Mine’s a little rusty, too, but I can put pencil to paper and get what I need. (Shades of high school algebra – I could get the answers right, just not the way they wanted me to!) But there are some ingenious, handy and free tools online, and we might as well take advantage of them, right?
How much yarn??
http://www.woolfestival.com/articles/WPI.htm You’re at the yarn shop… this luscious yarn is on sale and you know you want some for a sweater! But you don’t have a pattern yet, so how do you know how much to buy? Check the wraps per inch (WPI) and refer to these charts.
Here’s another yarn estimating chart: http://www.fiber2yarn.com/info/how_much_yarn.htm It includes not only sweaters, but hats, socks, mittens, even afghans.
This one is an interactive, online calculator. It’s a little harder to carry around with you than the above charts (I’m assuming you printed them out), but is fun to play with, and great when you are reviewing your stash to see if you have enough for that pattern in the new magazine. http://www.knittingfool.com/pages/yards1.guest.cfm For this one, select the general style and size of the sweater and plug in the gauge (3.5 to 6 sts/in) for the yarn you want to use.
And for those pesky conversions of yards to meters and ounces to grams… http://benefitslink.com/cgi/fiberlinkmanager/measurement_converter.cgi
Whole patterns and parts of patterns
Arachne sock calculator: http://www.panix.com/~ilaine/socks.html Just plug in your gauge, a few foot/leg measurements, and it spits out a custom top-down knee sock pattern.
And a versatile sweater pattern calculator… http://www.knittingfool.com/pages/sweater_wheel.guest.cfm The Knitting Fool has recreated the old classic Sweater Wheel, in interactive online format. This was an eye-opener for me in more ways than one. I HAVE one of the old Sweater Wheels!! (And I even found it, thank you very much.) This will create a basic pattern in either raglan or set-in sleeve style, in a range of yarn weights, from infant through adult size 48.
And here’s a great jumping-off place, with a whole bunch of calculators and generators:http://www.thedietdiary.com/blog/lucia/1939 It includes multiple sock, shawl and sweater pattern generators, conversion utilities, several sleeve shaping design tools… well, you really just have to go look for yourself.
By the same person, http://www.thedietdiary.com/blog/lu-calculators.php includes bust darts, yardage estimators, sleeve shaping, button spacing and more.
Do you have a great pattern with a cable design written out, but no charts? Perhaps, like me, you do better with visual aids. This is an amazing tool: http://sweaterproject.org/visiknit/ Type in the text instructions, and it will print you a chart!!
Hypotenuse calculator. What?!? You have expunged the term ‘hypotenuse’ from conscious memory? Get acquainted again. It’s not so bad, now that you have an actual use for it. So you’re decreasing X number of stitches over Y number of rows. If you need to know how long that finished edge will be, you need this tool!
Just a couple of quick updates:
Ithilien is growing before my very eyes. Half an inch, and I’ll be binding off / steeking for the armholes!
It’s official. I will be spending Saturday, Sept. 6th at the Kansas State Fair. I will be the spinner-of-the day, hanging out in the sheep barn along with the sheep shearer. Swing by for both our demonstrations and say hello!
As I am writing this, my daughter tells me that Kia’s new SUV is called the Borrego. Borrego = Lamb!! Do you think the advertising and automotive industries have finally acknowledged the number of knitters, spinners and crocheters out here, and are targeting that huge market?