Friday, March 14, 2008

Thursday and Friday

I came down with a bug on Thursday afternoon, and went home. The same bug is keeping me from going in today. I don't want eeryone else sick, too. So I'm staying home today.

I have a lot planned for the next 3 days, and I'm hoping that this bug doesn't keep me down all weekend. I'm eating my chicken soup dutifully.

I haven't been blogging much lately, because there's really not much to say--I'm knitting to a deadline--the second class for the fair isle sweater is Sunday, and I've only got the sleeves done. I have to get the body started, and Saturday I won't have time to work on, in between running back and forth from my chair to the porcelain bus, I'll be knitting as much as I can stand.

I had to relight the fire this morning. That really took a lot out of me. I need to drink something, but I only have pop and water, and you're not supposed to drink EITHER when you've got the flu, but I'm feeling pretty dehydrated.

I might be able to convince Ray to drive his car to Kalamazoo on Saturday--which will of course, save me quite a bit of money in the form of gas. We're slated to go to the Living History Show. I hope that I've recovered from this "ick", and it looks like it might be letting up some....or else there's just nothing left in there to be sick WITH. You know what I mean.

But as I said, yesterday, I got quite a bit done on my second sleeve, and I'm going to work hard to get that sleeve done today--just as much as I can stand--to start on the body. So I have to take measurements....since I want this sweater to basically work as my Spring coat (it's going to be a warm one!) I measure with my cloths on--probably best for the neighbors--and also since I want this said "coat" to come down a bit from my hip line, to cover my bum, I find that I am just as big on my hips as I am on my bust, and that's NEVER happened.

Never in my entire life has my bottom and top been the same size.

Now, this isn't saying my body is perfectly proportioned, mind you. Let's not go there. So with my gauge, I need 184 stitches for the bottom ribbing, then increase to 230, based on the gauge I got with the first sleeve. I'm normally a fairly consistent knitter, and I don't expect that gauge will be too much different on the second sleeve, but I will double check that in a minute. So based on my calculation I have to increase 46 stitches.

Ever wonder the formula to figure out how to increase stitches evenly? I never knew how to do that, but I do NOW. Here it is in all it's mathematical glory:

# of stitches you start with MINUS # of increase stitches = # of stitches NET to increase/increases...

So let's plug the #'s and solve for x, shall we?


So I need to increase every 3 stitches--so k3, inc1 across. Lucky for me this particular formula works for me to be an even #. That doesn't usually happen. For instance, let's look at the sleeve--I had to increase from 50 to 72 stitches...a change of 22 stitches

38/22=1.72727272727272 (forever) but really, for simplicity, we'll say 1.7

This answer is difficult, because you can't do 1/7th of a stitch right? This means that you have to do a little more've seen sweaters where you increase one every 3rd stitch, then increase 1 every 4th stitch (or some mixture of that). Well, here's where those calculations are made--right inside this very formula. The way to remember is that when the # on the right of the decimal (.7) is bigger than .5, you increase the # on the left of the decimal (1.) to the next higher # (2) and do that increase 7 times. If it's LESS THAN .5, you add an extra stitch in the second half of the equation (dealt with below) Then, let's look closer at that .7--this is 7/10ths...remember your "fractions"? So the "10" is the # of times you will increase over all. Since you've already got 7 increases, you only need 3 more--so the resulting information gives you this calculations for the knitting:

(k2, inc 1) 7 times (see the 7)
(k1, inc 1) 3 times (because 7+3=10)

So just for shits and giggles, let's try another example:

Let's say the final answer is 2.4--that's 2 and 4 tenths, right?

The 4 tenths isn't bigger than .5, which tells us that the 2nd half of the equation is going to have the higher number of stitches, calculated thus:

(k2, inc 1) 4 times (see the 4)
(k3, inc 1) 6 times (because 6+4=10; notice how the number of stitches increased from 2 to 3 HERE, instead of in the first part of the equation result in example B?)

OR because 4/10ths reduces down to 2/5ths (remember lowest common denominators?)

(k2, inc 1) 2 times
(k3, inc 1) 3 times

Don't ask me why or how this works, but I counted, since I wasn't sure that this fraction stuff was going to work for me (goodness knows it didn't work for me in grade school!). And sure enough, it DOES work. Take my word for it. If you don't believe me, your stitches are right there on your own needles!

Now don't make the mistake of inserting the wrong first number in the equation, or you will really gum up all the works. Ask me how I know.

And, I imagine that it would work with decreasing, too, but haven't tried it, and I don't know if it needs tweaking to come up with the right numbers, but you would probably use the number you want to END UP WITH minus the # of decreases (you know how patterns say "decrease 6 stitches evenly across)...let's try it...

We have 80 stitches OTN, and need to decrease to 60...that's a 20 stitch decrease...

60-20 = 40
40/20 = 2

So if you k2, dec1 across you should come up with 60 stitches at the end.

Don't look at me! I'm not knitting this! If you want to know, TRY IT FOR YOURSELF!

So now, you can design sweaters that fit you. Once you know your gauge, you can figure out how (and where) to make that little extra bulge fit inside (instead of the unsightly "outside") your sweater. :)

Also, instead of a knit into the front and back, for this sweater, I knit into the stitch, then slip it. This keeps from having that ugly ugly purl bump in the mix.

So, I'm going to knit on my sweater now. I've had enough math for one day.

1 comment:

Knitting Rose said...

OK - show me what you mean on "instead of knit in front and back - you knit in the stitch and then slip it"... I can't picture it. I really want to understand - GREAT POST by the way. I am keeping this one for reference.