Monday, December 12, 2011

Math For Knitters

Having set myself the goal of knitting Fred a sweater before December 25th,  I thought it a good idea to consult  an expert to see whether or not my goal was at all possible.

My favourite expert is Elizabeth Zimmermann.  In her Knitter's Almanac she knits an entire adult sweater between December 1 and December 16.

Presuming she counted both the first and the 16th,  she knit for  16 days.  Exactly the number of days available to  knit Fred's sweater.  No extra math calculation needed there.

But Elizabeth's sweater was knit at a gauge of 10 stitches over 4 inches.  Mine is 20.  By my knitters math, that will double my time.  32 days.  Hmmm - not good.

Reading further, Elizabeth states she knit on the sweater for 30 minutes per day.  If I double the time not the days and  knit for  60 minutes per day,  I should be back on track for the 16 day sweater.

However!!  Elizabeth knit a 46 inch sweater.  I am knitting a 48 inch sweater.  Using my calculator here because this is a high level of math for this knitter, I ask my self  "How much extra knitting time does that two inches require.?"

The two inches - again by Brenda's math which is often not perfect - amounts to 4.347% more knitting.  If I calculate that in terms of days I would need to knit for 16 . 695 days.  In real terms I think that means knit all night Christmas Eve.  Not going to happen.

Recalculate.  Multiply that 4.347%  times the minutes per day, to find out if I will be able to eat or sleep.  BUT - do I multiply by Elizabeth's 30 minutes or my 60 minutes.  I think the 30 might be wishful thinking - a pre-Christmas prerogative,  but still.  Better to multiply  4.347%  times 60.    62 . 608 minutes per day.

And to that I say HAH!!!

I started Thursday evening  and by Sunday evening had this finished.

By my calculations - one sixth of the sweater.  Four evenings equals  one sixth.  That is,  by my count, 24 evenings.  What do they call that Christmas that comes on January 6th?

9 comments:

Sel and Poivre said...

I think that Christmas is called "Knitter's Christmas" - 'seems like the perfect goal to me!

Sandra said...

Epiphany Eve? I think I prefer Marie's name - Knitter's Christmas. January 6th is better than February...

Deb said...

I know you can do this. Math be damned. You go girl.

LynS said...

January 6 marks the feast of the Three Kings - Tres Reyes - and an occasion of gift-giving in the Hispanic influenced world. A perfect day for giving a sweater gift.

Needles said...

Ukrainian Christmas! This year I am celebrating both!

Nicki said...

Too much time on math...knit!

LaurieM said...

You'd better get cracking or the Yule cat will get Fred...

http://simnet.is/gardarj/yule11.htm

Erin Kate said...

You can do it! You are such a quick knitter!

NMjewel said...

It IS music to a knitter's ears!
I SO love it when someone I love requests something.
Looks like a great project that will fly off the needles with any luck.