Friday, February 03, 2006

Nuts. Certifiably nuts.

When last we caught up with our intrepid Olympian, she had just switched events - 2 weeks before the Olympics, mind you! - from 10 hats for Afghans for Afghans to Marianne Isager's African Domino cardigan. The naysayers pointed out that going from 10 hats at her choice of yarn weight (bulky; I'm not that dumb) to a long-sleeved, modularly knit, 6 stitches to the inch, women's-medium-size cardigan (but there are no buttons!) is Just Plain Wacko in the official Olympic scoring system.

Nonsense! says I, switching to the first person while we're at it! If 2500 Olympic Knitters can do their best, then so can I! Onward!

This weekend is the crucial pre-event event - the Buying of the Yarn. As Ms. Isager's yarn is not yet available in the states, I am forced to fall back on that stalwart equipment-supplier for the Olympic Knitter - WEBS. Which, conveniently, is only about 45 minutes from my house. And, conveniently, has cones of Harrisville Shetland yarn, which I think is the right gauge and almost certainly will be cheaper than any designer yarn, plus it's coned - fewer ends to weave in!

And WEBS, bless their hearts, has a pre-Super Bowl knit-in this Sunday afternoon, with various and sundry refreshments and prizes, etc., etc. So I might just be spending my Sunday afternoon with other knit-nuts, buying Olympic yarn, knitting like mad on the Afghans for Afghans hats (I pledged to complete those before the Olympics), not-resisting other completely unnecessary yarn purchases, and generally having a ball. I promise to take pics for you all.

And in prep for this mightly pre-event event, I've been calculating how many yards of each color I need and, just for the hell of it, timing my knitting speed and figuring out how many hours, approximately, I can expect to be knitting on African Domino between Feb. 10th and 26th.

[outburst censored for filthy content]

Let me show you why I'm certifiably nuts. Bear with me; a certain amount of math is to follow, but you all are Olympic Knitters, you can deal with it.

I can knit 80 stitches in 3 minutes, of bulky yarn on a circular needle. That's roughly 1600 stitches an hour. (Sounds good so far, right?) In bulky Lopi, 4" x 4" equals 13 stitches and 18 rows, or 16 square inches equals 234 stitches, or one square inch is 14.6 stitches. Thus, one hour of knitting bulky yarn yields for me (not counting distractions by cats, male inhabitants of the household, etc.) round about 100 square inches of knit fabric. Fine.

So what about the gauge for African Domino? It's 25 stitches and 48 rows to 4" x4" in garter stitch (see; I don't even have to purl for this sweater!), or ... 20 square inches produced in one hour of knitting. Hmm. I knew there was a reason why we all like super-duper-steroidized-bulky yarn.

I won't bore you with the detailed geometry of African Domino. Luckily, it's pretty basic. Take my word for it - there are 1805 square inches of knitting ahead. That's 1805 divided by 20 is oh, only NINETY hours of knitting.

Now I work full time, an hour from home. I have no kids, just two cats and a male-type person around the household. Nonetheless, ninety hours of knitting translates to:

6 weekend days of 8 hours of knitting a day, and
10 weekday days of 4 hours of knitting a day, and
2 more hours conjured out of thin air.

Not humanly possible. Clearly not a reasonable goal. Nope, not a chance. Certifiably nuts. Even my knitting companions around here think so. And the household male says he's going to refuse to be co-dependent for this event.

I guess that's why we're Olympians.


Blogger Jessica said...

Whew. It exhausted me just reading about all that knitting you're going to have to do. You'd better get yourself some protein shakes (because you won't have time to eat) and some No-Doze.

Knit on!

7:44 PM  
Blogger helen said...

i refuse to do the timing....i have class for 19 hours a week, and oh...around seven hours travel/between classes. plus 20 hours of work a week. and then i say i shall knit a ribbed, cabled sweater *gulp*

i think many of us will not sleep much!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

That makes me feel so feeble!

I thought I had a time challenge on my hands until I read that.

Well, good for you. Mad you may be but more power to you. We're all right behind you!!

7:19 AM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Whew girl! I feel for you! But who's that Olympic can do it!

And just don't sleep for a few days ;) I'm sure I'll be right there with you!

9:50 PM  

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