Wednesday, 3 October 2012

My Month in Numbers - September


When you live with an accountant, it can be easy to dodge the numbers if you want to: easy to let someone else do the counting. And that's why Julie's Month in Numbers always feels like a fun challenge to me. For once, just once, a month  instead of pulling together some words, I have a go at thinking numerically.

Here, September for me was dominated by one set of numbers. And it was all down to a sweater.

At the beginning of the month I bought a new knitting pattern book: Knits Men Want. I blithely, blissfully ignored the Amazon review which said don't buy this book if you live in the UK, you won't understand a word of it and I sat back and waited for it to arrive.

It arrived. I didn't understand a word of it. 

So, I had one new knitting book Knits Men Want: The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting For A Man (plus the only 10 patterns she'll ever need). And the 10 patterns were very nice. I just couldn't see how to make them work. I'd never come across a knitting pattern presented as a table of numbers before. It took me two nights of scratching my head and wondering before I decided to get stuck in and order twenty x 50g balls of chunky blue wool so that I could experiment. ..



..and experiment I did. I wanted to end up with a 40 inch chest sweater. The 40 inch example in the book was knitted on US size 8 needles with a tension of 18 stitches and 16 rows over 4 inches. The wool I had ordered wasn't the wool specified in the book. Mine was bargain, 50% off wool and it took me another two nights to decide what size needles I needed to use (4.5 mm) and which line of numbers I was supposed to be following in the table (are all US patterns like this? it's easy once you get the hang of it). So easy that I ended up knitting in one ball a night and the whole thing has taken me just under three weeks. I'm sewing it up now and I have one small hurdle left. The neckband is knitted on one circular needle. I have less than one ball of wool left. It might not be enough..


The table of numbers..

Month in Numbers runs over at Julie's - every month, of course - and a good place to start is with the Pinterest board full of fascinating numerical round ups right here.


The yarn? That's what we call a good story round here and it reminds me that before I go I want to give all of you a reminder that it's Storytelling Sunday this coming weekend. The theme, if you fancy it, is Let's Dress Up! But, as always, stories about anything at all are more than welcome.

36 comments:

Linda said...

I'd love to see a picture of the finished sweater! I can't knit at all, and would love to be able to.

Gail said...

Great looking layout Sian. Interesting how your numbers post is about a knitting pattern. I'm not sure what you mean about the pattern being a table of numbers and can't think of any I've used or seen like that and I use a lot of American patterns what with living right next door to the States. Glad you were able to sort it out. Keeping fingers crossed about the remaining yarn.

Sian said...

Gail, I've added in a photo of the table of numbers.It shows the stitch count for a lot of different gauges

Jimjams said...

Ha ha ha what a great yarn that is! Not a knitter me, after attempting a few things over the years that would fit twice as many chests, feet, hands, necks as they should I now leave knitting to the experts!

Love your page - so serene compared to the story!

alexa said...

Wonderful numbers and post! I love how you just cheerfully got stuck in to making it work :). Are we going to get to see the finished item?

Mary B said...

Confusion reigns but you got there well done you.
my story is all lined up and scheduled to appear at 7.00am Sunday morning.

scrappyjacky said...

Very brave,Sian....I'm sure I'd have taken one look at the book and given up!! Would love to see the finished sweater.

Cheri said...

OMG - looks like math! I knew there was a reason I didn't knit...

dogmatix said...

I'm with everyone else ...would love to see the finished product :-) I have loads of vintage patterns that I am just too scared to try at the moment :-s

Julie Kirk said...

I'm all for logic puzzles .. but the kind I do ... I do in pencil, in a book, and I always have an eraser to hand .. and even then I get it wrong and end up looking at the answers in the back! At least no one has to be able to wear the results of my puzzling!

What a task! I do hope the 'man' in questions reeeeeeaaaaaalllly *does* want that knit!

Thanks for linking to me in your beautiful post, as always.

You're on the board now: http://pinterest.com/notesonpaper/my-month-in-numbers/

Julie x

Irene said...

