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Knitting math

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Knitting math

There's a certain amount of math in knitting.  So much so that teachers have used knitting to improve math skills and make the concepts tangible. It's not hard math. While a modicum of algebra is helpful for changing gauge, knitting math is mostly what you learned in elementary school: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division.

But there is another kind of math familiar to all knitters.  This is the math by which we can justify $32 for a skeins of beautiful, soft, hand-dyed merino to make a pair of socks when our neighbor points out that we can buy a perfectly good pair at Target for $8.  We have no problem buying yarn that costs twice what a baby blanket costs in order to knit the baby blanket ourselves.  To our non-knitting friends, family, and partners, this math is totally illogical and completely irrational.  The numbers simply don't add up.  They don't get it.  

But knitting is not about keeping ourselves warm any more than fishing is about feeding yourself, or sailing about getting across the water.  Knitting, like fishing, or sailing, is a gift we give ourselves.  It is not so much the yarn that we purchase or the thing that we knit, but the experience.  The whole process is a wonderful creative outlet, from choosing the project and selecting the yarn to knitting the stitches and completing the work.  The finished object is not only a fabulous byproduct of the pleasure we take from the process, but a tangible accomplishment in which we can take pride and satisfaction as we affirm, "Yes, I did. I made that."  

When you look at it from this perspective, and if you were to average out the cost of the yarn over the hours spent enjoying it, even non-knitters can recognize a big return on investment.  It's not about the math, obviously, and it's not about the money.  It's about how we choose to spend our precious free time -- where we find happiness and a creative outlet.  So the math doesn't matter at all.  It's not an equation to be balanced, or anything to be proven.  Knitting is there for your pleasure, and that is enough. 

I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table.  You are always welcome here. ~Ellen

Back to 11 June 2019 Newsletter