns Supermerino, which is as expensive as it is luscious, so I'm knitting them toe-up in hopes that I won't have to dip into the third skein I bought. I have been experimenting with heels for toe-up socks.

I did my first (real) short-row heel ever. The yarnover one, from the latest IK. I hated it, so then I did my second short-row heel ever. The w&t one from SKS. I hated it, too. (it's the one on the right) Proponents of the short-row heel will no doubt be looking up the links to their favorite hole-free short row pages, which I gladly welcome. But I decided not to wait for such a thing, and that I would make my own heel.

The heel on the left is knit to about 3" short of the total length of the foot, then you knit a heel flap on half the stitches. Something odd was going on with my gauge, so instead of the usual as-many-rows-as-there-are-stitches-total heel flap, I only did 22 rows (it's a 36-st sock). Then I turned the heel using the dutch heel-ish method, which goes like this:

slip 1, purl 11 (of 18), p2tog, turn
slip 1, knit 6, ssk, turn
slip 1, purl 6, p2tog, turn
slip 1, knit 6, ssk, turn
slip 1, purl 6, p2tog, turn
slip 1, knit 6, ssk, turn

and so on until all the stitches are worked. It creates a narrow band up the back of the heel that I like. Then you pick up the stitches and work the gusset like normal, though I added nearly an inch of plain stockinette before starting the back-of-leg pattern, so it wouldn't look too weird. I hope.

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