The Way You Do the Things You Do

designing knit math

The Way You Do the Things You Do is a classic by the Temptations. I believe we have already established I love the Temptations. The song is a tribute to a nameless, faceless woman who has a smile so bright, she could be a candle and she’s so smart she can be a schoolbook. There should be a line in there about her being a knitter and can defy science, logic and math.

What you see in the photo is my first attempt at the Dakota mittens. The pattern is not complete and up for sale and the final gloves are with their owner and she’s happy with them. That can now free me up to say how much of a friggin’ pain the process can be. It’s always smile and rainbows when it’s done and it’s right but that middle part between anticipation and relief is a different story.

It was right around the time I took this photo that it occured to me they might be a tad on the large size. I was making them for a tiny teen. I did all the math and that still wasn’t going to work. Knit math was rearing it’s ugly head again. 

Knit math can show up in a number of ways. You can be making a scarf that’s supposed to be 60 inches and when you’re knitting along to the 55th inch and then knit math says that no matter how long and how much you knit, those last five inches will take as much time as the first 54 total. Never ever fails. 

Knit math will also show itself when you need to make something to an exact size. These gloves needed to fit a six inch wrist. Doesn’t take more than a glance to see these would be too big. I decided to go down several needle sizes and to go from a worsted weight to a DK weight…smaller all around. I then look at the gauge chart on the label to determine what I would need in stitches. No, I didn’t do a swatch – let’s not get ridiculous.

I did the math and then because I know how evil knit math can be – I deducted 10%. It’s what I do when I make anything because I have been burned by knit math time and again. Knitting will grow on you. Unless you’re one of those super perfect knitters who have perfect stitching as indicated on knitting labels ( I don’t want to know you. There’s only so much to this thing called tolerance.) knit math affects us all.

Even going smaller I had to start over about three times. Finally they were done and sent off. My client’s only complaint: they were a little too big. Sigh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *