Saturday, 20 July 2013

Knitting and Math -- an Example and a Really Helpful Resource

Ok, hello folks!

So, I'm just getting to the cuff of my Birthday Gloves, and, as to be expected, the pattern calls for an 18 stitch increase on the last row of ribbing.

. . . except that it doesn't. It notes that depending on what Fair-Isle chart you use (the pattern presents two different chart sets) you might need more or less stitches.

That sounds scary, I know, but I'm going to show you how to do stuff like this, and make it less scary.

So, onto the specifics of my example:
Pattern says cast on 42 stitches. 42 stitches + an 18 stitch increase = 60 stitches.

Not so hard so far, right?

For the Traditional Star variation, which is the one I'm doing,  Chart A, which is the back of the hand, is 27 stitches across.


Good so far, right?

 Charts B through D, which are for the palm, are all 4 stitch repeats.

 This gets a bit more complicated, but bear with me.

33 isn’t divisible by four. If you punch that into the calculator, you get 8.25.  Since you can't have .25 of a stitch, we need to make this something that's divisible by four.   32 divided by 4 is 8, and 36 divided by 4 is 9.  (This is the most complicated part, I promise. )

Since I’d rather these be a touch too big then a touch too small, (and I know I knit really tight in Fair Isle), lets go to 36 stitches for the palm (that means 9 pattern repeats).

Now, 27 (the back of the hand), + 36 (the number of stitches I need for the palm) = 63.

There's my total stitch count for around the hand.

I will have to remember this, because I'm going to have 3 extra stitches for the hand that I'll have to work in somewhere when I split the glove to do the fingers. I can easily add 1 stitch to the last three fingers of the glove, but it is something I'm going to have to remember. 

Now, to figure out the increase row:

We're going from 42 stitches to 63 stitches.

63-42 is 21.  So it's a 21 stitch increase.

Now, here's where I cheat a little.  I could do all the math to figure out balanced increases all the way around the cuff . . . or I could just use KnittingFiend's tools.  She's put up a calculator that does things like increases, decreases, and other useful things.

Since we've already done enough math for one day, I'll go with option number two.  Plugging the numbers into her increase calculator, gives me my increase row.

(k1 m1 k1) repeat 21 times.

I can do that, and it saved the rest of my brainpower, and took a lot less time, too!

Hope this helps, and that calculator has saved me a lot of trouble, so I'm glad to be passing it on. 

No comments:

Post a Comment