(no, not about Koigu!)

I’m still working on the HP scarf. I’ll be nice and not call it any names today. I told my husband yesterday that if I could just work on it all weekend, I could probably finish it. He is so ready to see it done (as am I!) that he was fine with giving up on doing anything for two days besides watch our son while I knit; unfortunately, when this deal was struck, we forgot one important detail: we have lives. And so we spent our lives running errands yesterday, and I got about an hour and a half’s worth of knitting completed. Just as I had cast the knitting behind me on the couch last night and was drifting off to sleep, I heard, “So, is my scarf done yet?” How he loves to razz me.

This morning, I decided to get some knitting time in while husband and son were both still asleep. Between eight and nine o’clock, I got exactly ten rows done. Ten. In an hour. No time wasted. That’s it?? This got me to thinking about exactly why this scarf is taking me so long – I think of the finished size and the number of repeats, but what about the number of stitches? The time it takes to knit those stitches? As I continued to knit, I began doing calculations in my head (very easy to let my mind wander to just about anywhere with this project, and mind you, I’m no mathematician, so my mind was really wandering off the beaten path):

Number of stitches completed in an hour: 900
Number of stitches completed in six minutes: 90 = one row
Hours it takes to do each repeat: 3.75
Hours it will take to knit scarf from start to finish: 55.25
Hours it will take to finish knitting from where I am: 15
(These figures do not, of course, take into account additional time that will be spent on weaving in ends, making fringe, washing and blocking)

I also thought about my kpm (knits per minute) speed: 15 kpm. This, of course, is just knit stitches and no purling, and would vary depending on the project, the yarn, and the needles used – so there is no way for me to compare my speed to that of other knitters to see if I’m slow or average unless they were using the exact same needles, yarn, and pattern. It seemed like an interesting idea at the time, though – to try to calculate how long a project will actually take me depending on how much progress I can make in a minute or an hour. It also makes knitting seem incredibly slow. It also makes the notion that I could finish this this weekend entirely laughable. My husband said, “You could just stop after this last repeat and I’ll just have a short scarf.” Nice of him, but… a bit like a marathon runner in sight of the finish line suddenly deciding he’d rather quit and duck into the nearest pub.

Here’s a few more interesting numbers regarding this scarf, done with the aid of a calculator (only simple math in my head, you see):
Number of stitches in each pattern repeat: 3,420
Number of stitches I have left: 13,680
Number of stitches in entire scarf: 50,310

This entry was published on March 12, 2006 at 11:32 pm and is filed under Knitting. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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