Saturday, July 18, 2009

Little Girls and Rainbows

When I was 7, I got my very own cat. Every one else in the family had 'their' cat and the cat across the street had kittens and I'm sure I was very convincing in a 7-year old fashion. I played with her for a few hours, trying to decide on the perfect name, when I announced to my mom that the word that absolutely described her perfect kitten-ness was... Rainbow.

My daughter, too, loves rainbows. When she asked for a rainbow hat and 'gloves like mommy's where her fingers wiggle out' I knew I had to accede.

The yarn is mostly Palette, though the purple is gloss. All of it is stash, the brighter colors left over from my Jayne hats. They were semolina, sweet potato and pimento. Not colors I usually stash.
There are still leftovers and a sweater, as well as matching doll clothes, have been requested.

ETA: Patterns are all my own, mostly done on the fly. The hat is top down, the gloves gusseted and top up. All were done held doubled on size 5s, which gave a pretty dense fabric. I might do a sweater on 6s, if I do more.

Yardage is 312+128+256= 696 yds

P.S. I was talked into 'Rosie' as a name for my cat and she lived many long, cranky years with us, bless her.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Magic of Math

I have always liked math. No, no, don't stop reading now! I'm just a nerd that way. Middle school was really the height of it. I took extra math classes. I did math at lunch. I was on a competitive math team. I ran around thinking 'this could be mathier.'

Today I won't torture you with cotangents or imaginary numbers. Today, all I'll show you is knitting math - which is warm, woolly and chest circumference-y.

Last week I found myself blithely coloworking along, picking out colors like they were candy and adding them to the yoke of the sweater. I was vaguely every other row, or sometimes two times every three rows (I like armholes that are a little more snug) and having a grand old time seeing how the colors fell together. Things were starting to get a little scrunched up on my 24" circular needle and I realized that, unless I wanted a very fancy poncho, I was going to have to start thinking about armholes.

And I don't wear ponchos. Really.

I remeasured my gauge from the several inches of yoke that I had knit. 9 sts/", which was the same as the gauge I got on my last project with this yarn and this size needles (but haven't blogged yet. Bad blogger!). Then I measured my chest, added an inch of ease to avoid button popping and came up with 36". (Psst. Here comes the math.)

36" x (9 stitches/") = 324 stitches

See? Not so bad. I need 324 stitches to make 36 inches. But what I really needed to know was how many stitches I needed in the front and the back, so I could know when to stop knitting. So I measured under my arms. Two inches for the underarm.

2" x (9 stitches/") = 18 stitches per underarm.

Great! Now, 324 stitches - (2 x 18 stitches) = 288 stitches. I started getting a little suspicious here, and divided that number in half to get the number of stitches that I would need for the front (and back).

144. 12^2. Exactly the same number that I cast on for the neck.

Neat? Or creepy? You be the judge. Personally, I think I'll be wearing this sweater til Underverse come. (If you don't get the reference, that's fine. You probably watch much higher class movies that I do :)