Friday, January 25, 2013

Simple Math for Easier Knitting

So I realize it has been a very long time since my last post. I've been very busy at school, and so getting a pattern ready to post has been a bit of a struggle. I'm not sure if I have anyone who reads regularly, but I feel obligated to at least get in a post for January. So I decided to talk about knitting math.

I love math. I had a great time with math classes in High School, but I haven't had much math during my university years. So I do enjoy when a pattern calls for me to use a bit of math, even if it is easy math.

The thing is, all patterns have a gauge. You knit up the gauge square in the needles, and if it doesn't reach that 4x4 inches square, then you need to switch to a smaller or larger needle. That's pretty basic knitting stuff. Now I don't know about you, but I don't have a knitting needle in every size. And I can't afford to just run out to the store and by a needle every time I don't have the right size for gauge. This is where my math skills come in handy. For super complicated patterns, this might not be the best, but I've used it for sweaters and had no problem.

First, their gauge A stitches by B rows = 4 inches square
And your gauge C stitches by D rows = 4 inches square

Now say that pattern calls for you to cast on 26 stitches.

You'll take 26 stitches x  4 inches   x C stitches  = how many stitches you'll need
                                      A stitches     4 inches

And say the pattern calls for 20 rows.

You'll take 18 rows x 4 inches x  D rows  = how many rows you'll need
                                  B rows     4 inches

Let's do an example!

Their gauge is 15 st. by 20 rw. = 4 inches square
And say your gauge is 18 st. by 24 rw. = 4 inches square

Now comes the math.

26 stitches x  4 in.  x 18 st. = 31.2 stitches, round up or down depending on your pattern
                      15 st.     4 in. 

18 rows x  4 in.  x 24 rw. = 21.6 rows, round up or down depending on the pattern
                 20 rw.    4 in.              

And there you have it. Simple math to make things easier when you don't have the right needle. :-)

Enjoy the rest of your January, and I hope to see you in February with a sweater pattern. :-) Happy knitting!