Eek! You lost me when you said you were thinking numerically...
But you persisted and made a wonderful page (and sweater) out of all those numbers. Will the accountant be modelling it himself?

Carmen said...

Good grief Sian! Nobody could ever say you weren't dedicated when you get it in your head to do something :D

Another here who wants to see the end result - fingers crossed that last ball of wool is enough...

Karen said...

I always enjoy this post, but, goodness!, this was an amazing set of numbers. Love the layout, especially those fabric Thickers which are just so perfect for it.

Miriam said...

What a brillliant & imaginative set of number Sian. I love it, well done.

Lisa-Jane said...

I know nothing at all about knitting but I have great admiration for those who can turn balls of yarn into a wearable item. I'd love to see it, I always love the look of handknitted items.

Scrappi Sandi said...

Well done on fathoming it out...I consider myself quite a competent knitter but I'm sure I would have procrastinated (or found another pattern!)Good luck with the neck & your limited yarn...I'm sure it will all work out!! :D

Alison said...

Like Jacky I would have given up at the first glance at that pattern..lovely page too!
Alison xx

Scrappi Sandi said...

p.s. as I clicked publish a memory popped into my mind of my Mum knitting faster when she got to the end of her ball of yarn....as if being quicker she'd get more done before the ball ran out....feminine logic? ;D

Louise said...

I'm flabbergasted Sian, no-one can say you're a defeatist :). I admire your patience and as always such a lovely layout x

Mitra Pratt said...

Yikes! good job on follow through! If you get in a pinch next time, I'll send you my Mom's e-mail addy being that we're in the States.

Jo said...

That is a great set of numbers and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you don't run out of wool so that we can see the finished sweater! :)

Sandie said...

Well that was a challenge Sian! Well done on working it out. I love the page and hope we'll get to see the finished sweater. Oh... and I admire your patience and perseverance!

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

I wouldn´t be able to read a knitting pattern in any language/region. :D
Loads of numbers for you! Love the layouts´s design for two pictures and journaling. Awesome close ups.

Barbara Eads said...

I am in no way an expert knitter, but I have not seen a pattern like you've described. Of course, I don't do clothes---just different styles of afghans. And a sweater in just 3 weeks---pretty darn impressive!


Barbara Eads said...

PS Show us a picture of your sweater---maybe with hubby in it!

helena said...

I love the that your numbers are all part of one story this month. I've never seen that kind of knitting pattern before - well done for sticking at it and working it out

Maria Ontiveros said...

These numbers make my head spin! I guess that's one of the reasons I don't knit. LOL!
rinda

Denise said...

Like Jackay i would have given up!Fascinating post Sian.Look forward to seeing the finished article x

humel said...

An excellent yarn! On Saturday I discovered that I could knit, despite thinking that I couldn't - I'd completely forgotten that my Nan taught me how, many years ago... But the basic 'knit' stitch is all I can manage, I can't even cast on without help, so I'm very impressed by your skill with the needles! And, of course, your skill with the scrapping :)

Missus Wookie said...

Lovely page and the story made me smile - Princess learned to knit in the US and has US books, I'd never thought about the UK having different patterns etc. Hmm, have I confused her for ever?

laurie said...

your adventure with this book and page make my head spin! good for you - taking on the challenge. and i am always impressed by the way you can turn life into a layout.... you really should teach a class on this someday.

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

I love that you based the whole post around a knitting pattern. Very creative.

Melissa said...

What a lovely set of numbers - so glad you figured it out (of course, I knew you would!). I hope you'll share a photo of the sweater with us when it's all done!

Sian said...

I'm nearly done - I think I'll be using it as my Monthly Make for October and,yes, I'll see who I can persuade to model for me :)

Nathalie said...

Sounds like a head scratcher for sure!!! But it does make a good story for a page and for Julie's MiN! I love the monochromatic tones of your page and what you did with some familiar supplies ;)

Wanda said...

I'm not a knitter so I can't make head or tail of the pattern or its instructions, but I do know about running out of supplies before a project is finished. On one of my first cross-stitch projects, I ended up using thread tails from the trash can to finish a few last Xs.

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