Friday, July 27, 2007

Math Mystery Solved!

I solved my math problem regarding the bust size of my bluebell, and I'm ready to separate the sleeves. Hooray! Here is a pic of my progress:

So, here is a recap of my math blunders:

Problem #1

The pattern for a 33'' bust calls for 17 increase rows with 8 stitches increased per row, for a total of 136 increased rows. So I divided 136 stitches by my gauge of 4.75 stitches per inch and came up with a bust measurement of 28.6''... well that can't be right, can it? My gauge isn't that off. So I test with her recommended gauge: 136/4.5= 30.2'' Nope, it's not my gauge, it must be the pattern. I will check errata. Errata check reveals there are no pattern errors on the bust. It is my math.

Problem #2
This time when I pick up the pattern I see that at the end of 17 increases I will have 244 stitches on the needle. So I divide 244 by 4.75 and get... a 51.4'' bust. OK, at this point I am getting really frustrated. I put my math away.

After I cleared my head I picked up the pattern again and I realized that my first calculation neglected the 108 stitches I already had on the needle before I increased. My second calculation included these cast on stitches, but it also included the stitches I am separating for the sleeve. Here is my "duh" moment: I only count the body stitches to calculate my bust measurement. I will be pulling out 48 stitches on either side for my sleeve leaving 148 stitches left on the needle. 148/4.75= 31.15'' (Double check using pattern gauge: 148/4.5= 32.8'' Yes!) And now we are working with realistic numbers.

Since a 31'' bust is too small for me (thank god) I decided to do 18 increase rows which will add 8 stitches to my body stitch count, making 156/4.75= 32.8'' This is a number I can live with, considering the following:

I pulled out my knit check and read the gauge on my actual project with is coming out to 20X25 over 4'' instead of my swatch gauge of 19x25. This gives me 5 stitches per inch instead of 4.75.

Conclusion: 156/5= 31.2'' ... and the truth I have been hiding is that I don't actually have a 32'' bust.


  1. Wow that's a lot of math... I think I might die doing all the math I've got to do to fit that sweater to my 29 inch bust, but your post really helped me clear some things up. It also helps that you only had to use 4 skeins instead of the recommended 5, because now it's just in my budget :)

  2. Yes - four skeins will definitely be enough! Isn't it nice to be tiny? The math isn't really that hard - it was just a matter of turning off the TV and sitting down with a calculator and really focusing on the problem.

    p.s. I really wish I had made the sleeves longer - if you are doing okay on yarn at the end of the project I'd recommend adding another inch or so.