Monday, May 12, 2008

Knitting For the Math Impaired

I have 3 50 gram balls of Red and Yellow Sock It To Me! sock weight yarn. I am using it double to make the Bear Claw Blanket that Veronik Avery designed for the Spring 2005 Interweave Knits.

See this?

It weighs 3 grams (give or take).

It's in the middle there on that motif (mitered squares, interlocked into a facsimile of the traditional Bear Claw quilt block). That's just the beginning, but bear with me, please.

Each of those bigger red blocks is equal in area to 4 of the 3 gram blocks , therefore, a big red block should take about 12 grams of yarn.

Still along for the ride?

After the 4 big blocks are knat (4 x 12 = 48 grams), there are 4 little triangle shapes knat onto each big square (also 4 white triangles and a 3 gram square, but the white isn't an issue. I bought it by the bag).

Here's what the whole block looks like all knat up.

Okay, this one is reversed colors, but you can get an idea. Note that careful weighing after each big square was added indicated the use of closer to 9 grams rather than 12. Can we all say "rounding error?" Sure, we can.

So, of each color, I need (for the sake of argument) 10 grams X 4 + 3 grams X 2 (for the 4 little triangles) X 4 (for the 4 "paws" in each block) or 64 grams of red for each motif, (128 total) plus 3 grams X 2 (for the centers of the reversed color blocks), or a total of 134 grams each of red and yellow, though if you read on, you will see thatyellow is not an issue. Only red is.

So, why, when I finished the big red squares (and the little red center squares) and threw (gently) the remaining red yarn on the scale, was I seeing 103 grams of yarn remaining when clearly, I wasn't half finished with the red and equally clearly, half of my yarn was knat. Because as clearly as the sun rises in the east, 3 X 50 = 200.

(I feel so foolish!)

That yellow yarn? That 13 gram wad is what's left after all the yellow bits are finished.

Feel free to talk about me. Math major. Math coach. Yeh, right.

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