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Oh, 0

August 16, 2007

Or Mishaps with Math

Sometimes, when you are starting to think too highly of yourself, God finds a way to humble you.

[For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. – Luke 14:11 ESV]

This week I was humbled by the lowly 0. I have been itching to cast on Sandi Wiseheart’s Summer Shawlette since it first showed up on IK. I had been telling myself that I should wait until I got a few projects off the needles before I started but I ignored my more sensible side and succumbed to the temptation.

The pattern is supposed to be an easy to knit Faroese style shawl- not that I had any clue what a Faroese style shawl was but it looked really cool and supposedly had special shaping to keep it on your shoulders. I had some yarn in my stash that had been purchased for another project only to find that the yarn did not like that project. So pulled it out, knit a gauge swatch (shocking I know) and got ready to knit me some Faroese shawl. It began with a crocheted provisional cast on – not my favorite but whatever the pattern says. So I dug out my waste yarn and cast on the 70 stitches for the neck band. The first row was simple K2, P1, K1, P1, K2 – I can do that. I did notice that the pattern didn’t mention repeating this stitch pattern for the rest of the row but I thought that was just an oversight. The next row was Sl1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K2 – so far so good. Then you were supposed to knit that pattern for 40 rows. This seemed like an awfully long neckband but maybe that was normal for Faroese shawls, after all, I had never actually knit one before. After you knit the 40 rows of neckband, you were supposed to turn your work with the selvage up and pick up 20 stitches along the edge, unzip the provisional cast on and place 7 live stitches on the needles. Wait a minute here, what am I going to do with the other 63 live stitches???? Knit the 7 stitches in the pattern K2, P1, K1, P1, K2, stitch count at the end of the row 34. HUHHHHH???? How on earth did I get to 34 stitches when I started with 70, then picked up 20, then picked up 7 more. By my count, I should have had 97 stitches on the needles plus I had another 63 live stitches staring me in the face with no idea what to do with them. If I picked them up I could end up with a really nice bottom to a suitcase or perhaps a toe for a sock that would fit Michaelangelo’s David or the Statue of Liberty . I re-read the instructions and then read forward to see if there was some clever way that you were going to use those extra 63 stitches but to no avail. So I re-re-read the instructions, and re-re-re-read. Then it hit me like a bolt of lightning – no Harry Potter reverence intended. There was no “0” at the end of that “7” in the instruction for the cast on. That sentence was CO 7 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – not seventy. ARGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! Can you say “Frog Time”? I guess I will learn to read more carefully one day. Glad I did this with knitting instead of cake baking. 70 cups of flour would have made a REALLY big cake.

The good news is that the shawl looks much better made the way the pattern describes. I don’t have a photo yet. It’s been too hot for a photo shoot. Maybe tomorrow – when the temperature is supposed to drop below 100.

One last reminder – tonight at midnight is your last chance to participate in my blog contest. Winner will be announced tomorrow along with the latest photos.

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