Who Knows

Due to many factors, mostly frustration with myself and my knitting, I decided that it may be good for me to uncomplicate my knitting for a while and get back to more basic knitting.
I've been lurking quite a bit here as I'm sure many of you do, and I've been admiring all the garter stitch work that he has been doing.
( Have you seen his Cobblestone Pullover design in the Fall issue of Interweave Knits? Isn't it simply beautiful in it's round garter stitch yoke and complimenting plain stockinette panels?)
Perhaps it was time to return to some kinder and gentler knitting, perhaps it was time to go back to kinder garter.
My first thought was to knit EZ's baby surprise sweater but it wasn't to be, for as fate would have it, my dear daughter's dear friend Suzi Q decided she just had to have a Dr. Who Scarf.
Her problem however is that she isn't a knitter, (tragic, I know) so she brought her problem to someone who she knows does knit.
She didn't seem to like my idea of teaching her to knit the scarf herself, so being the magnificent wilf that I am, I agreed to start knitting her incredibly long plain garter stitch scarf with the condition that if I get too bored with the project that I would then give her a few quick knitting lessons and she was on her own to finish it. I'm not sure who is the bigger geek, her for wanting the scarf or me for agreeing to knit the thing or those of you who think it's cool of me to be knitting a Dr. Who Scarf. *cough* Beth *cough*

So in honor of going back to basics, and back to school, maybe it would be good to brush up a little on our math skills.
Here's a little math question to excite the math geek in all of us. (you know it's in you.)

If a knitter casts on 45 stitches of wool onto a size 4.5mm/US 7 knitting needles to knit a 53 striped, 1,072 row, garter stitch scarf in 7 different colors at a row gauge of 36 rows to 4 inches and a stitch gauge of 5 stitches per inch.

A) How wide is the scarf going to be? In inches? In mm?
B) How long will the finished (unblocked) scarf be? In inches? In mm? In feet? in meters? in yards?Do not include the length of the fringe in your answer. (Didn't I mention there is a fringe? Oh, there be fringe.)
C) How many stitches will the knitter have knit when she completes her knitting. Do not include the cast on row but you can include the bind off row in your answer.
D) If there is approximately 184 yards of wool in a 50 gram/1.75 oz ball of yarn; how many balls of yarn will be used to knit the finished scarf?
E) Approximately how much will the finished scarf weigh? In grams? In ounces?

Bonus Question: How long before the knitter finally decides she's had enough with garter stitch knitting and decides to teach Suzi Q to knit and let Suzi finish her own damn scarf?


So who wants to get their geek on and play a numbers game?
Here's how we play:
I will throw at you all the numbers I can think of on the progress, thus far, of the knitting of this Dr. Who Scarf. I'll let you crunch the numbers and you can leave me your best guess estimate as to when I will finish the knitting on this very l...o...o...ong garter stitch scarf in the comments.

Here's what I know , remember. Whatever!
I cast on for the scarf on Wednesday, July 18th. (Because I wanted to have some simple straight forward knitting to take to the relay on Friday the 20th, plus, I thought it apropos to knit the scarf on that Friday because it was also Q's birthday.)
The pattern says to cast on 60 stitches, using US5 - US7.
I chose the 7's, bigger needles = finishing faster. (Hey, I'm no fool.)
I decided that 60 stitches was just a suggestion so I shortened the width to 45 stitches. (Another maneuver to lessen my knitting time.)
I am knitting the season 12 pattern from Doctor Who Scarf .com
There is no rhyme or reason to the stripes, they are different width, I am following the pattern but they were originally knit randomly.
The pattern is in rows and not garter ridges.

Here's my progress as of Wednesday Aug. 1st, 13 stripes and 288 rows completed.

Here's my progress as of Wednesday, August 8th, after our weekly knitting meet up. At this point there are now 24 stripes and 474 rows completed.

And as of this past Saturday August 18th, twenty eight stripes and 576 rows completed.

Here's some geeky details for the knitters among you: (Oh, there is plenty of geek to go around here folks.)
I am a pick knitter, that is to say, I knit continentally ( actually, I use a combined method, but for this project since there is no purling involved, we'll call it continental.)
I am an experienced knitter, though I doubt that it matters much; it's plain garter stitch, you know, knit every row.
I am using Clover Bamboo straights.
Being a continental knitter, I can knit fairly fast. But I wouldn't consider myself a quick knitter because I really don't have that much time to knit, certainly not as much as I would like.
I am process knitter, I don't knit for speed.
The yarn I am using is mostly Brown Sheep's Nature Spun sport weight wool, the tan yarn is a Paton's DK weight Country Gardens, from my stash and the grey is Daletta from Dale of Norway, the row gauge is knitting up the same for all the three yarns at the same row gauge.
I cast on using a crocheted cast on.
I am knitting the first stitch and not slipping it, as per the instructions.
I am not stopping to weave in my ends. I am knitting in the ends as I go and will go back after I finish knitting to clean up the ends.
This game is guessing calculating when I will finish knitting the scarf and not about finishing the scarf, such as weaving in the ends, blocking it and adding the tassels.

Now for more variables:
I am currently knitting only two projects: The Dr. Who Scarf and the Mystery Lace Stole 3.
This scarf is my take along project.
I take the scarf with me daily to work.
I am currently working five days a week and knit a few rows during my breaks.
Usually, I get two 15 minute breaks and a half hour lunch, I don't knit every break but I usually knit a few rows at some point during the day.
At home I knit mostly on my lace projects which is coming along nicely, if slowly.
Here is my progress on the stole, I am still working on Clue 4.

