Monday, April 07, 2008

I am not just bad at math...

I am stunningly bad at math...Consider my last blog post, I calculated the number of edge repeats on my mama's shawl to be 120 total. However, the pattern according to and copyrighted by Eunny Jang says this, " Chart B 30 times over long sides and 10 times over short sides. Work one whole repeat of the edging at each corner." The stole is rectangular, which means it has two long sides (30+30=60), two short sides (10+10=20) and four corners (1+1+1+1=4). So, let's finish the math together, shall we? Okay, 60+20+4=84, no? So, in my original "I can do math in my head" estimate of 120, I was off by...let's see...(I'm going to calculator. com to figure this out)...36 rounds off!! 36 16 row repeats off! This is just the universe's way of helping me to retain my humility. I need to strengthen my math skills...or, when I've had some wine, I should defer to mechanized or computerized assistance when doing math because my brain can clearly not be relied upon.

Wherein I question my knitting abilities for a moment. Based on two and a half examples:
So, for a few minutes there, I totally doubted whether or not I should be allowed to handle two pointy sticks (in any of their incarnations) and yarn. These are the reasons why...two of them involve the same project. I haven't even gotten as far as analyzing what that means but I suspect it means I actually effed up more than the two and a half examples that are to follow.
1) Whilst knitting the second MAN sock (in fingering weight wool handpainted by the effervescent Stitchjones and named "Tom Sawyer"), I got to knitting the foot when I realized that the pattern I wrote myself (y'know, written in the kind of notation only you can understand, with all the weird little abbreviations that only you understand) confused me (ME! I wrote the darned thing!) and I had made a second sock that would be one full inch shorter on the leg than the other sock. Heu misera sum! hahahaha. So I frogged it back to where I started the heel flap and eased all the stitches back onto the needle to knit for another inch on the leg. Then....
2)After working another inch on the leg, I again started knitting the heel flap (40 rows...It's a gargantuan sock. If I knit it up in worsted weight yarn and changed it to a short row heel and a rounded toe, it could be a Christmas stocking pattern...hmmm.). We were watching Sweeney Todd at my mama's house and I made it halfway through the heel flap before picking it up again last night. At this point in the evening, I had already been knitting on the aforementioned project (the lace shawl/stole) and wanted some "easy" knitting. I picked up the MAN sock and finished the heel flap. Then I started picking up gusset stitches. Now, any savvy knitter may by now have noticed my error. I, however, knit away at those gusset stitches for several rows before noticing that I had forgotten to turn the heel, thus making the sock into a really horrible tube sock with a strange patch on the back where the heel flap was supposed to be. Needless to say, I tinked one DPN's worth of stitches out and shoved the whole lot back into my handbag (aka my handbag that is big enough to hold a WIP. Small handbags are used with major discretion these days).
0.5) So this was only partially my fault. I blame it on the slippery needles. The other day, I put down the shawl/stole for my mama with the intent to leave it alone for the rest of the night. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I yanked heartily on one of the circular needles I have been using (one US3 needle and one US4 needle...I couldn't find my other US4 circ so I improvised). I yanked a bunch of stitches, a whole ROW'S worth of stitches, off the needle and couldn't confront the problem for two whole days. Then I dusted myself off, picked the mess up, and made myself a note after deciphering where I had dropped down to on the chart. The note says this: "Don't forget that sts were dropped & p/u'd again, 3 to 5 rows prior to where they were (on the needles, pre-dropping) & therefore (but I used the symbol (three dots making a triangle) for therefore instead of the word) the side (long) will have more (but I crossed it out after I thought about it for a minute...see the math exegesis above for further coverage of that evidently insurmountable task) uh, less, than 30 repeats." Minus the italicized text, that is exactly the note I wrote to myself. hahahahaha

Well, dear bloglings and blogettes, I will return armed with photos and hopefully improved math skills in my next post. Think happy thoughts and find your true path. I hope you have a beautiful day.
Transmission Ended

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