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Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 69

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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
After you finish knitting this part, in 15 minutes or so, go make a list. Don't you have some holiday knitting to start?

Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 69

This week's show is about using a shim when needed, and includes a chat with Barb Brown, author of Knitting Knee Highs.

Gina's Afghan, Chart 13

In construction, a shim is a small piece of wood used as a wedge to fill in gaps, keep things level, and, even, stop a floor from squeaking as much.

This week's chart is, basically, a shim for this panel. When I started working out this strip, I wanted to use one chart which was 12 twists long and a second chart which was 14 twists long.

The twists I'm talking about are the little two-stitch cables running up the side of each strip. Each one has 80 twists. I needed 5 twists each for the beginning and end of the strip, which left 70 twists for my cables to run around.

So, it became a bit of a math and symmetry problem. I wanted this strip to be fairly symmetrical from the center point, so I placed the 14-twist cable chart (I called that chart A) in the center. That left 70 - 14 = 56 twists for the 12-twist cable chart to be used. Twelve doesn't divide evenly into 55, so I did what I do in these situations. I knew I needed to have an even number of 12-twist cables (I called that chart B) on either side of chart A, so I wrote out multiples of 12 and 2, to see what my possibilities were.

12 x 2 = 24 (too small)

12 x 4 = 48 (as close as I can get)

12 x 6 = 72 (too big)

So, I had 48 twists and 56 spaces to use. 56 - 48 = 8. I decided to break the extra 8 twists into 4 groups of 2. So, I fiddled, erased and wrote until I came up with this:

Cast On + 2 + B + B + 2 + A + 2 + B + B + 2 + Cast Off

Which also means:

5 + 2 + 12 + 12 + 2 + 14 + 2 + 12 + 12 + 2 + 5 = 80

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that this week's chart is just 2 twists long and kind of boring, but is an important part of this strip. I promise I will just mention it in the show notes and not actually inflict it on you 3 more times. Oh, and you will probably see that bit of B + 2 +... code again.


Barb Brown is a wonderful designer and I'm very grateful that she agreed to chat with me. I hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I enjoyed recording it.