Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Endangered Habitat

There hasn't been much posting, because there hasn't been much knitting. The sweater goes slowly, I'm fighting with a new sock, and I've been swatching the grey Coopworth handspun for Habitat. You know, that new cabley hat pattern by Jared Flood aka Brooklyntweed.

I think my Habitat is endangered.

My handspun is quite a bit thicker than I thought it was. I guess that'll teach me to eyeball it and say "it's worsted weight!" I swatched on a US7 needle, knitting in the round, and got 3.75 st/in. It makes a nice fabric. I definitely do not want to go down a needle size (or two, or three) to get a smaller gauge, or I'll be knitting armor. The Habitat pattern calls for 4.5 st/in. Big difference.

Want to see the math? The main body of the hat (not counting the ribbed brim) has 120 stitches. 120 stitches divided by 4.5 st/in = 26.67 in. The pattern says the finished hat circumference is 21". I know that cables pull in a lot, so I get this. You lose about 20% to the cables (if I'm doing my math correctly).

If I do the same pattern at my gauge... that's 120 stitches divided by 3.75 st/in = 32" minus 20% cable shrinkage = 25.6" circumference finished hat. Now, Sharon has big hair, but not THAT big. That's a big hat.

The pattern repeat is 24 stitches and you repeat it 5 times (24x5=120). What if I removed one of the repeats? I would have 96 stitches in that section. Let's do the math again... 96 stitches divided by 3.75 st/in = 26.5" minus 20% cable shrinkage = 20.48" circumference finished hat. Her head is about 22", so that seems small.

Do you math people want to weigh in? Just TELL ME if this is the wrong yarn for this project. I'll just go shopping so that K and I can cast on this weekend. It wouldn't kill me. I'm interested in knitting with some Julia, a yarn I'm considering for a sweater in our future. Knitting Habitat in Julia would be like going on a first date with her. This would not be a waste of time.

1 comment:

Steven said...

Endangered habitat -- you crack me up! Definitely arrange the date with Julia. I'm never happy when I try to force the yarn to the pattern, and I'm not good enough at math or string theory to work around it.

Happy knitting with K!