The First Step Is Admitting You are Powerless Over Math
I am a creature of absolutes. Black or white. Win or lose. Pick a side: We're at war. I rarely dwell in the space between - it makes me twitchy. Er. So you would think that the very nature of Mathematics would appeal to me. It's incontrovertible. The numbers either add up, or they don't, and it's possible (or so I'm led to understand) to dissect a math problem to the very juncture at which its legs fell off. You can know, with precision, exactly the point at which you went astray. Or so I'm told.
Couldn't prove it by me.
Every once in a while, I begin a project with MUCH more confidence than my math skills should warrant. Not often, but from time to time, I hear myself thinking things like "...and I'll figure out the math part later...". These are the sorts of thoughts which cause Tech Editors to come to your house in the night. And I don't mean to have tea, either.
In spite of my fervent desire to begin 2011 on a note of success, I have instead spent the last 5 days knitting and reknitting the same stoopid stinking sweater back. I blame myself, of course. It's only because I elected to think.
Usually I work by figuring out one thing at a time. What is the gauge? Knit a swatch. How many stitches and rows are in an inch? How many inches of knitting do I think would look nice around the body? Whose body is it? And so on, until sometime near the end of the project when minutiae start to occur to me, such as Will there be enough yarn?
Well this time, in what can only be described as a fit of overconfidence, I decided to use this "simple" pattern as a test case for working out the entire pattern ahead of time, and then knitting it. I would painstakingly sketch, schematic, count and cogitate, until all the numbers for all the sizes were completely worked out, and then knitting the sample would be just like using somebody else's pattern! What fun!
Until the part where the knitting I was doing turned out to have been based on basic arithmetic done by ME. So preoccupied was I, after failing to produce the anticipated number of stitches for the third time, that I failed to notice that the sweater back could not be worn by any human. Not one with appendages in the places where I keep mine, anyhow.
But I'm not letting it get me down. No, Siree. I'm just telling myself that I've cleverly gotten my Epic Math Bloodbath out of the way early this year. That's right. No more second-guessing my own hard-earned processes. Not for me. I'm the big loud-y always telling everybody that a knitter's OWN way is the best one for them, and nobody should try to squeeze themselves into someone else's knitting mold, after all. From now on I'm gonna listen to my own loud advice.
Unless the advice is to try using math for something that sheer force of will can achieve.