Fingerless glove

looking for what's missing... I'm a knitting, spinning, mother of teenagers with a big dog, a small cat, minus the lovely rabbit Meliflua.

My Photo
Location: Virginia, United States

Right now I'm listening to "An Irish Country Village" by Patrick Taylor, reading "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" by Anna Quindlen and knitting Wisconsin Wintersocks. And casting off the lace shawl I've been working on since I last posted.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I'm in love with a dead Italian mathematician

It all began with knitting a hat for the "colorful" category of our guild's Caps for Kids contest. (By the way, I missed the contest deadline, but I'm not fussed because a child can still wear this come next winter.) I started with my newly-acquired-from-a-thrift-store, plastic, double-pointed needles in the exact shade of green the bathroom fixtures at Grandma's house used to be (not quite so turquoise as this photo shows, more medium leaf green -- very 1950's), somewhere between US size 10 and 10 1/2 :

Add yarn from my stash -- not just any yarn but vintage wool yarn of the most unrelenting color scheme; yarn that moved from the sheep's back, to a maniac dye master who said, "What happens if we do ... this?", to a dime store when we still had dime stores, to the home of a 1960's Crochet Diva, to the previously mentioned thrift store, to me, at the bargain price of a buck a bag. Extra points for colors that Do. Not. Go. Together.

Cast on 72 stitches. (3 x 27. Seemed like a good number at the time. Lots of 3's.) Stir in the magic of Fibonacci and his rabbits . (If you start with a pair, and * when they are a month old they breed and produce a pair the following month; repeat from *, how many rabbits at the end of the year?) If you use the same sequence for the number of rows of knitting in a series of stripes, it is strangely appealing and fun to knit besides.

After the sheer cleverness of the math begins to lose its charm (or you reach 10"), decrease 6 times, evenly spaced around. This is where I found out I'd only cast on 70 stitches so I faked it. Don't look closely. Keep decreasing until you have only 3 stitches and knit on those for 5" or so.

Get jiggy with a darning needle,

then hope all these yarns felt, and I'm not saying I hope "their feel-bad hurts." If the wool won't felt, this huge hat may become a purse, but I'm betting that in 1960, "washable colors" did not mean "superwash". Stay tuned. I'll let you know tomorrow after a visit with My Favorite Household Appliance.

I've always loved making something from next to nothing (kind of like an engineer obsessed with perpetual motion) and this comes pretty darn close. The needles were 90 cents, the dollar's worth of yarn is enough to make at least (I just couldn't use the word 'conservatively' with these colors) five more hats, and the time was stolen -- otherwise-wasted TV time and car trip time, so neither one counts.

I also love garish colors (but not for me to wear) and throwing wool in the washing machine to intentionally shrink it. I wonder what Freud would say?


Anonymous smf said...


7:14 PM  
Blogger trek said...

Fibonacci was one cool dude. Have you seen the Fibonacci Spiral Hat on my blog?

7:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home