If I need something to knit that doesn't require my strict attention, as the lace does, then I knit on the scarf.
I knit on the scarf at the movies, but I don't go to many movies.
I did go see a movie on Sunday, when our power was still out. We went to see "Stardust", which I thoroughly enjoyed and absolutely loved, you must go see it.
What else? Let's see.
I should have all the yarn needed to complete the project and don't anticipated being delayed from running out of yarn.
Oh, I'm going to go see a surgeon in two weeks to discuss about possibly having my appendix taken out.
I have been having a reoccurring pain in my side and the CT Scans indicate that my appendix is at the upper limits of size, so my doctor thinks it may be advisable to have it out before it reaches critical mass and goes nova, so that may be a factor.
Also, I took a few days off of work the first week in September, that's something else to consider.

So grab your abacus or slide rule, take off your socks and count on your toes or dust off that crystal ball and/or divining rod; me, I use a calculator, but you use what works best for you and may the best geek win.
I'm only looking for a calender date here, no need to guess the exact time of day. I will leave the contest open for guesses answers until the end of next Sunday, August 26th.
Please be sure I have an email address to contact you, should you win. If there is more than one correct guess, I will draw a winner from the correct guesses.
(I haven't quite decided on the prize yet, if you are a knitter I have sock yarn to award otherwise it will be an appropriately geeky Dr. Who-ish award.)

[ A mother is sitting at a her blocking table. She sets aside her knitting temporarily and begins tapping on a calculator attempting to add columns of numbers from a sheet of paper.
Her hapless son comes up behind her to see what she is doing.]

Hapless son: "What are you doing?"

Knitter & Mother of Hapless Son: "A little math, I'm adding up some numbers."

Hapless: "What for? Oh, is this something for Kati? Is it some sort of project for school?"

Mother of Hapless: "What? No. You distracted me, now I have to start over adding up this column."

Hap: "It can't be about your knitting, you don't need to do math for knitting."

Knitter: "What?! No math involved in knitting? Clearly, you know nothing about my world." *dumb muggle*

[ End scene.]

The Real Mystery Is

The real mystery here is why I continue to believe that I should be knitting lace in the first place.

For a while there I had it going on. That was me on the Forest Path, there was I merrily knitting along on The Forest Path Stole, section after section, tier after tier, seed stitch after seed stitch. I had even contracted a rare case of project fidelity and all was going along just swimmingly until suddenly it wasn't. It would seem that I have come to a fork in the road and I am not sure on how to proceed, so all my lace knitting momentum came to a screeching halt as I, once again, found myself lost in the woods.

So while I pondered my predicament (of which I will share my dilemma in an up coming post)
I do what I always do when I'm uncertain as how to proceed, I look to see what other people are doing, that is; I read other people's blogs to see all the fun that they're having while I'm stuck.

I came along Deb's blog. Now Deb was going on about getting ready to start the mystery stole 3 starting in about a week, and my curiosity got the better of me, so I took a peek at the stole.
Well let's see, a mystery theme, white or black yarn, and beads for extra measure.
Now, I need to start another lace stole like I need another hole in, well, you know.

But, I do have that White Merino Lace yarn in my stash.....

and I have been meaning to give this new beading method a try. I inherited these really tiny sized crochet hooks from my grandmother and I never thought I would have any use for them seeing I rarely, if ever crochet anything.

And of course, you know that you're suppose to get back up on the horse after it throws you off, right? Okay, technically, I suppose I should have gotten back up onto the same horse, instead of switching horses in mid stream, but I don't think it's a hard and fast rule, it's more of a guideline, yeah, that's it...a guideline.

And so I began,

Plan A. Knit a new mystery stole in a lovely white merino yarn from my stash with lovely white beads.

Things were going well.

Except I had my doubts about using the white beads, they weren't showing up very well, and as I saw the pattern developed I had a strong suspicion that it was very probable that the theme had something to do with the constellations and I was convinced that the beads were suppose to twinkle like stars so...

Plan B. Re knit it with more sparkly beads.

It was going well, or so I thought.

I was nearly done with clue 2 and I had started to put together the third and fourth clue charts when I realized I had knit the whole thing wrong! ( I'm sure that you've already been thinking to yourselves, I think she's doing something wrong, it doesn't look like all the other hundreds, nay thousands of mystery stoles that are being knitted. What can I say? I'm slow.

When I began the stole, I read the first four lines of instructions ( in which you knit every row). I then switched to the chart, which I had taped together , over the instruction line that read for the rest of the pattern knit only the first and last two of the even (or wrong side) rows and purl the rest of the wrong side rows. Duh.

(clearly, I have everyone* hoodwinked into believing I know what I am doing here...a knitting goddess, my ass, well, maybe if you count Sisyphus as a god)

*and when I say everyone, I am of course including myself in this delusion.

Plan C. Reknit it correctly, using the white beads again. (I changed my mind, so sue me.)

It was at this point that our cat, Hobbes, wanted to be sure that I understood that C also stands for cat.
So Hobbes decided that he had been too tame of late and after lulling me into being less than diligent about safely stowing my knitting before going to bed, decided he would have a go at the tube of beads and that oh so tempting ball of enticingly creamy looking lace yarn.

He chewed through the yarn and the bead tube, scattering the beads, but he did no real harm to the lace itself, and thereby sparing himself from having to using up one of his nine lives.

The beads were recovered, well, as many as we could find, and not counting any he may have swallowed, and with a handy spit splice on the yarn, we were back in business.

The tube, however, I'm afraid was a loss.

At the end of clue 2

At the end of clue 3.

So far so good.


I and mine are all well and accounted for.
My heart goes out to those less fortunate in yesterday's bridge collapse in Minneapolis.