Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Using Math and Trusting the Math

I have been knitting away on a Peacock Feathers Stole for my friend, Lorna. She purchased 2 skeins of the Araucania yarn before deciding on a specific pattern. When she chose the stole I knew it would be close.  I figured I was going to have to eliminate some pattern repeats to make it to the end of the stole before I got to the end of the yarn.

The stole is knit with a provisional cast-on from the centre to the feathery edge. Then the provisional cast-on is undone and the stitches are picked up and the rest of the stole is knit in the other direction to the other feathery edge. Each half will use one skein of yarn.

After I had knit the first few charts, I thought I'd see how far the yarn would really go.

At row 156, I weighed the remaining yarn and there were 40g left. That meant I had used 60g to that point. I needed to find out how many rows I could knit with the entire 100g skein.

In a past life, I taught basic Algebra, so I set up an equation and solved for 'x'.

I figured out there was only enough yarn for 260 rows. I needed to eliminate 44 rows to avoid running out of yarn.

In Chart 6, there are several 16 row pattern repeats. If I eliminated 3 of them, I'd eliminate 48 (16 x 3) rows of knitting, a little more than the 44 I need to eliminate.

Eliminating 48 rows on each side would reduce the length somewhat, however, I believe with a very firm blocking, it will be about 70" long.

After row 192, I thought I'd check my calculations. I had used 72g to that point.

This time, it looked like I only needed to eliminate 38 rows so eliminating the 48 rows was going to guarantee that I'd have enough yarn left.

The bind-off was crocheted, very similar to the one I did for the Haruni shawl. However, on the Haruni it was actually knitted, using the knitting needles almost like crochet hooks.

Once I had completed the bind-off, the little ball of yarn on the top right in the photo below was all that was left.
It was 4 yards long. Yay! I love math!

Doing these calculations gave me the confidence that I'd get to the end of the knitting before getting to the end of the yarn. No worries here. Thank goodness there was enough repetition in the pattern that rows could be eliminated without ruining the look of it.

Typically, the lace looks like a blob until it is blocked. But here's one little 'peacock feather' element stretched out.
I read that the YarnHarlot sometimes blocks parts of her work while it is still on the needles. I have opted to wait until the entire thing is knit before I 'block the bejeepers' out of it.

I think it is going to look very 'spiffy'. I may knit another one for myself sometime.

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