Crochet Math or Why I crochet at Traffic Lights
When working a triangular shawl with a) a definite due date, b) other things to do and c) in a yarn that is a hand-dyed specific 2 ply that you have a remarkably finite amount thereof, I find myself doing a weird series of calculations in my head.
My original Un Deux Trois shawl sold last year. This, like a pebble dropped in a pond, sparked a rolling crisis that would ripple out until… I was still sewing motifs together on a park bench in a small rural town on the way to Sydney. For this year’s Royal shows, as mentioned, I am embarking on a second (actually third – as I have one nestled away at the Deux stage… somewhere)UDT shawl in a beautifully soft hand-dyed in cherry, navy- and periwinkle-blue colourway known as Thoroughbred from Fearless Fibers of Etsy Fame.
I have four skeins of the same.
I am presently 2/3rds of the way through one. Sounds of horror were heard on Sunday evening when another was found in the tender clutches of a BAD DOG. A little damage, but not as bad as it could have been had (say…) evil gnomes, armed with scissors, decided to cut the skein into snippets. 4 skeins = 460gms. Which, in 2 ply terms, is 2200 yards. Which, by all that you would think is right, should be enough for a fair sized shawl.
But working a shawl gives your mind time to think and… brood…. Trust me – if following the next set of numbers sounds insane – this is where my head is at whilst crocheting. Tell me it’s not better than rehearsing the directions for manufacturing explosives in your kitchen using common household ingredients.
A shawl made of a two row-repeat shell pattern, that drops one shell per repeat, when starting at 49 repeats, represents 1225 shells. This means, at the junction I am now, I have completed 281 repeats. Which is 25% of the body.
Courtesy of the most incredible little doover I bought during the Christmas sales- ladies and gentlemen, Id like to introduce you to the Digital Kitchen Scales! Things that you can weigh on the Digital Kitchen Scales include: yarn. Camera Batteries. Yarn. Cameras. Partially completed Objects. Camera Lenses. 60gms of Special K. The 1.5kg handbells* you bought.
where was I?
Oh yeah… Scales.
I worked out that to complete 25% of the repeats had used 81gms of yarn. A quick bit of Excel spreadsheetery confirmed I would have enough yarn for an UDT. Barring any further Acts of Dog.
Time is now the issue. I have 34 days until the Royal submission date and I have four major pieces that require dedication of *hours* to complete. Working on the shawl, whilst sitting stopped in traffic then becomes much less silly. At most stops, I can get through 2 shells, and with 9 traffic lights, going to work each morning, that represents an amount of crocheting acheived, not to be snorted at.
And – by crocheting while stopped at traffic lights, I remain calm which prevents road rage. More people should try it.
*which turned out to weigh 1.6 and 1.58 kgs apiece. Great quality control there.