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Saturday, June 28, 2008

DH is good with knitting math


I finished the second arm band on my mom's vest. The next thing to tackle was the band going up the right front, around the neck, and then down the left front. This meant picking up 238 stitches around in five sections: 58 stitches (right front bottom), 50 stitches (right v-neck), 22 stitches (around neck), 50 stitches (left v-neck), and 58 stitches (left front bottom). It took me one evening to pick up all 238 stitches evenly within each section.

Ok, here lies the challenge. The pattern instructions say I need to place five 2-stitch buttonholes evenly spaced on the Right Front band, with the first one 1/4" from lower edge and last one at beginning of neck shaping This Right Front band is a 58 stitch section. How do you work out where to put the buttonholes?

I had to jot it down on paper. I wasn't sure what 1/4" would be, but I took a guess at 2 or 3 stitches, and fiddled around with this in mind. I wasn't sure what"last one at beginning of neck shaping" meant. Did this mean putting the topmost buttonhole an the 58th (or 57th) stitch in this section?

Anyhow, it took me a few tries to figure out how to space them out:

Try #1:

3 sts at bottom -- 2 st BH -- 9 sts -- 2 st BH -- 9 sts -- 2 st BH -- 9 sts -- 2 st BH -- 9 sts -- 2 st BH -- 3 sts at top = 52 stitches.

We're 7 stitches short here.

Try #2:
2 sts at bottom -- 2 st BH -- 10 sts - 2 st BH -- 10 sts -- 2 st BH -- 10 sts -- 2 st BH -- 10 sts -- 2 st BH -- 2 sts at top = 54 stitches.

We're still 7 stitches short.

Try #3:
2 sts at bottom -- 2 st BH -- 11 sts -- 2 st BH -- 11 sts -- 2 st BH -- 11 sts -- 2 st BH -- 11 sts -- 2 st BH -- 2 sts at top = 58 stitches.

Yay, this will probably work. I hope it will be OK putting the 5th button hole at the 55th & 56 stitch.

DH walks into the room moments after I figured this out and I explained to him what I was trying to do. I presented with the known facts and the desired result. He worked it out in his head and came out with my result from Try #3. DH is actually better at knitting math than I am! Who woulda thunk. He's like a black box when it comes to math. Input stuff. Mysterious things happen inside that head of his. Then out pops an answer.

After knitting the two arm bands, I knew that it would take me 6 rows to knit 1 inch worth of band. So I decided to work the button holes in that 58-stitch Right Front section as follows:

Row 3 (RS): K2, BH #1, K11, BH #2, K11, BH #3, K11, BH #4, K11, BH #5, K2.
Row 4 (WS): K2, BH #5, K11, BH #4, K11, BH #3, K11, BH #2, K11, BH #1, K2.
I feel like there is light at the end of this very long tunnel after finishing all the band sections.

Up next: Seaming the sides...


4 stitch(es):

Jocelyn said...

I get that he's a math whiz, but can he tell those of us who aren't (speaking of myself here) what formula he used in his head to figure it out? I always struggle with these things, so I'd love to know the "right" way to approach it. I can't even figure it out when I have the answer?!

Becca said...

A black box math whiz!! That's too funny. And awfully useful. I would probably still be reading the instructions and reaching for Motrin.

MicheleLB said...

Math is tough!

I went to a class at Stitches once, Tips and Tricks, can't remember who the teacher was. Carol Anderson of Cottage Creations? And she had a neat trick with a piece of 1/4 inch wide elastic. Unstretched, mark it off with the number of buttons you want. Stretch it out against your knitting, and it will show you where to put your buttonholes. Less mathy, but it works!

hakucho said...

Glad you got it all figured out. My husband is a math whiz too. I'm always amazed at what computations he can do in his head. Me, I need paper and... a pencil :)