Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In Dreams

I was excellent in math. From the first time I put pencil to paper to figure out equations, something in my brain just clicked. I loved fiddling around with numbers.

As time went by and I failed to use more than simple equations, I lost the ability to perform complicated algebraic equations. No worries. For drug calculations at work, I used a dimensional analysis formula that I memorized and I always had a pharmacist available to double check my calculations.

Enter knitting math. It shouldn't be that hard. After all, it's just simple division and multiplication problems. My gauge is spot on for the sweater, so if I was honest with my measurements, fit won't be an issue. It's the yoke that's the problem. More specifically, it's the decreases in the yoke that are the problem.

First, let me say, there are minimal directions in the Reynolds pattern book. If I hadn't had an instructor holding my hand last Saturday, this sweater would still be in time out. Figuring out how to attach the sleeves was a challenge--remember--I'm utilizing two patterns to adapt one pullover and make it into a cardigan. Plus, I'm on mood and mind altering medications. That is a recipe for disaster.

Back to the yoke...I finished the little chart of 12 rows over 210 stitches and then came to the direction: dec 20 stitches in row 13. Nothing else. No specifics on where to place the decreases, so I spaced them evenly and treated them all the same as k2tog. Next row up is a 14 stitch repeat of the busiest (color-wise) part of the pattern. I get to the part where the center stitch should line up and it's off by 3. Ugh. I tink back 260 stitches and repeat row 13. Same thing.

By this time, I'm exhausted from packing all day and decide to sleep on it. When I got up, I had a new, fresh perspective. Of course! It all makes sense now. What came to me as I problem solved while sleeping, was to section off the five separate areas of the yoke (right front, left front, back and 2 sleeves) and decrease in each area to a number divisible by 14. I love those ah-hah moments in life.

It worked. The third time's definitely a charm, and I've lost 20 stitches, my center stitch lines up and with the exception of having mixed up my colors at the beginning of the chart, all is well. I'm going with the color mix up because I'm too lazy to fix it it's not supposed to be perfect--just close.

The rested mind is a wonderful thing, and so is our ability to problem solve while we sleep. Who knows? Maybe Elizabeth Zimmerman paid me a little visit in my dreams.


Stephanie V said...

"innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care."

Who knew Shakespeare was a knitter? I'm impressed with your math abilities. I am challenged by the math - not just the interpretation of the instructions. Your sweater is looking wonderful.

Renie Burghardt said...

I think the sweater looks great, Rudee!

CBS Evening News just did a segment on these knitters in New Jersey who are decorating trees and hydrants and tree branches and other things in their neighborhood with knitted masterpieces. Haha. Some people in town like it, others don't. What a creative bunch!



Gail said...

This sweater is unbelievably beautiful. You have outdone yourself this time.

How do you have time to pack and knit?? I can't even get my dishes washed.

It may be because I was AWFUL at math.

Joanna said...

Isn't it amazing how our brains will solve problems for us when we're asleep? Often I wake up in the middle of the night with an answer to a question I wasn't even aware I was asking. Go figure.

The sweater is lovely.

Anonymous said...

I knew you would get it. How do you do that and pack to move, I don't know. You almost have both jobs finished.