Friday, June 17, 2011

Better Left in Ignorance

While on hold the other day, I started doing some Duchess Shawl Math. Estimating that the ruffle is about 30% of the work, and each side of the body 35%, with a little more than three months left before the KAL deadline, I estimated that I needed to complete 1 1/3 pattern repeats per day. I smiled in confidence at my ability to meet this self-imposed deadline, and started feeling pretty optomisitic that I would finish the shawl in time.

The next day, I realized the flaw in my math. Each repeat increases by four stitches, to an end goal of 192 stitches. If I was meeting my goal at 42 stitches per row, it was only going to get harder as the stitches increased to 80, and 120, and 160. A little ball of dread landed in my stomach.

So yesterday, I thought maybe if I tried to exceed my goal now during the shorter rows, it would give me some cushion for the later longer rows. Ok, optimism returning. I can do this.

This morning, apparently NOT having learned a lesson with my math calculations, I remembered a little geometry to calculated the estimated stitches in my suicide ruffle. Using the Pythagorean theorum (which I can't believe I even remembered), I was able to estimate how long all my sides would be. At 8 stitches per inch, and an estimated 200 inches in circumference, that leaves . . . around 1600 stitches. Which I double in the next row.

I am half considering comparing the total estimated stitches in the ruffle vs. body of the shawl, to see if my original percentage estimate was even in the same universe as reality.

Someone, please save me from the math.

Today, it is all about the numbers.

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