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.


~ by SB&C on January 18, 2011.

3 Responses to “Crochet Math or Why I crochet at Traffic Lights”

  1. …what kind of shells? 7 double crochets (US stitch) skip 3 slip stitch in next stitch..what? and if you get your pic taken at a stop light and get a ticket for unsafe driving, can you post the pic? 😉 Then your blog can become WHEN not to crochet and you can be your first post!!

    I’ve been a lurker for a while and wish you and yours luck and strength in dealing with the weather.

    • Actually the shells are a two row pattern where you do 7 dcs, and then a bridging sc, ch3 sc, into the next one. On the next row it’s DC, ch, in each of the previous seven, sc in the ch3 space and repeat…..the 7dcs of the next row go in that sc.

      Nice to hear a lurker has come out from behind the curtains!! Thank you for your good wishes – there is one person missing post Cycle Yasi. Friends in Cairns and Townsville are all doing well with very little damage blessedly.

      No tickets please! And – hmm.. a When Not To Crochet – that could be a post for Misstitched

  2. Beautiful yarn! Great buy … =D

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