Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Knitting Annoyance

There's a trend I've noticed among many knitters lately. They won't do math. Now, I'm not a math genius, and I don't particularly like doing math. But let's face it--knitting requires math. Sure, you can make all the fun fur scarves you like without ever writing down the first number (or maybe even counting), but you can't make anything as complex as, say, a hat, without a little bit of figuring.

It's a dirty secret, but it's true. Knitting (at any level beyond true beginner) requires a little bit of math. But doesn't nearly everything in life? If you cook, you know that math is required to adjust recipes or substitute ingredients. I am an attorney (a profession many pursue because of its so-called lack of math) and I have to do math--adding hours worked and random math required for cases. So why would anyone think that a hobby (obsession) that requires custom fitting objects to size would not require math??? It doesn't require much--it wouldn't be beyond your average 10-year-old--but some knowledge is needed.

What brings on this rant, you ask? An increasing number of questions like, "How do I decrease 15 stitches evenly when I have 80 on my needle? The designer didn't tell me how to do that, and I hate him/her because I paid good money for an incomplete pattern." I know I need my hand held on new techniques (and I screwed up more than I care to admit when I was a serious beginner--knots, no ends woven in, curling stockinette--you name it, I did it), but if it mattered that much, the designer would put it in the pattern. And it takes a few seconds to fudge it; it doesn't have to be exactly every 5.333 stitches, though I would love to see someone try that.

Okay, enough ranting. The wheel hopefully arrives today, and I'll set to using some WD-40 on the few unfortunate rusty areas that resulted because it was a shop model, give the thing a nice oiling, and take some photos for your viewing pleasure. I also got other knitting- and fiber-related Christmas gifts, but I'll wait until later to list them.


Donna said...

That decrease thing is exactly why I got a copy of Knitable! :) I am a perfectionist of sorts, and I like to have the program do my math for me. I am capable of figuring it out, but I'm also a bit lazy.

Valerie said...

But you figure it out! Maybe I need to invest in this Knitable program. I was doing the math to increase the size of a throw last night, and it was starting to give me a bit of a headache, rant about math and knitters notwithstanding.